MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss is seeking volunteers to serve as peer support group facilitators for children and families coping with loss due to death, with summer trainings scheduled for June 27-30 and July 26-29.

Imagine is a free, year-round peer grief support center located in both Mountainside and Newark that serves children age 3-18 who have had a parent or sibling die, with concurrent support groups for their parents or guardians. Support for children and teens living with a parent or sibling with a life-altering physical illness is also available. Free year-round support groups are also available for young adults who have had a friend, sibling, parent or other important person in their life die, or who have a parent, sibling or friend living with an illness.   

Imagine groups are facilitated by trained adult volunteers who attend a 32-hour training and quarterly continuing education, and receive ongoing supervision.  Volunteers come from all walks of life and need no special background other than a willingness to listen and the ability to be with children and adults in pain without trying to fix, solve problems, or give advice.

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Volunteers must be 21 years or older and attend the Imagine four-day Facilitator Training. No prior experience is necessary.

"For the first time in our seven year history we have a waiting list,” said Mandi Zucker, Imagine Program Director. " As our programs continue to grow, so does our need for volunteers. We are currently serving over 380 participants every two weeks in our peer support programs and will be adding another night of support so we can serve an additional 60 people.”

Volunteers remark that the training is "life-changing" and a wonderful opportunity for learning about themselves and how their own losses have affected the way they grieve and how they support others. People that complete the training leave feeling empowered to be a supportive person to people grieving any type of loss

Individuals interested in learning more about the upcoming trainings can contact Mandi at Mandi@imaginenj.org or visit imaginenj.org to schedule a tour.