The Home Nursing Agency Healing Patch has received an $8,800 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities Mid-Penn Region. Grant funds will support family meals at Healing Patch sessions and the purchase of two tablets for children to create electronic keepsakes with memories of their loved ones.
The Healing Patch: A Program for Loss and Hope for Grieving Children and Their Families is a free peer support program for children from preschool through 18 years and their families who have suffered the death of a loved one.
The safe environment allows grieving children and families to discover they are not alone and that hope and healing are possible.
Polly McGeary (left), Ronald McDonald House Charities Mid-Penn Region grant coordinator and board secretary, presents a check for $8,800 to Allison Stockley, Home Nursing Agency Healing Patch manager, to benefit the agency’s program for grieving children and their families.
Healing Patch groups include participants from throughout the region and take place bi-weekly at locations in Altoona and Ebensburg.
Each session begins with a meal and interactive games and activities, and then participants break out by age into peer support groups facilitated by specially trained volunteers.
Ronald McDonald House Charities funding for meals ensures these families can enjoy an evening together without having to juggle dinnertime in already busy schedules and also have a casual meal without the direct reminder of the now empty chair at the kitchen table.
Children will use the tablets and accessories purchased with grant funding to create unique electronic memory books using a variety of media such as older family photos, digital photos and videos, music and scanned documents to remain connected to their loved ones through memories, according to Allison Stockley, Healing Patch manager.
"Gathering photos/videos, the sound of their voice, historical data, etc., are all ways of connecting with the loved one and maintaining a bond for the years to come and to pass along to future generations," Stockley said.
"Additionally, the process of compiling a memory book - gathering the items and having open discussions with family members - can all be very healing."
The Healing Patch is offered free-of-charge to children and families and relies on individual and community dollars, grants and community events for support.
Donations can be made to the Home Nursing Agency Foundation to support the Healing Patch.
To learn more about the Healing Patch, call the Home Nursing Agency at 800-445-6262 or visit www.homenursingagency.com.