Almost five years ago Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, opened its doors in Westfield, thanks to the vision and generosity of Dr. Gerald Glasser and the leadership of Keith Hertell, our first board chair, and all the other founding board members. We opened our doors on the third floor of the First United Methodist Church and started our program.
Since then we have served over 1,200 children and their parents and guardians coping with loss due to death, or supporting a family member with a life altering illness. We have provided education to over 7,000 youth and adults and trained 232 adult and teen volunteers, 98 of them from Westfield. We are currently serving 225 children and their parents from 48 NJ towns every two weeks.
All of our services to grieving children and parents have always been, and will continue to be free and available as long as people need them.
With our imminent move to our new home in Mountainside which will allow us to expand and double the number of children and families we can serve, we want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to the community of Westfield. Thank you for embracing and believing in our mission, supporting us in our work and stepping up in every way imaginable. From individuals to the schools to the local clergy, foundations and businesses, you have made it possible for so many children, teens and adults to get the support, hope and healing they so desperately needed at the worse time in their lives.
This is a bittersweet leaving for us – we are so grateful and overjoyed to be in a position to move into a space of our own, one which will enable us to help more children and families, but we are a bit heartbroken to leave the community which has supported us from the very beginning, a community which so many of us – from the staff to participants, donors and volunteers, call home.
We take comfort in the fact that we will be nearby, and as we embark on this new and exciting journey we hope you all will be a part of it and please come visit us! Our Open House is Feb. 22. Stay tuned for more details. A very special thanks to our first home at the First United Methodist Church for opening their doors to us in 2012. We are forever grateful. With love from Imagine.
Mary Robinson, Executive Director