Altria Companies Employee Community Fund supports grief retreat

We would like to thank the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund for a grant of $40,000 to support the development of a therapeutic grief retreat program for UMFS youth in adoptive and foster care. Although these children may still have biological parents and siblings, their sense of loss is similar to what many children experience with the death of a parent or sibling.

In collaboration with Comfort Zone Camp, UMFS will send between 35-60 kids from all over Virginia to camp in the spring of 2017 to help them process their grief in a supportive and safe environment.

“In foster care there are so many things that happen that make these teens feel like the world isn’t a safe place,” says Emily Clark, LCSW, UMFS assistant regional director. “This retreat gives them one weekend where they can feel safe and just relax—a safe space where they can gain more than they would in their normal environment,” she says.

You can help support the grief retreat by making a donation to the “Heal and Enrich” item in the gift catalog enclosed with this newsletter, or online at