Home » Breaking News » The Moyer Foundation To Establish Connecticut Bereavement Camp
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, World Series champion pitcher, Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, co-founders of The Moyer Foundation, announced today that they are committed to holding a special Camp Erin® program in Connecticut for the children impacted by this horrific tragedy.
"As parents of eight children as well as co-founders of The Moyer Foundation, Jamie and I are passionate about doing everything we can to support the children and families affected by this unimaginable event," said Karen. Jamie added, "They deserve all the hope, healing and support the Foundation and others can provide."
Founded in 2000, The Moyer Foundation created and supports Camp Erin, the largest national network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6 to 17 grieving the death of someone close to them. Camp Erin provides children a place to learn positive coping skills, honor and memorialize those who have died and realize they are not alone in their grief.
The Foundation will form an advisory committee of children's trauma and bereavement experts from Connecticut as well as other grief professionals from across the country. The goal of this group is to create a thoughtful and informed action plan that is most appropriate given the intensity and levels of trauma that the surviving children and their siblings are facing.
"Through kid-friendly activities, Camp Erin addresses two of the most pressing needs these children have after a death: to know they're not alone, and be able to share with others who understand," said Donna Schuurman, executive director of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families and nationally renowned grief expert.
"Camp Erin is an amazing experience for children and teens grieving the death of a loved one to share together, and to express what they're going through in a safe and supportive setting," added Schuurman.
"Through our Foundation's programs and our life experiences, we not only recognize the importance of children's grief support when faced with the death of a loved one, but we also understand the importance of timing," stated Karen Moyer. "It is our goal to make sure that opportunities for support are in place so that children and their families can engage with them when they are ready."
"In my experience, children are best served when the trauma is addressed alongside grief support," stated Pamela Gabbay, Director of Mourning Star Centers and Programs and Camp Erin Director. "Bringing grieving children together in a group or camp setting can offer valuable peer support to let children know they are not alone in their sadness," she continued. "I look forward to working with The Moyer Foundation and others in the industry to create a program for these children and families."
The Moyer Foundation's involvement with camps for children who lost a loved one began with funding the first bereavement camps after the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. Since establishing the first Camp Erin in 2002, The Foundation has grown into the largest network of free bereavement camps for children and teens with 40 locations that serve nearly 2,500 children annually including a camp in every Major League Baseball city. The Foundation fosters communication, encourages collaboration as well as sharing of best practices between its 40 partner organizations that include hospices, hospitals and bereavement agencies - all qualified experts in the field of children's grief support services.
For more information on The Moyer Foundation, please visit www.moyerfoundation.org.