Tote bag giveaways help support grieving children
The only way to know and understand grief is to experience it. After the loss of their beloved family member, Shardaya Fuquay and her family found the strength to build a community for people experiencing grief. Since 2017, Journey to Healing has been helping families and individuals in Detroit through grief support and social-emotional skill building. The organization also provides children’s support programs, using tote bag giveaways for therapy kits.
Seeing an increase in need
Fuquay, Journey to Healing’s executive director, took a unique approach by creating a team of experienced professionals—clinical advisors, social workers and professional counselors—who had all experienced a traumatic loss. It is important to Fuquay that team members feel empathy for the population they serve.
Since the beginning of 2020, the organization has helped more than 300 families—all free of charge. With more people needing grief support, the organization started to run out of tote bags for the children’s therapy kits. Thanks to a 4imprint one by one® grant, they have been able to restock their tote bag giveaways and carry forth their mission.
Material that helps heal and spread the word
Journey to Healing’s programs focus on holistic healing as well as supporting its members in their everyday life. “People cannot grieve if they don’t take care of their home, if they don’t take care of themselves. How can you heal if you’re hungry or don’t have a place to stay?” Fuquay explains. “Our goal is to help families and individuals understand where they are in the grieving cycle. In addition to the social and emotional healing, we also provide financial help, life counseling and more clinical help.”
The organization’s programs are open to all—from children to adults, no matter where they live, no matter their financial situation. “Every loss is traumatic when it is someone you love,” Fuquay said. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve helped members go through the loss of elderly family members, losses caused by accidents and now caused by COVID-19. We are trying our best to be free and accessible to everyone in the community as when you are experiencing such hardship, you shouldn’t have to pay to heal.”
The grant arrived right on time for the organization. During therapy sessions, children receive a therapy kit that includes crayons, notebooks, a journal and more. Earlier this year, Journey to Healing ran out of supplies and began using plastic bags. “The tote bag giveaways were a blessing. First of all, they look great with our branding on them. Children are pleased, and it’s a great way to talk about us. People see the bags in the community and ask, ‘What is Journey for Healing?’” Fuquay explains. The team was rewarded when children, parents and family members sent letters of thanks to them for their work—and for the giveaways.
A note from Cheryl:
In periods of hardship, small acts of kindness can make things a little easier. We are humbled to have helped Journey to Healing with the work they do in their community. For more information on our grant program, visit onebyone.4imprint.com.