The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
“I seek strength to carry on. I seek courage to move beyond pain. I seek faith to believe happiness will come again. Solace is my goal. I can find it. I can help others discover it.” — Solace House Affirmation
Solace House at Kansas City Hospice is a grief counseling center that supports children, individuals and families who have lost a loved one. They provide opportunities to share, listen, learn and heal – and they are also a League partner.
Lindsay Weiss, Kansas City Hospice Committee Chair, says, “Each member of our committee co-facilitates a group of children divided by age, and leads them through an eight-week support group to help them process their grief. These kiddos tug at our heart strings so much; many of them have lost parents and siblings in unimaginable circumstances. But through creative play and discussion, we get to provide a ‘safe’ place for them to share and a venue for them to get support from other kids experiencing the same feelings.
It is truly the most rewarding placement many of us have done in terms of really feeling like we’ve made an impact. And though ‘grief support group’ sounds depressing, often it’s anything but. We lead groups in bright, colorful rooms and incorporate music, TV, arts & crafts and games into our sessions, so it is actually a pretty upbeat and caring environment.”
Often, after loved one passes on, friends and family will remember them with stories, pictures and of course, their favorite foods. As such, as part of this placement, committee members help facilitate a potluck and everyone’s asked to bring their loved one’s favorite dish.
Lindsey says, “The families fill an entire kitchen with everything from Doritos to donuts, enchiladas to spanakopita. Nothing prepared me for how emotional it would be to eat all these specially prepared foods – and for the pride the kids would feel in serving them to each other. It was such a memorable night, filled with stories that revolved around the food, just a really special experience.”
The placement has been so well received, it will be offered again in the 2017-2018 League year – along with placements that will benefit Happy Bottoms, Jewish Family Services, Lazarus Ministries and Wayside Waifs.