FORT MYERS, Fla. – February 9, 2021 – Valerie’s House, a nonprofit organization in Southwest Florida helping children grieve, is celebrating its fifth year of providing grief support services to Southwest Florida with a year-long celebration throughout 2021.
Valerie’s House will be sharing “Then and Now” stories of growth and healing from children that have attended Valerie’s House over the years. Various news stories, behind the scenes videos of Valerie’s House, and family and volunteer testimonials will be highlighted. Additionally, local businesses and other organizations have “adopted” Valerie’s House on social media and in their communications in an effort to increase awareness of the importance of helping grieving children.
“When we first opened Valerie’s House in 2016, I would often get asked if there were enough children in our community grieving to need a place like Valerie’s House,” said Angela Melvin, Founder & CEO of Valerie’s House. “I knew there was, but they didn’t have a voice. In the last five years, I can say that we have now given them a voice. We are so very grateful for the community for supporting us these past five years and helping us fill the void in grief support for children in our community.”
Valerie’s House first opened its doors with 20 children and their caregivers on the evening of January 11, 2016 in a small house in downtown Fort Myers. Since then, the organization has grown to help more than 1,000 children and expanded into three locations across Southwest Florida, including now Naples and Punta Gorda.
All throughout 2021, the community is encouraged to share personal stories of their experiences attending Valerie’s House, volunteering, and the impact the organization has had on their lives by using the hashtag #VHTurns5 on social channels, or by emailing their story to Valerie’s House Communications Coordinator Alexa Nargi at Alexa@valerieshouse.org.
Plans also are in the works for the construction of a much-needed Forever Home for grieving families of Southwest Florida that will be built on property donated by the City of Fort Myers. For more information on how you can help bring this home to life, please contact Angela Melvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One in nine children in Florida is predicted to lose a parent or sibling before the age of 21, according to the 2020 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model.
Valerie’s House provides a safe, comfortable place for children and their families to heal together following the death of someone they love. Valerie’s House offers support groups and other activities at a home on 1762 Fowler Street in Fort Myers and a home in Naples at 819 Myrtle Terrace. Valerie’s House also holds group meetings at First United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda. Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency and is fully supported by community donations. More information can be found at www.valerieshouse.org.