WESTPORT, Conn. – A Little HOPE Inc., a national nonprofit dedicated to finding innovative ways to help children grieve, has given Westport-based Experience Camps a grant of $70,000 to expand across the country.
Experience Camps provide free one-week camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. Along with swimming, arts and crafts, and team sports, the kids take part in bereavement activities, including sharing circles where they are encouraged to talk about their grief.
In 2017, Experience Camps will have over 450 campers at camps in Maine, California, New York and Georgia. The grant will be used to allow each of the Experience Camps locations to serve more campers.
“A Little Hope Foundation has allowed us to build and scale our organization in significant ways. Having an organization like this as a partner and friend has directly resulted in more kids having the life-changing experience of camp,” said Sara Deren, founder and executive director of Experience Camps. “We are so grateful for their support of us, and for their ongoing efforts to help organizations like ours achieve great things in the children's bereavement space.”
A Little Hope Foundation was formed after Sept. 11, 2001, to provide support to grieving children and has established themselves as a major granting organization to bolster the efforts of grief support organizations around the country.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1.5 million children are living in a single-family household due to the death of a parent. Grieving children are at higher risk than their non-grieving peers for depression, anxiety, poor school attendance and higher dropout rates, isolation, behavioral problems, lowered academic achievement, drug and/or alcohol abuse, incarceration or suicide.