Lower Cape Fear Hospice (LCFH) is raising money for its youth bereavement programs in Columbus and Bladen Counties with the Southern Shindig: Healing Young Hearts on Saturday, June 10, 7:00pm-10:00pm at the Columbus County Fairgrounds. The party features music by Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot and food from award-winning barbeque chef Matthew Register from Southern Smoke BBQ. This fundraiser supports LCFH’s Sunrise Kids programs. Listen to Marty Hernandez and Laurie Taylor talk about the event above; see transcript below.
Gina: This is Communique from WHQR in Wilmington North Carolina. I’m Gina Gambony. Lower Cape Fear Hospice is throwing a Southern Shindig this Saturday to support bereavement programs for youth.
Marty: Every minute somewhere, there are people being born, but also every minute somewhere there are people dying. So we tend to talk about the people being born but we do not tend to talk about the people dying.
Gina: That is Marty Hernandez. Although she could easily be referring to all of us, she's specifically referring to children. Marty is the Children's Bereavement Coordinator for Lower Cape Fear Hospice.
Marty: We not only provide services to children and families who are connected to Hospice families, but also children that have been impacted by death outside of the Hospice family. So any child, any young person in the community who has been impacted by death, we provide them services and grief support. Part of the reason that we can do that is because Lower Cape Fear Hospice’s mission in part is just to educate the community about grief and loss. So it's a valuable gift to the community to provide that opportunity for children to learn about their grief and loss and express themselves and memorialize the person that's died.
Some of the things that would occur for children is they wouldn't have the same life experiences as adults. So when grief washes over you it includes so many different feelings and emotions, not just sadness, but fear anger or surprise, lots of times confusion. That experience in of itself is new to a child and might be very distressing. And only not only are they missing the person that's died but they're also having this experience with feelings that they never had before. So it's an opportunity to kind of help them understand that there's nothing wrong with them that they're going through that experience. Also kids have a tendency to feel very alone in their grief because it's not something that they walked down a school hall and talk about or experience.
Gina: There are different programs for young people to help them navigate grief and loss. In June and July, weeklong half day camps are available for second graders through middle schoolers. Hospice also hosts family days at various locations with activities for youth and caregivers like horseback riding, skating, and bouncy houses. They always provide an opportunity to remember a lost loved one.
Marty: One of my favorite things that we create we call a wish and memory box. So as the families decorate the box, they think about the memories that they've had with the person that stopped. But they're also prompted to think about their wishes, which would be things that you know they would have hoped to be able to do that they can no longer do. So it gives them an opportunity to experience all of that.
Gina: Most of hospice's children's grief programs are free but they are completely funded by community fundraising. That's where the Southern Shindig comes in. Here's Laurie Taylor, Vice President of fundraising at lower Cape Fear hospice.
Laurie Taylor: So the Southern Shindig, the proceeds are going to go to support our children's
program in Columbus and Bladen counties. We rely 100 percent on community support to provide this program to our families. For years out in Whiteville we have done Festival of Trees, and we're no longer doing festival of trees so we really wanted to do something new. And I guess engaging for the community. So this idea came up for the Southern shindig and we've got Matthew Register from Southern BBQ out of Garland who's nationally recognized for his barbecue. And we've got Gary Lowder and the Smokin' Hot band from Myrtle Beach.
So we're going to have a smokin hot night. Barbecue and music and of course you know the normal fundraising things like a silent auction, yard games...
Gina: That was Laurie Taylor and Marty Hernandez from Lower Cape Fear Hospice. The Southern Shindig is at the Columbus County Fairgrounds this Saturday night, June 10th, 7:00pm to 10:00pm.