The disheartening reality is that 1 in 15 Minnesota youth will encounter the loss of a parent or sibling by the age of 18. Behind this stark statistic are the poignant stories of young hearts carrying the burden of grief, and Brighter Days Family Grief Center is at the forefront, ensuring these stories are both heard and supported.
This mission is deeply personal for Carolyn Kinzel, Founder and Executive Director of Brighter Days Family Grief Center. Her own son experienced the profound loss of his father at the tender age of 12, an experience that left him feeling isolated at school. Carolyn’s personal journey has fueled her unwavering commitment to ensure that no child in Minnesota navigates such a heart-wrenching experience alone. By introducing Children’s Grief Awareness Day to Minnesota, she aims to provide the community support and understanding that her own family desperately needed during their time of grief.
In recognition of National Children’s Grief Awareness Month, which falls in November, Brighter Days Family Grief Center is making a dedicated effort to raise awareness and to support grieving children and their families throughout Minnesota. Kinzel states, “Children’s Grief Awareness Day is not just a date on the calendar; it represents hope, resilience, and the strength of community. This nationwide event raises awareness about the distinctive challenges faced by grieving children and their families, and Minnesota is now an integral part of this compassionate movement.”
To affirm this commitment, Kinzel submitted an official proclamation, and Governor Walz endorsed it, officially designating every third Thursday in November as Children’s Grief Awareness Day. “This is more than just a signature; it is a promise. A promise from our government and community to create a nurturing and empathetic environment for those navigating grief. It’s a symbol of unity and care that ensures no child or family in Minnesota walks their grief journey alone,” Kinzel emphasized.
With help from dozens of volunteers and partnering organizations within the Minnesota Children’s Grief Consortium, Brighter Days Family Grief Center is preparing a statewide campaign throughout November with a special focus on November 16. The objective is to initiate a ripple effect of compassion that touches every corner of Minnesota.
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