Loris Damerow, Director at Center for Grieving Children Announces Retirement

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Loris SM

Everything alive has a beginning and ending and everything in between makes a lifetime.”

Center for Grieving Children Director Announces Retirement

Loris Damerow, Director of the Center for Grieving Children (The Center), a service of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley, will be retiring at the end of this month. Her passion for helping others, especially those during their time of personal loss, has been an important contribution to the mission for the Center for Grieving Children.

Loris began working as the director of The Center shortly after moving to the area 12 years ago. “It has been a pleasure working with our fantastic team of volunteers who have chosen to 'be with' families in grief,” Loris commented. She continued by saying, “No one wants to experience grief, least of all, a child. But when death occurs, it is helpful to have a safe, fun, and comfortable place for kids, as well as the adults who care for them, to explore thoughts and feelings.

The Center has groups for children, teens, and adults that offer therapeutic activities, commemoration time, and a meal together. The Center creates a space for sorting out some of the confusion and disruption that comes with loss. The evenings are meaningful and offer an opportunity for kids and families to share their tender feelings. “We hold hands at the end of every evening and recite The Squeeze,” commented Loris. “We say 'It's OK to be mad, it's OK to be sad, it's OK to be happy, it's OK to be me'."

The Center provides comfort and support during Family Nights, which are held every other Tuesday throughout the school year at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley in Appleton. This free service is made possible through the generosity of the greater Fox Valley community. The Center believes that being with others who have had a similar loss helps to normalize the bereavement experience. No child should have to grieve alone. Families will come for just a few sessions or attend for years, as they integrate the loss into their lives. 
In closing, Loris feels that leaving her position requires some letting go, just like working through grief does, but that you should not abandon your past experience. Instead, gather it close and embrace it, just as you would the memory of a loved one.
“Everything alive has a beginning and ending and everything in between makes a lifetime,” she said. “Serving at the Center for Grieving Children has been a wonderful part of my lifetime and it will be folded into whatever my next steps will bring.” 

We, at United Way Fox Cities, thank Loris for her 12 years of helping others at the Center for Grieving Children. Her work has truly affected so many lives in a very positive way. Best wishes to her in her retirement!

Center for Grieving Children is a service of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley and is located in Appleton. The service is funded in part by United Way Fox Cities. It is a safe place for children, teens and their families to find compassionate peer support, engage in commemorative activities, gain information about the grieving process, and express feelings and experiences in an accepting environment. Programming is provided at no charge to children, ages 3-18, and the adults who care for them. For more information, visit their website.