Children's Grief Awareness Day is a day set aside to focus on the children all around us who have experienced the death of a loved one, children who typically feel very alone in the journey of grief they travel.
This special day is observed the third Thursday in November every yearthe Thursday before the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. The mission of Children's Grief Awareness Day is to help grieving children feel less alone and more supported by changing the culture surrounding children and grief. This change can happen by helping others understand the impact of death on children and their need for support.
Children's Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity to let grieving children know they're not forgotten in the midst of their grief.
Children's Grief Awareness Day began in 2008 as a result of collaboration between school children in northwest Pennsylvania and the Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families.
The students wanted to do more to bring attention to what they themselves were learning that their grieving classmates had to cope with. They wanted their peers to know that they weren't alone and weren't being forgotten. Out of these beginnings, the event grew. It was embraced by organizations across the state of Pennsylvania and then around the nation and the world.
Since that time, thousands of individuals and organizations, along with local, state and national leaders from across the U.S., have worked to raise awareness of grieving children and change the culture in order to make death and grief a topic that can be spoken of openly and compassionately.
Children's Grief Awareness Day is held annually on the third Thursday in November (the Thursday before the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving).
The start of the winter holiday season is an appropriate time to bring grieving children to mind because the holiday seasonand the anticipation of the holidayscan be a particularly difficult time for children who have had a loved one die.
There are a number of ways in which Children's Grief Awareness Day can help children who are grieving. The children can be helped directly by seeing and coming to know that they're being thought of, realizing that others think they're worth taking the time to recognize, and seeing that their peers and the adults around them take their pain seriously.
Grieving children can also be helped indirectly by all of us working together to change the culture surrounding children and grief. This culture change starts with helping people realize that many children in their neighborhoods and communities are grieving the death of someone close to them. Then it is important to help people understand that children who've had someone die experience much more difficulty than is generally acknowledged or imagined.
Finally, it involves coming to realize the importance of support for these kids.
To get involved in your locality, check to see what organizations near you might already be supporting Children's Grief Awareness Day by visiting our "Partners in Hope" page. Contact them to see how you can support what they are doing.
If there aren't any organizations near you already planning something, you can plan your own activity or event. Visit the "How to Participate" page for a list of ideas.
There are many excellent children's grief support programs across the U.S. and around the world. Databases maintained by the National Alliance for Grieving Children, the New York Life Foundation, and the Moyer Foundation provide up-to-date lists of these programs searchable by state. Please visit one or all these sites to find a program near you that meets your needs.
There are a quite a few resources available free of charge that individuals and organizations can use for different purposes on and around Children's Grief Awareness Day.
- Spreading the word: Raising awareness is what this day is all about. From posters and fact sheets to statistics and quotes, a number of resources will allow you to do just that.
- Children's Grief Awareness Day graphics: The Children's Grief Awareness Day logo is available for use on appropriate materials. You can also download the "Holding On To HOPE" Butterfly for use at any time of the year.
In addition, a graphic of HOPE the Butterfly is available for use on a Facebook profile as is a Children's Grief Awareness Day cover image for use on a website.
- Publicity: Suggestions for writing your own announcements about upcoming activities can be found or you can go a step further by looking at how to build partnerships with local or state leaders.
- Activities: Children's Grief Awareness Day activities reach out to children who have experienced a death as well as to the general public. There are many ideas for activities, large and small.
At this time, we are working with companies to find a way to offer convenient to order and affordable T-shirts and other promotional items. When we have an agreement with a company, we will post that information on this website. Please check back regularly.
If your organization recognizes Children's Grief Awareness Day, we would love to hear from you and add you to our list of partners. Please send your organization's name, address, primary contact and email address to us at email@example.com or use our secure Contact Us form and we will add your organization.
Celebrating the great work that is being done to support grieving children and teens has become one of the most exciting aspects of Children's Grief Awareness Day. We encourage everyone to share photos from their events and activities as well as photos from the Holding On To HOPE campaign.
You can share photos with the whole Children's Grief Awareness Day community by posting them to our Facebook page or sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also use #CGADHOPE when you share photos and information on your own social networks.
The goal of Children's Grief Awareness Day is to get the word out about supporting grieving kids and teens. We would love to have you involved by citing information from our website in your blog.
Holding On To HOPE is a project of Children’s Grief Awareness Day that aims to bring attention to the needs of grieving children and the support that can be so helpful to children in the midst of grief.
Although when someone close dies, it can feel like the pain is going to go on forever, what many children have shared is that even though we don’t stop missing the person who has died, it won’t always hurt so much.
Children who have experienced the death of a loved one can hold on to the HOPE, based on the experiences of many other children who have gone through the same thing, that it won't always hurt so much. That is what Holding On To HOPE is all about.
The rest of us can also Hold on to HOPE for and with these children, letting them know that we're thinking about them, that they're not forgotten. Holding on to a printed copy of "HOPE the Butterfly" and sharing your photographs on HOPE's Facebook page is a way to let children all over the nationand the worldknow that you're Holding on to HOPE for them.
With so many sharing HOPE, grieving children will be able to see clearly that they are not alone and forgotten, that others do care about what they are going through. It's one more way to let them know that it won't always hurt so much.
Please download and print as many copies of "HOPE the Butterfly" as you would like. The more people supporting them that the children see, the more encouraged they will be that they’re not being forgotten or ignored.
Share the image on your social networksFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever you are. Use #CGADHOPE.
Or post it to the Children's Grief Awareness Day Facebook page or email your photos to email@example.com.
The photos submitted will be added to the Children's Grief Awareness Day's Facebook page where you can see all the photos that have been posted in support of grieving children. Check out the photos on either Facebook or Flickr.
If you need additional information about Children’s Grief Awareness Day, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact Us secure web form.
At this time, we do not have information in languages other than English.