Tidewell Expands Family Grief and Bereavement Program to Charlotte County
The expansion is strengthened by a $100,000 commitment from the New York Life Foundation
Contact Name: Lindsey Nickel
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone Number: (941) 275-3995
SARASOTA, Fla. (July 14, 2020) — Tidewell Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of the Tidewell Hospice Blue Butterfly Family Grief Center to care for additional children and families in our region. A recent grant of $100,000 from the New York Life Foundation will help support the pilot program housed in Charlotte County. The program will open in August 2020.
Tidewell’s Blue Butterfly is the only evidence-based program in our region that helps grieving children, teens and caregivers through professional counseling, peer-support groups and therapeutic activities. Since its inception in April 2018, Blue Butterfly has served more than 200 families and is continuing its services virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After my brother died, I didn’t know what to do,” said Sarah, a 17-year-old Blue Butterfly participant. “I felt so lost. I didn’t know how to live without him. How do you lose a twin? It’s a lot, so coming to Blue Butterfly really helped me cope with that and has been a really important part of my healing process.”
Blue Butterfly peer-support groups are facilitated by grief specialists and trained volunteers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support children and families in grief. The free grief sessions bring children together who are experiencing the various emotions that accompany grief, allowing them to process these feelings without judgment while sharing stories that facilitate comfort and connectedness with others.
“It’s really important that they know they aren’t alone and there are other kids that have to deal with all of those emotions — on top of just losing someone,” said Nicole, a Blue Butterfly parent participant. “Kids have questions and this is a great place for them to come to join together and have a better life.”
Tidewell’s grief and bereavement services are 100% donor supported and offered for free to community members in addition to patients and families. The Tidewell Foundation plans to raise funds from individuals and foundations in Charlotte County to build its second family grief center, housing Blue Butterfly, adult grief services and community programs.
“Blue Butterfly provides evidenced-based, therapeutic services in a caring and supportive environment to children and their families,” said Tidewell Foundation President Debbie Mason. “These critical interventions provide stabilizing support to help children and families grieve, heal and live more successful lives. We are incredibly grateful to donors who understand that dollars invested in these services may be key to preventing future mental health and behavioral issues.”
Each year, more than 8,000 children in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties experience the loss of a parent — increasing their risk of struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. This creates a substantial need for Tidewell’s Blue Butterfly grief services, specifically in outlying areas where access to support sites is limited. The expansion to Charlotte County will help Tidewell reach 25 additional families, representing 50 new parents and children. Beyond the new Port Charlotte location, Tidewell is actively expanding Blue Butterfly to Ellenton, with a new family grief center scheduled to open in winter 2021.
Blue Butterfly meetings in Charlotte County will begin on Aug. 27 and occur once a month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1st Alliance Church, located at 20444 Midway Blvd, Port Charlotte, FL. Enrollment is required before attending a session and open to all grieving families in our region, whether they have a previous relationship with Tidewell Hospice or not.
If you or someone you know could benefit from the grief support Blue Butterfly provides, call 941-893-6610 to set up an intake assessment or visit tidewellhospice.org/home/programs/grief-support/blue-butterfly/ to learn more about Blue Butterfly. If you’re interested in volunteering with Blue Butterfly and receiving training to help grieving families in our region, visit https://tidewellhospice.org/home/volunteer/.
To support these Blue Butterfly expansion efforts and Tidewell’s mission to care for those who need it most, visit tidewellhospice.org/home/tidewellfoundation or call 941-552-7546.
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The Tidewell Foundation, Inc. is an independent 501 (c) (3) charitable foundation established to fund perpetual philanthropic support to Tidewell Hospice and the healthcare companies within the Stratum Health System family. Charitable contributions to the Tidewell Foundation sustain and grow the critically important programs and services provided through the not-for-profit mission of Tidewell Hospice and its affiliates. Donor-funded programs offer compassion and comfort to those who need it most in our community by caring for all, regardless of their ability to pay. It starts with generosity and is paid forward with every patient connection, family served and life changed. Discover how each donation strengthens our community; learn more by visiting www.tidewellfoundation.org.