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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.
Concordia-IRMC VNA, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Suicide Task Force, National Alliance for Grieving Children, and the Children's Advisory Commission of Indiana County
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, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, 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.
hopefulheartspa.org - Local office
Indiana County, Southern Jefferson County, Eastern Armstrong County, Eastern Westmoreland County
Grief support for children, teens, and their families in age appropriate peer groups
bereavement support grief support small group peer support children and family volunteer nonprofit bereavement consultation educational resources
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.
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.
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.
Hopeful Hearts Family Sessions and Volunteer Trainings are handicap accessible.
Languages Spoken or Available
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.