Our Wish

As Brighter Days became a reality, the underlying passion that motivated our team was the dream of building a family-focused Grief and Wellness center in the Twin Cities. A place where grieving children and adults could access professional and peer-based support and resources when grieving the death or terminal diagnosis of a loved one.

Brighter Days has served over 6,000 individuals since 2017 due to our strong partnerships with many Minnesota hospitals, hospices, schools, and community-based organizations. We are so proud of the heartfelt testimonials from our partners and the special people we have served throughout the state of Minnesota. We are confident that the successful outcomes of our community-based programming and model of care contribute to the need for a larger and more accommodating space for grieving children, adults, and entire families.   

"Minnesota is known for the exceptional care and support it provides for many causes. We are honored to have Mayo Clinic for advanced illnesses and cancer,
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for addiction, The Melrose Center for eating disorders, HCMC for trauma, and so many more. What we have been missing, and what has been necessary, is a place where families just like ours can go when their loved one dies from one of these causes. In 2017, Brighter Days became that place,
with referrals coming from all these organizations and so many more. We absolutely must expand further and we must do it soon. It is unbelievable,
and quite frankly, shameful, that this has not been a priority for our state until now." ~ Carolyn Kinzel, Founder

Our Capital Campaign is underway and we are delighted to share that we are accepting pledges towards naming rights for our future build, shown above. We are forever grateful to ATS&R for the beautiful floorplans and concept video they created for us. Take a look at the video here!

Due to our acquisition of  Youth Grief Services from MHealth Fairview in 2020, we are updating our original design to include an expansive space dedicated to grieving children and teens, including an outdoor mini-camp! This space will allow for grief and trauma support, including expression rooms, as well as meaningful areas for workshops, crafts, games, movies, and so much more! All intended to provide unique and age-appropriate programming while connecting them to other grieving children and teens. Watch for this updated design in the fall of 2022!   

In addition to our usual programming, our future Grief and Wellness center will also provide plenty of space for reflection and tranquility. We envision designated areas for professional grief and trauma support and training; children’s expression rooms; a teen lounge with comfortable conversation and reading areas; a movie room; a large kitchen for weekend/evening coffee and dinner gatherings; a library for quiet reading and resources; a yoga studio; a meditation lounge for reflection and journaling; an arts and crafts room, a legacy room, and so much more.

Family events will also be held including day retreats, game and movie nights, cooking classes, scrapbooking events and potlucks in an effort to connect with other children and families. We also envision our center in beautiful surroundings with several fountains, walking trails, a labyrinth, a wishing well, gathering areas, play areas and plenty of cozy chairs to relax in. Our hope is that families will build new memories, take time to bond with others, and find hope in our sense of community.

As a way to create long term sustainability, we intend to have an attached auditorium for speaking events, benefit concerts, trainings, workshops, continuing education, memorial celebrations, benefit concerts, and author presentations. Within the lobby area, we will have a small boutique featuring meaningful items donated from local artists, authors, and businesses to give families and visitors the opportunity to leave with something HOPEFUL. It’s a perfect fit for the love and care we intend to pour into this very sacred space. 

Creating legacy can feel important as a way to keep your name and your loved ones memory alive. If you would like your name, or theirs, to be a part of Brighter Days, we invite you to ask about opportunities for naming rights to several of the rooms and gathering spaces. These include the auditorium, gift shop, outdoor play areas, memorial wall, expression rooms, labyrinth, fountains, benches, gardens, walkway bricks, conversation areas, pathways, and trees. Please contact us for further details.