WHNT News 19 is teaming up with the United Way of Madison County for a “Day of Action.”
The goal is to raise money so the United Way can continue to fund community services, like The Caring House. The Caring House is a program of Hospice Family Care and provides grief and bereavement services for children and teens.
Since 1995, The Caring House has helped more than 1,500 children in Madison County through the stages of grief.
Hayley Jones, who lost two relatives, has been going to The Caring House for several years. Jones says The Caring House changed her.
“I’d still be hurting my fists by punching things,” explains Jones. “I’d still be screaming at my parents and I wouldn’t have quite as many friends as I do now.”
Hayley’s mom, Carolyn Watson, says The Caring House improved their mother-daughter dynamic.
“My daughter and I would fight a lot because she didn’t know what to do with her anger and I didn’t know what to do with mine,” says Watson. “This has helped her to deal with all of her feelings she`s been going through.”
The Caring House offers a range of activities from pet therapy to art and games. There is a padded volcano room, where children are free to let out anger. A memory wall is inside where children can put framed pictures of their loved ones.
“The memory wall is special to me,” says Jones. “It reminds me that I’m not the only one.”
Kelsia Smith, coordinator of The Caring House, says it’s important for children not to be alone.
“Children are often forgotten and there is some assumption that children will just get over it,” says Smith. “Children need a place to come.”
Ensuring they continue to have a place to come depends a lot on the United Way of Madison County.
“It’s vital that we have their partnership,” explains Smith. “The funding allows us to offer the necessary services that we have here.”
The Caring House offers support for youth ages 3-18. All of the services are free of charge. The Caring House is dependent on United Way support, along with other community contributions and donations.