A $1,500 grant from the Muskingum County Community Foundation is making a difference for children in Muskingum 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 provides 20 Camp HOCO at Home boxes to children and their families within Muskingum 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 Muskingum County Community Foundation for the grant, which has helped us reach additional families in Muskingum 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 Muskingum County Community Foundation for the grant, noting that 10 Camp HOCO at Home boxes have already been delivered.
“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.”