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Indiana County, PennsylvaniaDepartment of Human Services
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3 happy young male students Son riding on dad's shoulders with mom steadying the boy in a green hay field Young girl riding a tire swing Young girl blowing on a dandelion 3 children frolicing under a large tree at sunset
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Resource Directory

Last Updated On: 09/02/2020
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Hopeful Hearts

Organizational Information

Parent Organization

Visiting Nurse Association of Indiana County

Vision, Mission and/or Purpose of Organization

MISSION: The mission of Hopeful Hearts is to improve the lives of grieving children and their families by providing support in a safe and caring environment, where all are welcome, and where families can grow through the healing process. VISION: Hopeful Hearts envisions being a premier provider of child and family bereavement support and education.

History of Organization

The idea of Hopeful Hearts began when Pastor Brad Lauster of Indiana's Grace United Methodist Church presented Diane and Dennis Giever with a $100-bill and challenged them with a Kingdom Assignment: to go out into the community and do something good. The Gievers considered a time in their recent past when their family and community friends had difficulty knowing how to help teenagers who were grieving the suicide deaths of two teenage boys. Having heard of the Highmark Caring Place of Pittsburgh, a small number of people toured the Caring Place and learned about its effective program of peer support for children and their families. Fortunately, Highmark Caring Place offered to work with a steering committee to aid in the planning for such a program in our area, and encouraged the group to submit a grant to the Highmark Foundation for funding. In December of 2008, Hopeful Hearts received a substantial 2-year grant through Highmark Healthy High 5. In early 2009, Janine Petro, executive director and Diane Giever, administrative assistant were hired. In February, Hopeful Hearts' first group of volunteers was trained. In May, the group contracted for clinical services with Dr. Nadene L'Amoreaux and began serving grieving children and families of Indiana County, eastern Armstrong and Westmoreland Counties, and southern Jefferson County. Hopeful Hearts currently has approximately 25 active volunteers who have a heart for companioning children and their families through their grief journeys. Hopeful Hearts will be entering it's twelfth year of supporting children and families within the region through small group, peer support, which is offered at no cost to the families. Currently Laura McLaine is Program Coordinator, and Janice Starry is Bereavement Specialist. Hopeful Hearts is relying upon community financial support to continue and enhance its support of children and families who are grieving the death of someone close to them.

Affiliations

VNA of Indiana County, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Suicide Task Force, National Alliance for Grieving Children, and the Children's Advisory Commission of Indiana County

Legal Structure

Non-profit corporation

Funding Sources

Small grants received from groups such as Kiwanis, Rotary and Quota, as well as grants from foundations such as Indiana County Endowment Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, Old Joe Club Charities, Inc., and the United Way of Indiana County. Donations also received from the Indiana Area High School Key Club, Delaney Subaru Share the Love Event, and individuals in the local communities.

Contact Information

Key Leader(s)

Laura McLaine -  Program Coordinator
724-463-6340
lmclaine@vnaindiana.org

Contact Person(s)

Laura McLaine - Program Coordinator
724-463-6340
lmclaine@vnaindiana.org

Contact Number(s)

724-463-6340

Contact Email(s)

hopefulhearts@vnaindiana.org - General

Web Addresses

hopefulheartspa.org - Local office

Primary Address

Hopeful Hearts
Medical Arts Building
850 Hospital Road
Suite 3000
Indiana, PA, 15701

Service Information

Service Area

Indiana County, Southern Jefferson County, Eastern Armstrong County, Eastern Westmoreland County

Service Description

Grief support for children, adolescents and their families. Child focused, family based, peer support.

Keywords

bereavement support grief support small group peer support children and family volunteer nonprofit bereavement consultation educational resources

Available Hours

Family Session Nights 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month (during the school calendar year). Office hours are typically 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.

Fees/Cost for Services

No cost to families.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to participate as a family, there must be children of 18 years or younger in the family who are grieving the death of someone significant to them. The children need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during family session nights. Volunteers for Hopeful Hearts need to be at least 19 years of age, provide criminal and child abuse clearances, and successfully complete Hopeful Hearts' volunteer training sessions.

Required Documentation

Families interested in participating in Hopeful Hearts sessions will complete a telephone intake conference with the Hopeful Hearts' bereavement specialist, complete and submit an application, and finally, together with the bereavement specialist, determine that the Hopeful Hearts program of support is a good fit for the children's and family's needs. Those interested in volunteer training must complete and submit an application, including references, as well as the clearances mentioned earlier, must attend an information night, successfully complete volunteer training sessions, and, together along with Hopeful Hearts' Trainers, determine that they are a good fit with Hopeful Hearts as a volunteer.

How to Access Services or Schedule Appointments

Call or email the Program Coordinator or Administrative Assistant.

Miscellaneous Information

Handicap Accessibility

Hopeful Hearts Family Sessions and Volunteer Trainings are handicap accessible.

Languages Spoken or Available

English

Speaker Available

Yes

Volunteer Use

Yes

Volunteer Need

Yes

Volunteer Description

Trainings are conducted once per year for persons, ages 19 or older, who have a love for working with children and a desire to help them through their grief journeys. Call for more information.

Uploaded Documents

Hopeful Hearts Information Sheet (One Page Info Sheet.pdf)