Split the Plate is one of UUCW’s programs of outreach and generosity. Each month we give half of all undesignated offering monies to a non-profit organization as a way to help us live our Unitarian Universalist values and serve our community.
Olivia, Grace, and Sophia are cousins. In the short period of one month, they lost a 24-year-old cousin to an overdose, their grandfather died of cancer and their 8-year-old cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. They reached out to Healing Hearts to help them talk about what they were feeling. They participated in the weekly sessions and attended the Annual Summer Social where Tree Top Explorers offer the children an opportunity to climb and hang from trees. When Sophia was asked what was the most helpful, she replied “having caring people listen to you talk about your problems.”
November Split the Plate Supports Healing Hearts, a community-based organization whose mission is to serve and support grieving children and their families. In October 2009, a group of concerned individuals representing six Waukesha churches and two funeral homes began meeting to address the need for a safe place for children and families to grieve. This insightful group recognized that there are many types of losses and causes of grief.
They established Healing Hearts of Waukesha County, Inc. as a 501 (c) (3) public charity organization in 2010, their mission being “to serve and support grieving children and their families”. Healing Hearts offers free peer-support programs for children and the significant adults in their lives who are dealing with loss due to death, divorce, substance abuse, abandonment, incarceration, deportation, and other life-altering events. Since 2010 it has helped more than 900 participants representing over 349 families.
It began with 12-week spring and fall sessions in Waukesha and has grown to also offer shorter spring, summer, and fall sessions in Oconomowoc. With the help of Carroll University, all materials have been translated into Spanish and Healing Hearts offers bilingual volunteers to serve our Spanish-speaking families.
This wonderfully valuable organization delivers validation, support, joy, and hope to an overlooked group in our community: our grieving children.
Here are some comments from some past participants:
- Healing Hearts takes my dark clouds away and brings the sun (8-year-old)
- It helps me talk things through. I feel like I have more people to trust. (13-year-old)
- On your worst day, you can look forward to going to Healing Hearts. It gives a little bit of light. (15-year-old)
- Healing Hearts is a place to take these feelings of grief and sadness in a world that usually doesn’t want to hear about them. (Adult)
To donate to Healing Hearts of Waukesha County, Inc., go to the UUCW website’s donate tab. For more information about Split the Plate, contact Kathy Herrewig. For more information, go to the Healing Hearts of Waukesha County, Inc. website.