"Sometimes it's harder than people think it is to have a brother with autism. But coming here helped me find out it's not as hard as I sometime think and I met other kids who go through the same thing.”
"I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for the group and for your gifted leadership. I love the rituals and the whole flow of the evening."
“We learned valuable talking points and got excellent advice. Anytime you have a chance to sit down with others who understand your struggles, it’s a helpful conversation. The needs of kids change as they get older and it was great to get input from a parent of older children and understand what’s ahead for us.”
"The grief group is wonderful. It was so comforting to meet families that share the same heartaches and have gone through similar tragedies. It helped so much with grieving process, is a great help for my children who started talking about their Dad and their friends who also lost a parent. It helped me to know that we are not alone and others struggle with the same rollercoaster feelings and it’s all normal. Thank you!"
“It’s the one place I can go and talk about my Dad and everyone doesn’t feel uncomfortable or tired of hearing it.”
“I don’t feel different in the group. We can relate to each other because we’ve had the same thing happen to us.”
“Losing a parent is a lot to handle. You have to give it time and work with your feelings… Joanna’s Place is a safe place. You can cry, laugh, tell your stories and no one will judge you.”
“It (Circle-G) taught me to remember the memories I did have and not just to think my Dad’s gone. He’s not gone in our memories. He’s still there, he’s still with us, even though we just cannot see him.”
“It was super easy. I set up a meeting and Randy and I met with Maria (Trozzi) (about his upcoming deployment). It was only one-hour, but it was tremendously helpful. We came away with a totally different mindset. Our initial plan was to say we were sad, too, and upset that Daddy would not be around for so long, but Maria advised using a positive approach: we had exciting news to share – Daddy had been selected to do a special and important job.”
"It was very nice to have the chance to talk with others going through similar issues and I would be interested in coming again if it's offered."
“She (my daughter) loves going to the group and talks openly about her feelings on her way to and from the meetings. She’s comfortable and feels safe expressing herself with the counselors, as well as the other children in the group. Circle-S is such a helpful resource and the format is ideal. Unlike a camp, it’s living your life.”
“It’s really great and you make new friends. It helps to get the loss off your mind. So, don’t worry, you’ll fit in. Most of the kids would’ve experienced the same loss, so you’ll have something in common.”
"Knowing what to say, when to say it (or not) and how to help a child whose parent is critically ill or has died is difficult for so many reasons. Maria's training has given us these tools to help our vulnerable students when they need it most. This is an important training!"