Losing a loved one can be an incredibly tough and dark experience to go through, especially if you’re enduring it alone or without a strong support system. A local organization, Hope for Bereaved, offers a variety of services for those in Central New York who are looking for a sense of community in their darkest times.
Hope for Bereaved was founded over 40 years ago after Therese Schoeneck lost her daughter and discovered there were no support groups in the area for her to attend. Schoeneck formed a bereaved parents support group that grew in size and eventually became what Hope for Bereaved is today.
Development director at Hope for Bereaved Walt Stein explains that when someone is grieving, it can be hard for others to understand what exactly they’re going through. By having a place for those navigating the loss of a loved one to gather and share stories, it can help people to not feel so alone.
According to Katie Oja, a group facilitator at Hope for Bereaved, the organization offers 13 different support groups as well as one-on-one counseling for those experiencing grief. The support groups range from those for widows and widowers to those who have lost children to those who have lost loved ones to suicide, overdose or homicide.
All services are free of charge, meaning Hope for Bereaved hosts numerous fundraising events throughout the year to continue providing service to the community.
Their next fundraiser is the 9th annual Remembrance Run/Walk on July 21 at Long Branch Park. Oja describes the event as a great opportunity for those who have lost a loved one to honor them as well as for the local community to support Hope for Bereaved.
The run/walk has a number of memorial opportunities, from mile markers throughout the course with a loved one’s name to custom T-shirts printed with names if you register in advance.
If you would like to learn more, you can visit HopeForBereaved.com or call 315-475-9675.