However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names
~ Henry David Thoroeau
When terminal illness strikes a friend or loved one, the pain it leaves behind can be devastating. But children are often especially vulnerable to the pain that death leaves behind.
After a Hospice of Santa Barbara social worker was asked by a child whose father had died, “Will I ever be normal?” she knew something had to be done to help children understand that not only are they normal, but that their lives can be good again. They need to know that they can be happy and successful people. And with that realization, the I Have a Friend® program was born.
The program pairs children who have recently lost a parent or sibling with trained adult mentors who lost parents or siblings as children. This unique program, the concept of then Executive Director Gail Rink, is now a model for similar programs across the country.
If you have a child who's recently suffered the loss of a parent or sibling, if you're interested in becoming a mentor, or to receive a copy of our free DVD, please contact our office at (805) 563-8820.