by Moya Tobey
Finding a place of healing is vital when you’re grieving, especially for children. It can be difficult to understand the emotions you’re feeling, and learning how to work through them is important. That’s where Ele’s Place comes in: They come alongside grieving children and their families, helping them process a loss with which they are struggling. In 2018, they impacted 155 children, 99 adults and 93 families.
Ele’s Place was founded in 1991 by mental health professionals, community members and grieving parents Betsy and Woody Stover. After the death of their eleven-month-old daughter, Helen Louise Snow Stover, better known as Ele, the Stover’s realized their three other children weren’t grieving in the same manner as the adults in the family were. A great deal of research ensued, which led them to conclude a children’s grief center was necessary for Michigan. Almost 30 years later, there are four branches of Ele’s Place across the state, and they continue to move forward in their mission of creating awareness and support for grieving children and their families.
Each year, Ele’s Place hosts the Healing Hearts Breakfast to raise funds to continue this important work. This year’s breakfast will take place on May 29 from 7:30 — 9 a.m. at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Sponsoring businesses include the Meijer Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, 616 Media and BDO. There is no cost to attend, but donations are encouraged. Attendees can expect to have a complimentary breakfast followed by personal stories from families impacted by Ele’s Place.
“This breakfast is why I got involved in Ele’s Place as a volunteer a couple of years ago,” Jaime Counterman, director of Ele’s Place West Michigan, said.
Not only do the donations and support help Ele’s Place, it tells those who are grieving that their city sees they are hurting and want to help in any way they can.
Take that opportunity to lend support by saving your seat at elesplace.org.
What: Ele’s Place Healing Hearts Breakfast
When: May 29, 7:30 — 9 a.m.
Where: Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park,1000 E Beltline Ave NE