Over the next few weeks, we will be working on a series of blogs featuring some of the remarkable agencies that we work with in Bucks County.
In our “Member Agency Spotlight”, we will share information about some of our newer member agencies to help you get to know them a little better. We want to acquaint you with their team, what services they provide to our community, and ways that you can get involved.
We had a Q&A with Amy Keiper-Shaw, President of Hands Holding Hearts (founded in 2013).
Mission Statement: Our mission is to be a compassionate and effective bereavement resource for children and their families in our local community. We will provide a safe environment for children who have experienced the death or loss of a significant person in their lives, and we will help them cope with the emotional, spiritual and physical aspects that grief brings to their everyday lives.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I love to keep active and provide community service. I helped my scout troop and Hands Holding Hearts clean and paint the dugouts at Chandler fields in Newtown because we saw they were mildewed. We didn’t want the kids playing in that environment, so we found sponsors to finance food, paint, and cleaning supplies for the weekend we cleaned and painted the dugouts.
What does your organization do and what is your mission?
We help support and educate grieving children and families in Bucks County. We are a resource for organizations, schools, pediatricians, and funeral directors about how to cope with grief in children.
How long have you been in operation in Bucks County?
We informally started offering support in 2013. In 2015 we became incorporated and last year we became a 501c3!
What are some programs and services that you offer?
We offer support groups, training, referrals, summer sessions, workshops, and education to those grieving as well as those who work with grieving children and families.
What are some ways that members of the community can get involved with your organization?
We are looking for sponsors. All of the services we offer are free which means that all our marketing materials and training materials, crafts, etc., are paid for by either our board, volunteers, or any donations we receive. We also are looking for board members and volunteers to help us with fundraising, marketing, managing our website, and clinical volunteers. We would also love to have a permanent home that we could make our own.
Why is being a member agency with The United Way of Bucks County important to your team?
We need to get the word out that we are here to help. It has been difficult to share about our organization because we are all volunteers and most of us have full time jobs which limits our availability.
What are some of your goals for 2018?
We strive to serve at least 10 families. Our goal is to hold a summer session series and run a monthly support group. Finally, we need to accrue enough funding to renew our liability insurance.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We all are committed to helping grieving children in Bucks County. We hope to become more financially secure and well known as a resource in our community so that we can meet the needs of our families.