Grief Program for Area Youth Moves Forward With Hospital's Help

Humboldt General Hospital saw an opportunity that it just couldn't pass by recently.

The Frontier Community Action Agency has been working to launch a grief network to help children and their families cope with the loss of a loved one.

But the "Hope Tree" comes with a $5,000 price tag, and even with the generous support of community residents, that amount of funding seemed daunting.

Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish said he heard about the program's plight from Sherry Smith, the director of the Humboldt Volunteer Hospice.

Smith had told him the program would not only benefit the community as a whole, but those associated with her organization.

"It was easy to see that this was a very needed and worthy cause in our community," said Parrish, "so we were happy to donate toward the program."

The hospital donated $1,000 to strengthen the program's mission of promoting healing and recovery for grieving children, teens and their families who are affected by loss.

The "Hope Tree" network will also provide volunteer training, a lending library, Spanish language services, family consultation, counseling, community outreach, grief workshops, a grief camp and a children's bereavement network.

Alaine Kliewer-Nye, the Humboldt Program Coordinator for the Frontier Community Action Agency, the Hope Tree's umbrella organization, said the program is all about sponsoring solace for a family in need.

"We're here to help children, from ages 2 to 18, and their families with the detrimental effects of the loss of a loved one," she said.

Kliewer-Nye said the program offers youth renewed hope by helping them connect with their peers as they learn to cope with loss.

"Children find themselves stuck with feelings they don't know how to express," she said, "with parents who are also grieving and who are sometimes unable to adequately help the child."

She continued, "Hope Tree will help families learn to cope with these feelings as a team."

The tree is currently stationed at The Frugal Flamingo Thrift Shop, located at 720 E. Fourth Street in Winnemucca, and Kliewer-Nye said a few more donations are needed to help put the program over its funding goal.

"We are so grateful for the generous support of our community and Humboldt General Hospital," she said. "This program is all about finding light in our darkest moments, and our donors have certainly taken that to heart, helping us see light when we didn't know if we would ever see this program off the ground."

Stop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, to provide a donation and help this important program become a reality.

For more information, please call (775) 623-9003 or email FCAAhumboldt@gmail.com.

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