CENTER MORICHES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The pandemic has taken a toll on kids, particularly those that have skilled grief.
A recent report revealed an estimated 167,000 kids within the U.S. misplaced a caretaker attributable to COVID-19. However as CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis discovered, there’s a spot on Lengthy Island these kids can go to get help.
She lately sat down with a household to study extra in regards to the impression.
“Ever since my grandpa handed away it’s been type of robust on all of us,” mentioned camper Kennedy Younger of North Bellmore.
It was a day eternally burned in Younger’s thoughts.
“It was 2020, Nov. 30,” she mentioned.
And it was COVID that ripped away her grandfather, Gilberto Atkinson, leaving the 10-year-old with reminiscences.
“He was a really nice grandpa,” Younger mentioned.
She mentioned he crammed the North Bellmore house they shared along with his love of his religion and household.
“Being a single mother, my dad wasn’t only a dad. My dad was a co-parent. So after we misplaced him and his presence on this home, it was quite a bit and Kennedy is the youngest,” mentioned Gillian Atkinson-Younger, Kennedy’s mom. “I knew she was struggling, however due to my ache, my struggling, I actually wasn’t in a position to pour into her and her struggles.”
Younger’s faculty steered Camp Good Mourning!, which offers free bereavement camp applications to Lengthy Island kids dealing with the lack of a cherished one.
“It’s actually to offer these children an expertise who’ve misplaced a father or mother or a sibling a possibility to satisfy different children who’re going by the identical factor,” government director Paul Rubin mentioned.
DeAngelis met government director Rubin at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches, the place the in a single day, weekend applications are held. He defined that by grief teams and totally different retailers — speaking, music, journaling, animal remedy — children study methods to discover their emotions and cope, collectively.
“As soon as they know that there are different kids like them, then the entire sudden the lightbulb goes off,” Rubin mentioned.
The nonprofit launched in 2020 with digital applications — as a result of pandemic — which additionally amplified the necessity.
“The final two years for myself as a grown lady has been difficult. I can’t even think about what it has been like for our children,” Atkinson-Younger mentioned.
However the household says Camp Good Mourning! made all of the distinction, and that assured grandpa would agree.
“I feel he can be very happy with her for having the braveness to speak about how she’s feeling. However I feel he can be so grateful to have some place that would assist her handle after him not being right here,” Atkinson-Younger mentioned.
“He’s nonetheless right here in our hearts,” Kennedy Younger added.
Camp Good Mourning! is holding its subsequent session in June for about 50 children who will get to spend a weekend collectively realizing they’re not alone.
Rubin mentioned the camp is held within the spring and fall as a result of grieving just isn’t restricted to the summer time months, nevertheless it depends on donations and fundraisers. The following occasion is that this weekend.
For extra data on the camp, please click here.
To donate, please click here.
Additionally, there’s a charity occasion this weekend: Camp Good Mourning’s 2nd annual Staff Hen Wing Consuming Problem. Will probably be held on Sunday at Levittown Corridor, doorways open at midday. For extra data, please click here.