MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Mary Robinson, Founder and Executive Director of Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, has been selected as a 'CNN Hero', a campaign that has -- in the 12 years since its founding -- profiled more than 300 "everyday people changing the world" from more than 80 countries who honored for their selfless, creative efforts to help others.
Since the initiative's onset in 2007, 'CNN Heroes' has received more than 85,000 nominations from more than 100 countries.
Founded in 2011, Imagine is a grief support center for children and families headquartered in Mountainside with a recently-opened location in Newark, has served more than 700 families and provided education and training to thousands of adults, children and teens.
According to imaginenj.com, Dr. Gerald Glasser was the catalyst for the start of Imagine, wanting to insure that no child should ever have to grieve alone. In 2011, he invited Robinson to open a grief support center providing an initial grant for startup funding through The Glasser Foundation, a philanthropic organization set up in memory of Dr. Glasser’s son, Summit resident Thomas Glasser, who was a victim of the 9/11 terror attack. The Thomas Glasser Foundation continues to provide extraordinarily generous annual support to Imagine.
Working and volunteering in the field of children’s grief support since 1997, Robinson’s work -- as detailed in a video on cnn.com -- grew out of her own personal experience of loss as a child.
“My commitment is to create communities where children coping with loss get the support they need to thrive, be resilient, and grow up emotionally healthy and able to lead meaningful and productive lives,” said Robinson.
Imagine, A Center for coping with Loss is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides free year-round grief support for children and young adults using a peer-support group model. Trained adult volunteers and professionals provide children and teens with the comfort and tools needed to learn to process grief and grow up emotionally healthy.
In addition to its two centers, Imagine provides education in the community, leads workshops in schools and workplaces, and offers on-site support in schools and workplaces following any traumatic loss.