BENEFITING: NEW HOPE CENTER FOR GRIEF SUPPORT
EVENT DATE: Aug 30, 2015
Does the idea of me being plunged into a tank full of cold water bring a grin to your face? Have you secretly been looking for an opportunity to get revenge against me? Or do you just like being involved in charitable causes that impact our community? If any of these sound like you, consider participating in the “Dunk For Donations” challenge at the New Hope Family Fun Festival on Sunday, August 30th!
New Hope Center for Grief Support provides support, education, and community to people in Southeast Michigan grieving the loss of a loved one. Located in Northville, they have been serving the community since 2000. They are intentional about providing their services at no cost to those who are grieving. As a 501c3 non-profit organization, they rely on the generosity of others to provide this service to those looking for hope, healing, and new beginnings after losing a loved one.
I am volunteering to be dunked in order to support their mission. I am asking you to help support that mission as well. If you would like to read more about why this cause is so near to my heart, scroll to the bottom to read an article I wrote in the January 2015 New Hope e-newsletter.
There are a few ways to participate:
- Purchase tickets to the event (Adults $25, Teens $10, Kids 12 and under free) www.newhopecenter.net/rsvp
- Participate in the Dunk for Donations challenge by making a donation to New Hope (either at the event or online) and dunking me in the dunk tank.
Thank you for your participation. Your donations will make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting. Healing begins when hope is found!
*New Hope Center for Grief Support is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductable.
Here's a piece I wrote in January 2015 about how New Hope has made an impact on my life:
2014 was a tremendous year for New Hope! Your generosity helped us serve more people than ever, and we are looking to grow and expand the types of services we can provide in 2015. Every dollar you donate goes towards helping someone that is hurting find hope, healing, and new beginnings. Sometimes it's easy to forget the impact that your donations make, so I want to take a moment to share a story about someone whose family was helped tremendously by New Hope in 2014: mine.
I came on staff at New Hope only a few months after my wife's mother passed away. Seeing the challenges my wife faced was a motivating factor in my employment at New Hope. She attended an eight week fall workshop, feeling both supported and encouraged by others who had experienced similar losses. I was able to attend the same workshop, both as an employee of New Hope and as a husband. I learned valuable tools that helped me better support my wife. I also learned a lot about the grieving process from listening to the speakers and talking with others attending the workshop. I felt like I was starting to understand more about grief and was happy to serve those who were hurting.
Everything I knew about grief changed when my mother passed away suddenly after Thanksgiving. I've never felt such extreme emotions before. Nothing made sense, and my brain was functioning on a very minimal capacity (some would argue that was normal for me). I was having such a difficult time even forming sentences when speaking to people who hadn't gone through what I was experiencing. The people who understood me best were my father, my brother, my wife---and my New Hope family. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from everyone, including the staff, volunteers, board members, and donors. Between the flowers, the cards, the empathetic hugs, and the AMAZING fried chicken and potato salad dinner, I understand on a deeper level why New Hope exists.
One of the most unusual things I've experienced is a connection between the things I've learned and the emotions I've felt. It's like being given a set of tools before you ever know you'll need them, only to discover that they work just as expected right when you need them most. I've heard the phrase, "I felt like I was going crazy" from just about everyone I've talked to in our program. And then I heard both my father and brother say the same thing. I was able to communicate how normal that was and help them begin to navigate through this journey. I've also given myself grace to be okay with how I'm feeling. If I want to talk, I talk. If I don't, I excuse myself. The biggest thing I've learned is how important it is to run towards the pain and not away from it. The holidays have been very challenging, but I know that unfelt pain doesn't go away; it patiently waits and grows compound interest. As author Jerry Sittser refers to in his book, A Grace Disguised, I must "allow myself to be transformed by my suffering rather than to think I could somehow avoid it."
In the meantime, I'm taking one day at a time. I have good days and bad days. I have days where I laugh, smile, and have fun referencing bad pop songs from the 1980's. And there are days where I've just want to sit on the couch and look at her picture. But each day has presented itself with opportunities to use the tools I've been given by New Hope, tools that wouldn't be available without your financial support. On behalf of my wife, my father, and my brother, I want to say thank you. Your donations matter. It's not about New Hope. It's about the lives that are impacted as a result of New Hope, mine included.
With heartfelt gratitude,