The Highmark Caring Place encourages community to wear blue on Nov. 19 and voice support for grieving children on social media
PITTSBURGH (Nov. 16, 2015) Children's Grief Awareness Day, created in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, is an annual observance held to help people become more aware of the needs of grieving children. Since it first began, it has grown into a national and international day of observance on the third Thursday of November each year. This year, Children's Grief Awareness Day falls on Nov. 19.
"The holidays are an especially difficult time for a child who has lost a loved one," said Highmark Caring Place Director Terese Vorsheck. "This day is an opportunity, right before the holidays, to show children who have experienced the death of someone important to them that they are not alone and that the community supports them in their grief."
The Caring Place encourages individuals to show their support of grieving children by wearing blue on Nov. 19.
Individuals can also participate in a Thunderclap social media campaign to spread the word about Children's Grief Awareness Day to many more people across the nation and around the world. Thunderclap pools the messaging resources of a large group of users to all say the same thing at the same time, amplifying the message.
To join this Thunderclap, individuals can visit the Thunderclap campaign webpage and give a one-time permission for the tool to post a message about Children's Grief Awareness Day on their Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumbler accounts at 10 a.m. on Nov. 19.
Through social media, people can also contribute to the Caring Place's Holding On To HOPE campaign by taking a photo with HOPE the Butterfly and posting it to Twitter and/or Instagram with #CGADHope. Others may choose to post their support on the Children's Grief Awareness Day Facebook page.
In Pittsburgh, home to two Caring Place locations, grieving children will be remembered at an Illuminating HOPE event at the Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on the eve of Children's Grief Awareness Day, Nov. 18. During the event, thousands of luminaries, decorated with messages of remembrance and encouragement for those who have lost a loved one, will light the path to a large formation of a butterfly, the universal symbol of hope as well as the symbol for Children's Grief Awareness Day.
Community members will have the opportunity to decorate a luminary with their own thoughts and memories of a loved one or a message of support for grieving children. Free and open to the public, Illuminating HOPE will include activities like an art show of works by Caring Place children, face painting, luminary creation, music by the Golden Strolling Strings and refreshments.
"We invite everyone to join us in remembering loved ones who are not with us anymore in honoring the children who struggle with losses like this every day and in offering words of support and encouragement to these children," said Vorsheck.
Gatherings to observe Children's Grief Awareness Day will be held at the Caring Place's four facilities in Erie, Lemoyne, Pittsburgh and Warrendale, Pa. for families who have received Caring Place services and for the organization's volunteers. Additional events will be held by schools, businesses and communities around the world. To learn more about how to participate in Children's Grief Awareness Day through a variety of individual or group activities, visit http://www.childrensgriefawarenessday.org.