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Nurturing Hope Through Grief: How a Midland Nonprofit is Supporting Grieving Children

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Nurturing Hope Through Grief: How a Midland Nonprofit is Supporting Grieving Children 

Located in the heart of Midland, Michigan, the Children’s Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR) is a healing center for people dealing with the profound impact of losing a loved one. Established as a pillar of support, the nonprofit has diligently served children, teens, and their families across Midland County since 2016. 


A Journey of Growth and Outreach 

As a proud member of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), the Children’s Grief Center GLBR has actively participated in various MNA programs and initiatives, including applying for and receiving a grant from the $50M MI Nonprofit Relief Fund Program administered by MNA and the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, the center has not only sustained its mission but has also expanded its reach. From offering daytime peer support groups in schools to pioneering advocacy efforts, their journey has been nothing short of inspiring. 


Expanding Reach: The Remarkable Growth of Satellite Locations 

In a significant leap forward, the number of satellite locations for the center has grown exponentially, from 15 schools in 2021 to nearly 40 in 2024. This expansion underlines their commitment to making support accessible to more grieving young minds. The center is also thrilled to announce the return of Camp Grief, Grit, and Hope, along with many other summer programs designed for youths aged 4-18. This year also marks the introduction of innovative programs tailored for individual, small group, and family intensive therapy, including special groups for young adults aged 18-25. 

  

Leadership with Empathy: Chris Sabourin at the Helm 

Chris Sabourin, who has been leading the Children’s Grief Center GLBR as the Executive Director since 2022, brings over two decades of experience in education and instructional technology. His tenure as a teacher provides him with a unique ability to connect with children, allowing him to foster a nurturing environment where young minds can freely express their grief. His leadership has been instrumental in developing programs that offer a safe haven for children navigating the challenging journey of grief. “Being a teacher has helped me communicate with children and to understand how to create a safe environment,” said Sabourin.   

  

A Community United in Healing 

The Children’s Grief Center GLBR owes its success to a dedicated team of volunteers and staff, united by a shared vision of spreading awareness about the impacts of grief. They strive tirelessly to ensure that all programs remain accessible to children and families at no cost, relying solely on donations, grants, memorials, and bequests. Initiatives like the String Hearts project serve as a testament to their innovative approach, where children use thread to “represent the strands of hope that weave through our grief, uniting us through the shared stories of our grieving children”, says Sabourin. 

    

Join the Cause: Advocate for Children’s Grief Center GLBR 

The Children's Grief Center GLBR is more than just a center; it's a movement dedicated to bringing light into the lives of those shadowed by grief. Your support and advocacy can make a monumental difference for this 501 c 3 nonprofit. 

  

LEARN MORE about how you can become an advocate for the Children’s Grief Center GLBR and contribute to a future where no child grieves alone. 

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