Making people and ideas findable
Paula Roeder, President of Assistance League of Indianapolis, Janice with Henry her ALI Bear, Carol Braden of Brookes Place for Grieving Young Children
Assistance League® of Indianapolis has been named Outstanding Civic Organization of 2010 by the Indiana Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The AFP Annual Philanthropy Awards recognizes the most remarkable contributors to Indiana’s philanthropic community. AFP has celebrated exceptional organizations, foundations, nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals that best demonstrate the spirit of giving in Indiana.
Assistance League was nominated by Carol Braden, Executive Program Director for Brooke’s Place for Grieving Young People nominated Assistance League of Indianapolis as an Outstanding Civic Organization because of its “philanthropic support and innovative approaches to solving problems within the greater Indianapolis area.” Letters of support for the nomination were submitted by Dr. Roberta Hibbard, Director of the Pediatric Center of Hope at Riley and Wishard Hospitals and Tina McIntosh, President of Joy’s House, Indianapolis. Both Brookes Place and the Center of Hope are among the 13 agencies that receive our ALI Bears to distribute to the children that are in grief counseling at Brookes Place or are being treated at Center of Hope because they have been assaulted or abused. The Center of Hope is also one of 19 hospitals and shelters that also receive our Assault Survivor Kits to provide clothing for these children to wear after their medical examination as their own clothes are kept for evidence of the crime. Joy’s House is one of the two senior centers we serve with our ALI Friends program.
I am one of over 200 volunteer members that provide the woman power through volunteer hours on programs and fundraising to accomplish our programs goals. Though I have not yet spent any time on the ALI Bears committee, I am intending to after hearing Carol Braden of Brook's Place speak at our monthly meeting. Now, I have a better understanding as to the impact of the ALI Bears program. It was heart warming to listen to the stories of how the bears have made such a difference in the children's lives that have received one in their time of grief. I really "got it" that ALI Bears is also a very important program.
ALI Bears have played a significant role in helping young children and teens through their grieving process as well as during grueling and lonely medical exams or treatments by filling their empty arms and giving them a friend to hug, to love, to care for, and to whom to whisper their secrets. How do you help young children understand that they will never feel the warmth of their mother’s arms around them again, or not have their dad around to play catch with or to teach them to ride a bike? How do you help a child cope through a long and often difficult treatment process for diseases that no child should ever experience? The loss of a family member or coping with a terrible disease often results in the loss of one’s childhood.
ALI Bears provide comfort and a sense of peace to traumatized or grieving children, teens and adults. Since the inception of the program in 1987, over 13,010 child-safe bears have been delivered within the greater Indianapolis area. During workshops, Assistance League members dress the bears in an Assistance League logo t-shirt, apply a tag with our name that says "Give your bear a hug today" and pack it for delivery.
"For the 200 plus children that come to Brooke's Place twice a month, your donation makes it possible for them to learn age appropriate coping skills after the death of a loved one. Grieving children need our support.
Unresolved grief and loss is often linked to poor school performance, depression, substance abuse, violence and suicidal tendencies. Your help makes it possible for them to grow up with hope and confidence and to be
healthy and productive."
Kelley A. Romweber, FRE
President Brooke's Place
ALI Bears are delivered by our members to area hospitals and bereavement programs that treat children, teens and adults who are experiencing traumatic and emotional situations. During 2010-2011, ALI Bears will be provided to the following agencies and facilities:
Brook's Place for Grieving Young People
Clarian North Pediatric Emergency Center
Family Service Assn. of Central Indiana, Inc.
Hemophilia of Indiana
The Julian Center
LaRue D. Carter Memorial Hospital
Methodist Hospital Emergency Trauma Center
Neuro-Critical Care, Methodist Hospital
Pediatric Center of Hope - Riley/Wishard
Ronald McDonald House
Ruth Lilly Hospice of Clarian
You can help a grieving child or a child facing the trauma of a violent family situation by filling their arms with an ALI Bear. Provide this furry friend for a donation of only $5. Our ALI Bears are waiting for a home and a child to love. www.ALIndy.org