Hospice of Dayton and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley have created a program that applies the art therapy resources of Pathways of Hope, the grief support program of Hospice of Dayton, to support young people mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters who may experience an extended grieving period due to death of a loved one or lack of involvement from someone they love. The program is designed to help the youngsters mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters advance toward emotional health through artistic expression.
According to Joseph Radelet, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley, the partnership is a natural for the two organizations. “Big Brothers Big Sisters and Hospice of Dayton are both involved in providing support to those in need. This partnership between our organizations will deepen the care we will provide to young people experiencing loss through the death or absence of a loved one. “
Hospice of Dayton will provide training for Big Brothers Big Sisters staff on the grieving process and how art can help with the stages of grief, and will involve Big Brothers Big Sisters participants in Art Forever After, an art program that assists in the expression of grief. Those invited will be those who have experienced the death of someone close to them either recently or in recent years, as well as those experiencing loss because one or both of their parents have not been involved in their lives. The option of attending the full 12-week Art Forever After program or Camp Pathways for children will also be extended to members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization who fall into this category of loss.
“One aspect of our mission is to reduce unnecessary suffering in our community,” explains Hospice of Dayton President/CEO Kent Anderson. “We have children who are suffering with grief and loss, so our partnership with Big Brother Big Sisters helps us to fulfill this part of our mission. Our partnership is focused on making our community better and working together allows us to do this by maximizing our collective resources.”
Both organizations invite other youth-serving agencies with interest to also be involved. Additional information is available by contacting Pathways of Hope at Hospice of Dayton at 937-258-4991, or Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley at 937-220-6860.