Saturday, October 11, 2008

Richmond's Hope

Aleene asked if I had posted on Richmond's Hope...and I had not. I mentioned it a few times, but the mere thought of the work they do makes me get misty eyed.

Donna Hastings, one of our hosts (see her picture with husband George below) is director of the project. There are four women who staff the project. Sam(antha) was also a host, Jenny (I think is how she spelled her name) and Kelly are the other three. They work with berieved children ages six to 18. They service over 300 kids and have an active case load of about 40 (I hope my memory serves me with the numbers), but they see a lot of kids...for about an hour once a week. Most have lost one parent or another, but some have lost siblings or other significant people in their lives.

While we were working on the entry walkway, they continued seeing clients. Knowing that each child that interrupted our work and walked into the church were suffering some sort of loss made me sad. Donna explained their process and showed us their suite of rooms located in the second floor of the rear of the sanctuary. They work with private and public grants, but the idea and the push came from Richmond Craigmillar Church. Our hostess, Jessie Douglas, was a great advocate of this service having lost her son 11 years ago who left a 2 year old, Lee. Lee is not 13 and his voice is changing, but he has been a client of Richmond Hope and continues to with follow do all the children until they are 18.

Listening to Donna talk about her work just makes you shake your head and think, "amazing."
I love to listen to Donna talk, with her Scottish dialect (dropping an "ing" here or there interspersed by an appropriate "aye.") Donna was in Newberg this summer with her husband George. She attended a seminar in Portland (international conference on grieving children) while people took George all over the place showing him the PNW. Donna and George spent a second week doing more of the same. Aleene and I were in Michigan during part of the time they were here, but we did manage to spend a day with them on the Santiam River rafting courtesy of Archie, John and Ron...the three Rogue Rafters. So we did know George and Donna before we traveled to Edinburgh.

It was such a treat to get to see them at their work and know what a difference a church can make in the lives of so many hurting children. (Excuse me while I wipe my eyes.)

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