MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ -- Imagine founder and executive director Mary Robinson has been selected this year as a Top Ten CNN Hero by CNN Executives.

Making it to Hero of the Year would result in a donation of $100,000 for Imagine and a global spotlight on the need and importance of supporting grieving youth. Supporters can vote up to ten times a day for Mary Robinson by clicking here.

“We are thrilled but not surprised Mary has been selected,” said Imagine Board Chair John Toriello. “Having served on the board since Imagine’s inception in 2011, I know Mary is an outstanding and dedicated leader who makes and has made an enormous contribution in helping grieving children and families. We are very proud of her.”

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Imagine provides grief support for New Jersey children ages 3-18 who are coping with loss due to the death of a parent or sibling or children who have a parent or sibling living with a life-altering illness. The organization also provides grief support for young adults age 18-30 and for adults 30-50. Grief Support Groups for parents and guardians run concurrently with the children’s grief support groups.

“This award means we are able to shine an even bigger spotlight on our mission of supporting children, teens, young adults, and their families, who are coping with loss due to death or illness,” Robinson said. “In New Jersey alone,  there are currently over 114,000 bereaved youth who have had a parent die. Nationally, the number is over 4.9 million. At Imagine over 430 children and adults from 59 towns across New Jersey attend our support groups every two weeks in Mountainside and Newark."

However, serving 430 people at Imagine centers is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of youth needing support. Imagine's mission also includes a focus on education, to make sure wherever a grieving child or teen turns in their life, there is an adult who pays attention and understands the need to provide support and to listen. Imagine's goal is to create grief-informed communities, school districts, agencies, workplaces, and neighborhoods in New Jersey and nationally.

“Volunteering and working in the field of Children’s Grief Support since 1997, I am so honored to receive this award,” said Robinson. 

About Imagine
Imagine offers free year-round grief support groups for children age 3-18 who have had a parent or brother or sister die, and for families caring for a family member living with a life-altering physical illness. Concurrent groups are available for parents and guardians, and young adults 18-30. 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, contact Imagine at 908-264-3100 or info@imaginenj.org.