The Vinson Mortgage Charity of Choice for June

annies

The Vinson Mortgage Charity of Choice this month is Annie’s Hope. Their mission is to provide comprehensive support services to children, teens and their families who are grieving the death of someone significant. Their vision is to be the “go to” bereavement center focused solely on the needs of grieving children, adolescents and their families in the St. Louis region.

It is estimated that 73,000 children die every year in the United States. Of those children, 83% have surviving siblings. Based on figures from the Bureau of Vital Statistics 2001 data, in St. Louis County and City, there were approximately 1,180 children and adolescents under the age of 18 who died in Missouri. That means there are at least 979 grieving siblings in our neighborhoods. In addition, research reveals that up to 1 in 6 children will have a parent die by the time they reach their 18th birthday. Data from the 2001 U.S. Census Report reveals that in St. Louis City and County combined there are 339,277 children and teens. Of those, 54,284 of them will grieve the death of a parent. On average, there are 3,106 kids newly bereaved every year. Altogether, in any given year, we can expect 3,995 kids under the age of eighteen will be newly bereaved due to a sibling’s or parent’s death. The numbers are astounding.

Columbia University conducted a study that indicated that children who do not have the opportunity to mourn the loss of a parent can suffer negative effects such as depression, behavior problems, poor school performance, and low self-esteem. Further research found that siblings who experienced the death of a sibling had higher levels of behavior problems and significantly lower social competence in comparison to unaffected children. Childhood trauma that is not addressed can be carried into adulthood and can be manifested in a variety of destructive ways including drug/alcohol problems, relationship failures, and psychiatric disorders

Support Programs/Services:

  • Support Groups for Kids and Adults – 8 weekly sessions
  • Teen Retreats, Moms Retreat, & Dads Getaway
  • Camp Courage & Camp Erin – St. Louis
  • Family Social Events
  • School Support & Education,
  • Hope & Healing Holiday Gathering
  • Horizons – an anticipatory grief program
  • Community Resource Library
  • Speakers Institute
  • Grief Community Referral Service