Back Row (LtoR): Brian Stump, Sandra Toppin, Cynthia Goodman, Tinah Bouldin, Shari Levine, Latoyya Schenck, Imagine’s Chief Development Officer, Paul Muir, Marianne Rubino. Front Row (LtoR): Imagine’s Mountainside Program Associate, Kellie Saracino, Jen Schildge, Imagine’s Operations Consultant, Susan Pink, Rachel Heisch, Imagine’s Training and Development Operations Associate, Alexa Adubato, Pat Taeschler.
As the staff at Imagine prepared to launch a new program year in September, it quickly became evident that the demand for Imagine’s grief support groups had grown. Imagine began its new program year offering three in-person Nights of Support at their Mountainside location, one Night of Support at their Newark location and a virtual option. Though each Night of Support (NOS) can accommodate up to 60 families, it became clear that a new night was needed to support all of the new families that had reached out to Imagine seeking support following the death of someone close to them.
The first step in launching a new NOS is to train new volunteers to facilitate each support group. Imagine held a training session November 3-5th, training 10 new facilitators (pictured above) for the new NOS that will meet on alternate Mondays beginning in November. The ten new facilitators were joined by new Imagine staff who participated in the training as well.
In addition to the story sharing and support for one another that’s part of Imagine’s training, the group had an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills regarding Alan Wolfelt’s Companioning Model for grief support that’s practiced at Imagine. Many of the participants in Imagine’s training program find the training experience to be meaningful and life changing. One participant shared: “The training was truly amazing and inspiring. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to participate in it.” Another said: “The Imagine Staff are amazing. I so appreciate all the knowledge they shared and the encouragement they gave to me and the other participants.” The staff at Imagine are so pleased to welcome this new group to their wonderful team of volunteers!
Imagine has been providing free peer support groups for children and families for over 10 years and relies on both the generosity of volunteer facilitators who donate their time, and the generosity of donors who help fund Imagine’s programs. This holiday season, if you’d like to support Imagine’s mission of ensuring that no one grieves alone, please consider making a donation to support Imagine’s programs at www.imaginenj.org.
Imagine is a 501c3 nonprofit that offers free year-round grief support groups for children ages 3-18 and young adults 19-30 who are coping with a loss due to death. Concurrently, support groups are available for the parents and guardians of the children in the groups and offered in English and Spanish. Imagine also offers grief and loss education and training to the community. For more information please contact Imagine at 908-264-3100 or email@example.com.