Expansion of Elijah's Place

LIBERTY, June 27, 2014 - Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Liberty County Agent, Alexis Cordova, partners with Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas to move forward on the expansion of its child-oriented grief and loss program known as Elijah’s Place to Liberty, Texas in order to be accessible to families throughout Liberty County. With the guidance and persistence of the Liberty County Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Advisory Board, this program will offer needed support to children ages 5-18 who are coping with the death of a parent or sibling. This program has been offered with great effectiveness in Beaumont for over 10 years to children of all religious backgrounds. In fact, we are extremely excited to have one of the Catholic Charities’ Counselors, Becky Richard, who began the one in Beaumont assisting with establishing a successful one in Liberty County.

The Elijah’s Place support model links children with peers in similar circumstances and comparable age brackets, under the guidance of trained group facilitators and a licensed professional. The bi-weekly support sessions include age appropriate activities and discussions that create a child-oriented approach to processing internal pain and suffering. Parents or guardians also participate in simultaneous sessions with facilitators and professionals to develop their own coping mechanisms and to better understand their child’s circumstances.

Seeking volunteer group facilitators to help out a couple hours one day per week in the evening every other week to work with small groups of children. Volunteer group facilitators are required to complete a 20-hour training. The first training will be offered July 14 from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall located at 2041 Trinity Street. Additional training dates have been selected: July 16, 22 & 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Individuals wishing to participate in the volunteer training sessions must reserve a spot by calling the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (936) 334-3230 by July 14th preferably. Printed materials and food will be provided.

If you have questions about volunteering or if you are a family wishing to have a child participate in the first group session that will begin in August, please contact Alexis Cordova at (936) 334-3230 or Becky Richard at (409) 924-4433. After the initial session, group sessions will take place every other week on a designated evening at the Immaculate Catholic Church located at 411 Milam Road in Liberty. Elijah’s Place services are offered free of charge through Catholic Charities’ Disaster, Trauma and Loss unit thanks to underwriting made possible by grants and individual donors.

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