The Spruce Foundation is proud to announce that its 2017 Health & Wellness Grant will be awarded to the Center for Grieving Children, whose child-focused programs assist in safe grief processing after the loss of a loved one, and aim to strengthen support systems for children affected by grief. The $5,000 grant supports the organization’s school-based grief support programs, which provide free school-day group counseling sessions designed at empowering grieving children through the healing process, emphasizing resiliency and healthy emotional expression.
Established in 1995, originally as a project of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, the Center for Grieving Children now has its own East Falls center and offers site-based programs across the city, including in-school programs at 20% of Philadelphia’s public and charter schools. In addition to its counseling services oriented toward grieving children themselves, the Center also offers support to district and institutional partners in order to strengthen community response to grief and to mitigate the behavioral risks for already vulnerable youth.
The board members of the Spruce Foundation feel that the Center for Grieving Children addresses a particularly pressing need; nearly one-third of their in-school support group participants report grieving the loss of a loved one to violent crime.
“We are proud to support an organization that so effectively addresses the mental and emotional health of young people,” says Eliza Erickson, President of the Spruce Foundation, “and we’re excited to grow both our and the Center’s impact by allowing them to expand their programming into three additional schools in the next year.
The Center for Grieving Children will collect its grant—alongside Spruce’s other 2017 awardees, in the focus areas of Arts, Education, LGBTQ, and Peacebuilding—at the annual Spruce Gala, which is to take place on Friday, April 21 at the Center for Architecture and Design at 1218 Arch Street. Tickets are $85 and are available here.