The Grief Support Network believes that “it takes a village” for people to acknowledge their grief and find the strength to step into their healing journey. A village exists to hold and nurture its members — both in times of celebration and in times of loss. Critical support is required immediately after an individual or a family experiences the overwhelm that comes from loss, which we know can continue on for many months. This is because our feelings of sadness, anger, confusion, and grief can easily interfere with the simplest of tasks in our day-to-day lives. In cultures around the world, it is not uncommon to offer food or “make a meal”. Food brings comfort and most importantly brings people together.
With this in mind, GSN created “It Takes a Village” to ensure that our community can respond in a timely way to the tremendous need of nurturing its families in times of grief. The program supplies a multi-faceted, volunteer-based network of services to support a person’s most basic needs within the first six months to a year after a loss. By accepting these services, a family then has more time to focus on moving through their grief and tending to their own self-care. Emphasis is on community participation – working closely with local businesses to provide services and then training volunteers to interact with GSN members. “It Takes a Village” will be developed in phases, beginning with a meal delivery service. In the future, the program will be expanded to include other offerings such as childcare, housecleaning, grocery shopping and more.
The Pilot Program
“It Takes a Village” Meal Delivery Service begins its pilot program in June 2017 for a duration of six months. Participating restaurants will be donating one meal per week. A trained volunteer will be assigned to deliver the meal and then “sit” with the family – listening, witnessing and reflecting back to them what they are feeling. By offering this presence and authentic connection, a safe space is created to speak what is true, rather than holding feelings inside, pretending to be ok.
In addition, a meal-purchase option will be implemented whereby out-of-town friends and family can purchase meals from the participating restaurants at a discounted rate in order to provide increased support. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
If you are interested in being part of this dynamic volunteer program, please contact Tiffany@griefsupportnet.org