By Nicole Garcia for The Island Connection
After the death of a loved one, hope can sometimes seem hard to find. Fortunately, since 1989 Lowcountry children and youth have had Shannon’s Hope Camp, the nation’s third oldest bereavement camp for kids.
On Saturday, Mar. 2 from 4-7 p.m., Hope Takes Flight will celebrate 30 years of learning, connecting, and healing for grieving children. This late afternoon event, taking place at The Citadel Beach Club on Isle of Palms, features hors d’oeuvres, drinks, camp-themed activities and a short program highlighting the remarkable impact of this transformative weekend of grief support.
Shannon’s Hope Camp was started in honor of Shannon Heisler, a teenage boy facing a terminal cancer diagnosis who worried about how his friends would cope after his death. In the relaxing ocean-front setting of Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island, campers draw, color, journal, fly kites and engage in therapeutic as well as fun activities that allow them to explore and express their unique feelings and experiences. As they share their stories of loss, they connect with peers who “get it.”
Since 1989, Shannon’s Hope Camp has been held nearly 60 times serving more than 800 children by engaging 1,100 volunteers in more than 20,000 hours of service.
Bridges for End-of-Life, a Charleston-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been serving Lowcountry families since its inception in 1980 as Hospice of Charleston. The organization envisions a culture that acknowledges death, inspiring each person to live fully and, when the time comes, experience dying well. Bridges pursues this vision by advocating for advanced care planning, training healthcare professionals and family caregivers, and providing grief support to children and their support networks. For more information, visit BridgesSC.org.