The Elizabeth Hospice Receives Grant from Las Patronas for New Children’s Bereavement Center

Special Activity Room Will Serve Children Grieving the Death of a Loved One

The Elizabeth Hospice, a nonprofit healthcare leader serving San Diego County and the Inland Empire, is proud to be the recipient of a $10,660 grant from Las Patronas to fund the construction of an innovative activity room where children can express powerful emotions as they process their grief.

“Caring for our community’s children is a key element of our mission,”

said Jan Jones, President and CEO of The Elizabeth Hospice.

“One in five children will experience the death of someone close to them before they reach the age of 18. Without support, grieving children are at higher than normal risk for problems in school, substance abuse, depression and anxiety.”

The Elizabeth Hospice is the community’s leading provider of children’s bereavement services. In January 2018, it expanded its offering to include a Children’s Bereavement Center in Escondido. The Center is a safe, non-judgmental place where children and teens participate in peer-support groups. They honor and memorialize their loved one, learn they are not alone, build a toolbox of coping skills, and have fun while working through their grief.

Las Patronas, a fundraising and granting organization, is committed to providing financial assistance to nonprofit organizations in San Diego County. “Las Patronas is known for its extensive research and thorough process that ensures grant recipients are financially sound and have critical capital needs,” said Jean Loo-Russo, Chief Philanthropy Officer for The Elizabeth Hospice. “We are honored to merit their investment in our Children’s Bereavement Center.”

Funds from Las Patronas will be used to build a Volcano Room in the Center. This “big energy” room will have padded walls and floors and be equipped with pillows, soft blocks, large stuffed animals, pillow jousts, and soft balls.

“The Volcano Room allows children to play in big and loud ways,”

said Melissa Lunardini, Children’s Bereavement Manager.

“As they grieve, children need a safe place to express powerful emotions and thoughts such as anger, fear and frustration. Through play, they learn that their feelings are valid and ‘not bad.”

The Children’s Bereavement Program is open to all children, ages 3 to 17, in San Diego County and the Inland Empire, including families who do not have an affiliation with The Elizabeth Hospice. There is no cost to attend. Interested families can email melissa.lunardini@ehospice.org or call 800-797-2050. Donations can be made online at elizabethhospice.org/donate.


PHOTO: Prototype of Volcano Room funded by Las Patronas. This special activity room will be added to the Children’s Bereavement Center at The Elizabeth Hospice facility in Escondido.
Photo credits: Eckert & Eckert Photography

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About The Elizabeth Hospice

The Elizabeth Hospice, a nonprofit healthcare leader for 40 years, has been providing comfort and counsel to children and adults who are facing life’s most difficult challenge and restoring hope to grieving children and adults who are feeling lost and alone. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 97,000 people in the communities it serves by providing medical, emotional and spiritual support, regardless of patient affiliation or ability to pay. The organization’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for those nearing the end of life’s journey and for those who grieve. To learn more, call 800-797-2050 or visit www.elizabethhospice.org.