From the Director
At a certain age we learn that loss is a part of life. This does not make loss any less painful. The children that come to Mary’s Place have learned this harsh truth at a young age as their loved one has died and their lives have been forever changed. What can be done for these kids? How can we help them during this time? We can provide them with Mary’s Place; a safe place to come to work through their feelings of grief and remember their loved one. Mary’s Place is a place where grief is validated, accepted and shared and this will never change. Mary’s Place remains a constant for our children and families whose lives have been altered in ways they never could have imagined. We are the port in the storm of their lives.
The year 2016 was a year of change for our participants and all those who have experienced the death of a loved one as they continuously worked to find their “new normal” and integrate the loss into their lives. 2016 was also a year of change for Mary’s Place. We witnessed the retiring of two beloved staff members, Lisa Peluso and Louise Colletti. We also said goodbye to long- time board member Florence Barlow, as she stepped down from our board of directors. We are most grateful for their many years of dedicated service. We are pleased to welcome new staff and board members to our family and many new children to our groups. We have said goodbye to those who have reached a hopeful place of healing in their grief journey. Both the new participants and the “graduated” have solidified, once again, the great need for the services we provide to those who come to us.
A former participant recently came to Mary’s Place for a visit. She attended our programs when her mother died over ten years ago. She commented on how, although so much time had passed, things looked the same as they did years ago. I could tell this brought her a feeling of comfort. That is what we provide to our families; the knowing that, in this chaotic world where things happen that we cannot control and where change is continuous, Mary’s Place will be here and will remain a place of comfort and familiarity that they can look to for support.
Each of you who have touched Mary’s Place with your kindness have helped to strengthen our solid foundation so that we will stand for all those who need us today, tomorrow and years from now. You allow us to remain a sanctuary that our kids can come to so that they may learn healthy coping skills that they will take with them throughout life; so that they can be with other kids who understand what they are going through; so that they know they are not alone.
Thank you for providing so much to our children and families. You truly make a lifetime of difference that reaches far beyond our walls and continues for years in the lives of our children. The work that we do at Mary’s Place will continue and no matter what changes or challenges we may face we will continue to thrive because of your support and for that we are eternally grateful. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you.