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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Heroes of the Week: MargaretAnn’s Place Volunteers

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After the death of their 20-month-old daughter, MargaretAnn Smith-Jones, in 1997, the Smith-Jones family had found a wealth of supportive services for grieving parents, but no similar services were available for their son, Jared. This sparked the creation of MargaretAnn’s Place in 1998, the first center for grieving children in Wisconsin.

MargaretAnn’s Place’s programming is free of charge and available to children, teens and their families grieving the death of someone close to them. Serving primarily Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha and Racine counties, this nonprofit offers a safe, supportive environment where youth can express their profound feelings of grief and learn coping skills. Since the organization’s founding, more than 5,000 individuals have been helped. A few of the programs include Community Based Peer Support and Education Groups in Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine, Good Grief in Schools programming, and Camp Erin, the largest bereavement camp network in the country for kids aged 6-17 that combines high-energy summertime fun with specially designed grief activities.

“We rely heavily on our volunteers for the work we do at MargaretAnn’s Place and Camp Erin,” says Loralei Marr, managing director of MargaretAnn’s Place and director for Camp Erin-Milwaukee. “All of our volunteers have a heart for these kids and dedicate their time and energy to them as they walk with them on their grief journey.”

MargaretAnn’s Place is looking for volunteer board members, peer support group facilitators and fundraisers. Additionally, the organization is seeking funding for Camp Erin and can always use gift cards to various office supply and craft stores. Internship opportunities are also available. Visit margaretannsplace.org or contact Marr at 414-732-2663 (office), 262-909-4485 (work cell) or loralei@margaretannsplace.org for more information.