Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

August 23, 2013

Free day camp for grieving kids

The Daily Iowegian

---- — For the third consecutive year, Monroe County Hospice, Sinnott-Pierschbacher Funeral Home and Tharp Funeral Home in Albia will sponsor a free day camp for kids and teens ages 5 to 14 who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Healing Hearts Grief Day Camp will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Trinity Family Life Center in Albia. In order to customize each participant’s camp experience, registration is required by calling Monroe County Hospice at (641) 932-1701 by Aug. 30.

The goal of Healing Hearts Kids’ Camp is to provide a safe environment for kids to share their experiences and learn the necessary skills to help them respond and adjust to changes associated with loss.

Hospice Manager Kim Higginbotham shares, “In order to achieve a safe and healing environment, we create small, age-appropriate groups who are guided through therapeutic activities by trained volunteers. The small-group format during activities gives children more one-on-one attention and opportunity for them to share with a trusting adult.”

The kids will participate in “share circle,” which gives the children and volunteers the opportunity to share something special about their loved one with the entire group. The day concludes with a balloon release; children write down a special message to their loved one, tie it on the string of a balloon and watch as the balloon drifts up toward heaven.

Healing Hearts Kids’ Camp is made possible through donations and grant funds and is offered free to attendees. Included in the day are all materials for projects, a T-shirt, lunch and a snack. Camp is offered to any child experiencing grief, both in and around Monroe County.

Monroe County Hospice’s bereavement program guides people of all ages through the difficult times that follow the death of someone special. A grief support group meets the fourth Thursday of each month in the Friendship Hall at the First Christian Church from 5-6 p.m. Individuals do not need to RSVP for the monthly grief group in order to attend. Groups are free and open to the public, even to those who are not using Monroe County Hospice services.

For more information, visit or call the office located at Monroe County Hospital and Clinics at (641) 932-1701.