Logan's First Funeral
Posted: 4/1/20 by Julia Dunn, M.Ed., LPC (Program Director)
When Olivia’s House founder Leslie Delp wrote the Hearts Can Heal program more than 20 years ago, children’s bereavement was still something that was not openly talked about. In many families, especially those who don’t have access to a grief center like Olivia’s House, the fear surrounding funerals has prevented many parents from allowing their children to attend the important “emotional group hug” that is a funeral.
Leslie recognized the importance of including children in death-related rituals, and the idea of the funeral-home field trip was born. In over twenty years of programming, this remains one of the favorite evenings of our program, by children and adults alike!
But Leslie found there was a scarcity of children’s literature that addressed death and the funeral experience. And so, in a process that has spanned almost 15 years, Olivia’s House has created a resource that can benefit families around the globe when questions about funerals arise in their own home. We are excited to announce the publication of our original picture book, Logan’s First Funeral!
Written by Leslie Delp and illustrated by the incredibly talented Vicki Friedman, Logan’s First Funeral tells the story of 9-year-old Logan, who loses his friend and classmate Georgie in a car accident. Logan has so many questions for his mother. Does he have to be invited to the funeral? Will Georgie be sleeping in his casket? What even is a casket?? Logan’s mom uses all the right language to explain to Logan the beauty of funerals and encourages him to be curious about the ritual. Logan learns that nothing is taboo when it comes to celebrating the life of our loved ones.
Logan’s First Funeral is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We can’t wait to share this resource with you!
What Happened to the Walk to Remember?
Posted: 3/1/20 by K.C. Delp (Executive Director)
If a children’s grief center can’t adapt, who can? When the unexpected happens and a family suffers the death of someone they love, there is no bargaining; the family is forced to grow despite their circumstances. During our Hearts Can Heal program we are constantly teaching the philosophies of flexibility and adaptation. So, too, must our mission abide by such principles.
For the past eight years, Olivia’s House has hosted the Walk to Remember. This was a special day to celebrate our loved ones, participate in a day of great family entertainment, and raise funds to support the no-cost services provided at Olivia’s House.
In the spirit of adapting and growing, so entered Give Local York in 2018. The York community embraced this idea of a philanthropy day, dedicated to supporting the many non-profit businesses that provide much needed, county-wide human services. In 2020, in an effort to work smarter (not harder), we decided to no longer hold our Walk to Remember and instead focus our teams’ efforts on Give Local York. The stretch pool provided by Give Local York will ensure that everyone’s dollars make a difference when they are donated to Olivia’s House. In addition to your donation, a percentage of every dollar pledged to our mission will also be given to Olivia’s House from the stretch pool. A WIN-WIN! We sincerely hope you will join Olivia’s House for Give Local York because our mission needs you. Please check out our website to learn all about the ways you can get involved!
Posted: 2/1/20 by Michelle Fox (Administrative Director)
Planned or not, nothing prepares someone to hear those magical words, “Congratulations, you’re going to be a parent!” Just a few months ago I received this news, and I was thrilled to share with our Olivia’s House family that my husband and I are expecting our first child! We are excited to add a pint-sized staff member to our ranks.
With a due date at the end of April, I have been feverishly working with the Gala committee to ensure the 18th Annual Scrumdiddlyumptious Olivian Gala is set for success. This will be one of the “sweetest” Galas to date! But there’s no time to relax and enjoy some candy . . . I am already busy coordinating volunteer projects for 2020 so that our Healing Garden of Hope is ready for our springtime programs and Olivia’s House maintains its sparkle and shine.
Not to worry though, I will return after taking some time off to spend with my precious baby girl and to adjust to the new normal of motherhood. But as any theatre buff knows, the show must go on and luckily the staff is happy to cover in my absence. Thank you all for sending your well wishes; I am on this wonderful new journey– and I am so excited!
The Power of Snowflakes
Posted: 1/1/20 by Leslie Delp, MA (Founder and Bereavement Specialist)
Snowflakes are often considered a likelihood in January. When they first appear on the scene they are welcomed, especially around the holidays. It always surprises me how our attitude about snowflakes change as the winter progresses. We are ready for spring almost as soon as we open the calendar on January 1. A single snowflake is harmless, but a multitude of snowflakes in the form of a “weather happening” can bring traffic to a dead stop and will surely cause long dormant aches and pains for those who shovel!
At Olivia's House, we have quite a few sidewalks, a parking lot and some steps that demand that we get to work each time it snows. This year, we have received a generous donation that will cover the cost of clearing the snow, a task that previously has fallen to our staff.
Thank you to our community for the gift of snow removal. We appreciate, more than you know, not having to dress in snow shoveling gear to come to work, then change into our business attire once the shoveling is complete! K.C. is usually the one who is encumbered by this task, poor guy! Those of us on the staff who cover all the work of the grief center while he is shoveling also are grateful! This year, because of our generous community, we say to the snowflakes, “Bring it on!”
Community Grief Education
Posted: 12/1/19 by Julia Dunn, M.Ed., LPC (Program Director)
When Olivia’s House was first built, our founder, Leslie Delp, was charged with coming up with a name for the mission she had created. Fast forward twenty years, and we are known not only in the community but also all over the country for the work we do. Because of this, it’s not at all unusual to receive a call from a local school district asking us to come in and make a presentation, whether it is to staff, students, or parents. It is an honor to share our wisdom with the community, and we are always grateful to those who call upon our expertise.
In the upcoming weeks, we will be presenting on various topics in the community. One of these presentations includes speaking to the parents and guardians of students at McKinley School about the effects of trauma, both the parent’s past trauma as well of that of the child’s. It is well documented that clinical trauma changes the makeup of a person’s brain. When a traumatic event has taken place, it is crucial to attend to the mental health of the person involved. Our goal is to educate the community on what to be aware of and what steps to take in seeking treatment and support.
We will also be on a panel at the United Way to share with their staff the ways that we support the community. We want other professionals to be aware of what we do so that we can all work toward a healthier community. We are so grateful to the professionals in the community who rely on Olivia’s House for bereavement needs. That’s what we are here for!