A $1,500 grant from the Fairfield County Foundation’s Fairfield County Health Fund is making a difference for children in Fairfield County who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Through Camp HOCO at Home, Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio has been able to expand its children’s grief support services.
The grant will provide 20 Camp HOCO at Home boxes to children and their families within Fairfield County. The Camp HOCO at Home boxes include instructions for parents and guardians to follow and information about how children grieve, common emotions, and coping skills that can be helpful. The boxes also include activities for families to do together to explore common issues children experience while grieving.
“We’re grateful to the Fairfield County Foundation for the grant, which has helped us reach additional families in Fairfield County,” said Maria Johnson, manager of Patient and Family Support Services at Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio. “Camp HOCO at Home addresses the challenges children experience when they have lost a loved one. Families suffering from loss may not have the tools necessary to meet the needs of a child who is also experiencing grief. Camp HOCO at home can help with this.”
Camp HOCO had been traditionally held annually as an in-person grief camp in the summer for children ages 6 to 12 who have lost a lost one. As a unique at-home program, Camp HOCO at Home allows Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio to reach more children throughout the year and with an expanded age group.
“Through this innovative offering, Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio is able to provide care to children year-round, without the challenges of summer schedules and transportation across our service area,” said Belinda Orrill, grant and prospect research specialist at the Ohio’s Hospice Foundation. “The boxes give families the tools to start conversations about grief so they can lean on each other for support and begin the healing process together. In the family setting, children can take the time they need and focus on what makes a greater impact on them personally.”
Stacy Geller, vice president of philanthropic development at Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio, thanked the Fairfield County Foundation for the grant, noting that the foundation has supported its mission with previous grants — one for complementary therapy in 2020 and another for the American Pride® Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program in 2021.
“The goal of the Camp HOCO at Home program is that children alongside their families will have a better understanding of the grief process and be able to communicate effectively and openly about their grief experience,” she said. “This enables them to feel less isolated in their grief and they will learn healthy coping skills to manage their emotions which will aid in their development of healthy relationships.”
Camp HOCO at Home boxes are available, free of charge. For more information about the program, please contact Maria Johnson at MJohnson@HospiceOfCentralOhio.org or call 740.788.1474.
To learn more about how you can help support Camp HOCO at Home, please contact Stacy Geller at Stacy@HospiceOfCentralOhio.org or 740.788.1488.
Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, has provided a holistic, community-based approach to hospice care since 1982. With locations in Newark, Columbus, Lancaster and Zanesville, the not-for-profit organization serves 13 counties in central Ohio and is dedicated to supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. In addition, two inpatient care centers at Licking Memorial Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are available for symptom management.