A Willamette Valley Hospice Bereavement Bear

While the weather is warming, and plans for outdoor activities are in the works, summer camps are taking on a different look this year in response to COVID-19.

For some organizers, this means reformatting their traditional camp activities. For others, like Salem-based Willamette Valley Hospice (WVH), these new restraints make meeting the goals of their “Camp Mighty Oaks” impossible.

“We are very sad to have to announce that Camp Mighty Oaks is canceled for this year,” says Melissa Lindley, community outreach coordinator at WVH, a non-profit offering support to adults and children living with serious or life-limiting illnesses.

The day camp, propelled by a theme of “connecting, remembering, and healing,” traditionally provided a caring experience for children and families suffering from the death of a loved one. “While nothing can replace the experience of Camp Mighty Oaks, we are designing a 6-week online Children’s Bereavement Group,” Lindley says.

Although taking place remotely, the new online format will still offer grieving participants the stability and connection they need through a variety of unique activities. The “campers” will meet online every Tuesday from July 14 through August 18. Registration starts now and can be completed by calling the office at 503-588-3600—ask for the Bereavement Department.

If you would like to have a hand in caring for the Children’s Bereavement Group, WVH volunteers need materials to create the comforting keepsake ‘Bereavement Bears.’ This stuffed bear, made from an article of clothing from a loved one who has passed, will be given to the children attending the groups.

The items requested for this support group, among other WVH support groups, can be found on their Amazon Wishlist here: https://bit.ly/WVHwish. Learn more about WVH at http://www.wvh.org/.

About WVH: Willamette Valley Hospice, a non-profit organization founded in 1978 and based in Salem, Oregon, provides comprehensive hospice care services, pain management, grief services, and support for those patients and families facing serious or life-limiting illness.

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing regularly for Salem Reporter. During the quarantine, she will be connecting with Salem nonprofits. Tell her about your nonprofit needs at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook.