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NAPLES, FLA., June 7, 2022 – Valerie’s House has hired Sarah Andrus as the Collier County Director of Outreach.

In her new role, Andrus will help grieving families who have lost a loved one and work in the community to raise awareness and access to Valerie’s House services.  She also will assist with group nights, which are held at 819 Myrtle Terrace in Naples

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Sarah’s background join Valerie’s House,” said Valerie’s House CEO Angela Melvin.  “She has experience as a social worker and has had a passion for helping those who are grieving since she was in college.”

Andrus earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., where she helped to develop and establish the children’s grief camp, Camp Good Grief.

She also worked for several years as a social worker for Lifeline Children’s Services in Birmingham, Ala., and Life-Saver’s Ministry in Opelika, Ala.

Prior to joining Valerie’s House, she owned SEA Wellness in Naples and Atlanta, Ga., which provides health products and wellness coaching services to individuals and groups.

Valerie’s House has locations in Naples and Fort Myers and has provided grief support services to more than 400 Collier County children and caregivers since its opening in Collier County in 2017.

Valerie’s House was founded in Fort Myers in 2016 by Angela Melvin, whose own mother was killed in a car accident in 1987, and has expanded to include locations in Fort Myers and Naples as well as Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Pensacola.

One in eight children in Florida is predicted to lose a parent or sibling before the age of 25, according to the 2021 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model.

Valerie’s House is fully supported by community donations.

About Valerie’s House

Valerie’s House opened in January 2016 and has served more than 2,000 children and their families from Charlotte, Sarasota, Glades, Lee, Hendry and Collier, counties as well as the Florida panhandle. The organization provides a safe, comfortable place for children to share, grieve and heal together following the death of a close family member. Valerie’s House has five locations: 819 Myrtle Terrace in Naples, 1762 Fowler St. in downtown Fort Myers, and grief support group meetings at 1st United Methodist Church at 507 West Marion Ave. in Punta Gorda and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2565 Tamiami Trail, in Port Charlotte. Support services also are available at the Charlotte Family Services Center at 21500 Gibralter Drive in Port Charlotte.  For more information, visit

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