WESTFIELD, NJ - Twenty new loving listeners attended Youth Volunteer Facilitator training on Sept. 10 at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss located at First United Methodist Church in Westfield.  One youth facilitator stated, “This is an honorable cause that I would love to volunteer my time to,” and that he felt satisfied “knowing that I helped a child by being there to listen.”  

“Fourteen adolescents took seven hours out of their busy lives to become youth facilitators at Imagine. That in and of itself is amazing!  By the end of the training this group of teens learned how to support grieving children and deepened their ability to listen to friends and family members.  Their compassion and commitment so inspiring!" said Connie Palmer, LCSW, Imagine Clinical Training Director. 

Back row: Connie Palmer, Carson Turner (Westfield), Sophia Reddy (Cranford), Joseph Gannon (Cranford), Jack Miller (Westfield), Jack Friebely (Scotch Plains), Jared Simons (Short Hills), Nick Breza, Front row: Alyssa Farrell (Kenilworth), Reesha Gandhi (Clark), Max Tennant (Westfield), Emma Herber (Westfield), Estephanny Almiron (Roselle), Amanda Cerrachio (Westfield), Angelina Silvester (Westfield), Cooper Metzger (Westfield).

Imagine offers free year-round grief support groups for children age 3-18 who have had a parent or sibling die, and for families coping with a family member with a terminal or chronic illness.  Concurrent groups are available for parents and guardians, young adults 18-30 and adults 30 and up.  Support groups meet on weekday nights for an hour and a half. Dinner is provided prior to the group meeting.  To schedule an orientation for yourself or your family or for more information please contact Imagine at 908-264-3100 or info@imaginenj.org.    Imagine is currently recruiting volunteers for its September 2013 training.  Contact volunteer@imaginenj.org or 908-264-3100 for information on volunteering.