Our 2017 Holiday Letter was recently sent out and this year we shared the story of an impressive and articulate young lady named Chelsea. Chelsea started coming to Ryan’s Place when was 7 years old after the death of her father Darrel who died in a motorcycle accident. Chelsea, now 15, started volunteering at Ryan’s Place in the fall of 2016, she works with the “Little’s” group – the 3-5-year-olds, in our Monday evening programs. Below is her story.

“Chelsea’s story…
She was in second grade when her dad died.
Soon after, Chelsea’s mom brought her to Ryan’s Place.
“I remember my mom telling me that my dad died, I was in shock, I don’t know if I understood what it meant.
“Soon after my dad died my mom started bringing me to Ryan’s Place. I immediately felt safe, like everyone in the group understood how I felt. I enjoyed the grief activities and being able to talk with other kids who had a parent die, they understood me.
“I felt like the oddball at school but Ryan’s Place was my “safe place”.
“It’s been 8 years since my dad died. I have great memories of my dad, taking rides on his motorcycle, family picnics, fishing on the lake, Kenny Chesney, and steaks – my dad made great steaks.
“Ryan’s Place has helped give me a different perspective on life, death is just part of life.
“I started volunteering at Ryan’s Place last year because I wanted to help make a difference and I knew that I could relate to kids who had a parent die.  I am living proof that they will be okay because I am okay.”

This is why we are asking you to consider giving a year-end donation to support Ryan’s Place programs and services, so we can continue to support generations of children, teens & their families. You can give hope to a grieving child.  http://ryansplace.org/support-ryans-place/

Thank you to Chelsea for sharing your story with us.  We are grateful for all who help provide support to Ryan’s Place, through their volunteering, financial support and sharing our story.