New Hope Goes to Portlandia

Executive Director, David Leonard with The Dougy Center's  Executive Director Donna Schuurman, Ed.D, FT

Executive Director, David Leonard with The Dougy Center’s Executive Director Donna Schuurman, Ed.D, FT

With a generous grant from the New York Life Foundation, New Hope was able to attend the 19th Annual National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) Symposium in Portland, OR.  The conference was a multi-day wafting of synergy, dialogue, and passion. Let’s face it, grief work is tough.  We are confronted with tragedy and mortality on a daily basis while trying to restructure social norms that promote healthy grieving and support rather than silence and indifference. The work we do day in and day out is not exactly a walk in the park.

Our lifework requires us to practice what we preach; we understand the importance of self-care, community, dialogue, healthy coping, and play.  We had time to engage colleagues, discuss research, learn from each other, explore best practices, and find strategies for running the best programs possible.

In Portland we had the opportunity to visit The Dougy Center, one of the top grief centers.  We were very gracious for their hospitality, enthusiasm for the work, and jealous of their amazing center (we too will have one someday).  We are thankful to the New York Life Foundation for providing us with the opportunity to continue our professional development, ultimately making New Hope the best grief support provider in the Greater Long Beach area.