Nineteen new loving listeners graduated from Imagine Volunteer Facilitator training on June 28 – July 1st, 2013 at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss located at First United Methodist Church in Westfield. “You hear about how the training is life transforming, but until you experience it you don’t really get it,” said Imagine board member and new facilitator Dennis Newnham of Westfield. “It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life.”

“Volunteer facilitators are the very foundation of our program. It is inspiring to watch these courageous men and women support grieving children and adults, through their ability to be present and listen. Each volunteer gives over 100 hours of their time each year,” said Mandi Zucker, MSW, Imagine Program Director.

“According to the Independent Sector the value of one hour of volunteer time in New Jersey is $25.91. That translates into $2,072.80 invested back into Imagine and the community on each Night of Support at Imagine,” said Executive Director and Founder Mary Robinson. Volunteer facilitators tell us that Imagine has transformed their lives in countless ways as well, and that they “do” Imagine at home and at work and in the community, listening better, and being more compassionate and resilient themselves.”

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.