Be a Champion for Children
When I started Imagine in 2011, I wanted to create a place where people’s grief and loss could be transformed into healing and compassion; where children and parents would know that their loss mattered, and where no child would have to grieve alone, the way I did when my father died over forty years ago.
Over the last 6 years, Imagine has grown quicker than I could have hoped for, reaching more and more children and families in need. Currently we have over 260 children, young adults and parents from over 51 towns across New Jersey that come to Imagine every two weeks for Nights of Support-- children like Anabella--who likes playing in our hospital room with the medical play dolls. Her mom died of cancer so Anabella spent a lot of time in hospital rooms. During one of the Nights of Support I was playing with Anabella. We gave the dolls shots, took their temperatures, listened to their hearts (and each other’s), talked about her mom losing her hair and the wig she wore, and the port for the chemotherapy medication. Play is children’s work. It is how they process their feelings and experiences and communicate to those around them. How important it is for Anabella to be able to have the opportunity to tell her story and process her experiences in a safe and supportive environment. How wonderful would it be if every child in grief had a similar opportunity…
While we are so happy that Anabella is at Imagine and are so fortunate to be able to provide our services to her and so many children, there is still so much more work that needs to be done; there are still so many more children in need of our support. Every year in New Jersey, over 20,000 children lose a parent to death. Grief is everywhere. It is widespread and knows no race, culture or geography.
We are only able to offer our services because of the generosity of donors and community support. As a completely privately funded organization, we simply could not exist without it. As the holidays are upon us and we prepare for a new year, I hope you will consider making a year-end gift to Imagine so that kids like Anabella can continue to have a free, safe and supportive place to go to in their grief, and so that no child ever has to grieve alone. Our friends and longtime supporters, Marilyn and Lou Stiglitz, have offered to match all gifts up to $10,000 through December 31st.
Let us envision a future where pain and loss can be transformed into compassion and resilience. Let us imagine hope. Thank you for your continued support and thank you for being a part of the Imagine family.
With all good wishes,
Part of the Imagine Family
"It feels like I have a second home. And it feels like all the people in this place are my family."
- Anabella, Orange Group participant
(Image: Anabella with her mom)