BENEFITING: The Children's Room
ORGANIZER: The Children's Room
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 15, 2013
When I was 4 years old my father died suddenly of a heart attack. My brother was 6 and my mom was pregnant with my sister. In the aftermath of his of death I was scared and confused, lacking a mature understanding of death but aware that my life had inexplicably changed forever.
Gone were the days of my carefree childhood. I began to constantly worry about the health and safety of my loved ones, especially my mother. I believed that talking about my loss outside of my family made others uncomfortable, and I often felt misunderstood. Through volunteering at The Children’s Room, I met fellow volunteers with similar loss stories. For the first time in my life I had friends who understood my loss through the powerful connection of a shared experience.
Currently I am in my fifth year as a volunteer with 3 to 5 year olds who have lost a parent or sibling. I am constantly amazed by the ability of the children I work with to support each other. When a child shares their loss and another child responds “me too!” a powerful and healing connection is made that normalizes loss. In a very natural way, children will share stories while drawing a picture or creating a cemetery in the sandbox. There is a level of openness and comfort when talking about loss and grief at The Children’s Room that teaches children and families the important lesson that no one needs to grieve alone.
As an adult I’ve begun to recognize the ways I was shaped by my loss, and I’ve gained personal strength through this knowledge. In the greatest test of my physical and mental strength yet, I will be running the Boston Marathon on April 15th, 2013 in support of The Children’s Room and in memory of my father. I am also running for all families who enter The Children’s Room – families as devastated as my family was 22 years ago. The hope that TCR brings to the many children and families served will help propel me 26.2 miles towards the finish line.
The Children’s Room offers its services free of charge. However, it costs a total of $1,500 for one child to participate in the support group program for one year.
In the “littles” group in which I volunteer, there are six children who are 3 – 5 years old. My fundraising goal is $10,000, which will more than cover the cost of the six children in my group this year. Please consider supporting my run and a great cause!
To make a secure donation to my fundraising page, click the donation button on the top right of this page. You may also send checks to The Children’s Room at 1210 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02476. Please make your check out to "The Children's Room" and write “Marathon/Stephanie” in the memo line so that your gift will count towards my goal.
Thank you in advance!