Fernside: A Center for Grieving Children

Posted August 10, 2019

Name of Non-Profit Organization *

Fernside: A Center for Grieving Children

Today's Date: *

Monday, August 12, 2019

Organization's website

http://fernside.org

EIN / 501(C)(3)Number *

31-1179234

What year did your organization receive it's non-profit status? *

1986

Address *

4360 Cooper Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242
United States

County *

Hamilton

Your Name *

Lori Asmus

Your Title *

Fernside Development Officer

Your email address *

lori_asmus@trihealth.com

Your Phone Number

(513) 865-4598

Executive Director's Name *

Vicky Ott

Executive Director's email address *

victoria_ott@trihealth.com

What is the mission of your organization?

Fernside’s mission is to “Offer support and advocacy to grieving families who have experienced a death, and to increase awareness of grief issues through community outreach.”

Which social causes (up to 3 choices) does your agency address through its programming? *

  • (3) Children

Any comments about your selections you would like to share with the student philanthropists?

Fernside exists to serve the unique needs of grieving children, the vast majority of whom are at Fernside due to the loss of a parent or a sibling. None of the children at Fernside asked to be in this situation, and how they handle their loss is critical to their long-term development. Fernside’s programs are designed to teach resiliency and facilitate healthy coping in the lives of grieving children by providing a caring and understanding community of peers.

THE IMPACT OF FERNSIDE

Fernside's impact is best articulated by those that have been helped by the organization. Logan Davis lost her dad when she was nine years old. Now a college student, Logan is a volunteer facilitator at Fernside. According to Logan, “People don’t realize what it feels like to lose a parent at such a young age. They don’t realize just how different, how not normal, that makes you feel. You are singled out. You are literally pulled out of classes in front of classmates by rightly concerned counselors, who then ask if you are okay. You notice the quiet tones that people speak in when you are around. The tentativeness that people have around you…not wanting to say the wrong thing. At least for me, it made me very anxious to think that all of these other people were worried about me. It weighed on me.

What Fernside really does for kids is to help them feel normal again, and I can’t stress how important it is for young people to feel normal. Fernside is the only place where it is the normal thing to have lost a parent, and where it isn’t a big deal to talk about it. You realize that you’re not the only one working through these very intense feelings. That other people your age feel the same way you do. This environment is so reassuring, and suddenly there seems to be a way forward through the grief. Things start to make a little more sense, and you finally feel like things are going to be okay."

CHILDHOOD BEREAVEMENT…DID YOU KNOW?

Childhood bereavement is one of our community’s most prevalent, yet not talked about, public health issues. In fact, Ohio has the 10th highest rate of childhood bereavement in the US, where it is estimated that 1 out of 12 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before the age of 18.

Does your organization have volunteer opportunities available for students? *

Yes, Grades 9 – 12

List possible volunteer opportunities -or- a link to where they can be found on the web.

Volunteers are essential to Fernside, and impact either directly or indirectly virtually every child and family served by the organization. Fernside volunteers serve in the following ways:

HOSPITALITY

Individuals pick up and serve pizza and beverages. Most importantly, they provide a warm welcome to all those attending our grief support groups.

FUNDRAISING/SPECIAL EVENTS

Individuals assist with events such as the annual Hospice of Cincinnati & Fernside Summertime Classic golf event that benefits programming at Fernside.

EXPRESSIVE ART MATERIAL PREPARATION

Individuals provide help with preparation of materials for use in our support groups.

SUPPORT GROUP FACILITATOR

Individuals co-lead a support group in our evening program. They are responsible for helping to create a caring environment in which group members share their stories, feelings and memories and discuss how to cope with challenges in their lives. Volunteer facilitators are required to attend a 20-hour training program where they learn about grieving children and adults, group process and have the opportunity to hear first-hand from experienced volunteers and families who have participated in our program. The training is offered two times each year.

Volunteer coordinator

Sally Ries

Volunteer coordinator's email address

sally_ries@trihealth.com

Volunteer coordinator's phone number

(513) 246-9140