Welcome to the launch of a new blog series, Spotlight! Throughout this series, we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing NPOs that we partner with and love to support here at The George Center. This week, we’ll be putting the spotlight on one non-profit that hits very close to home for a lot of us.
Spotlight: Shine a light on Kate’s Club
Think back to when you were 12 years old. Young, carefree, and having no concept of death. Why should you, you’re 12? But for some, that isn’t an option. Imagine being a 12 year old girl and losing your mother to cancer. How do you go to school the next day? What do you say to your friends? How do you even begin to process such a loss? Kate’s Club founder was that 12 year old girl, who grew up to realize her passion was to help others who had similar experiences.
Kate’s Club is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta whose mission is to empower children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. They do this through playing, sharing, and offering something for every age in every step of the grieving process. Here are some of the programs they offer that meet inside and outside of the “clubhouse”.
- KC Connects: This program is designed as an advocacy program that has established several community support groups in local school districts, and has presented classroom programs on grief and loss.
- Outings: Kate’s Club offers outings to its members that take advantage of all Atlanta has to offer (museums, theater, gymnastics, historical sights, etc.). These outings support their philosophy of healing through fun and community involvement.
- Camp Good Mourning: This is the highlight of the year for members and volunteers! It’s a slam packed weekend of fun, outdoor activities, building friendships, and participating in grief support activities, all in the traditional camp setting.
So how does music therapy find its place among this non-profit and this specific population?
We participate in a program called Support Services. This program happens twice a month and lasts a full day (Saturday or Sunday). The entire day is conducted by licensed professional therapists (ta-da! That’s us!), but also includes art therapy, recreation therapy, pet therapy, and dance therapy. Everyone is on the same “theme of the month”; for February it was “How do I talk about it?”- learning how to discuss and share your feelings with others. So as music therapists, it’s our job to implement this theme. This past month, I used the song “Say” by John Mayer. If you don’t know it, listen to it now! Now that you’re back, wasn’t that a great song? I passed out the lyrics to the kids and had them highlight words they loved or that meant something to them, which they would share with the group. The insight and depth that came out of these 10-12 year olds was beautiful; kids who had previously not wanted to participate began to share their grief story with their peers! We decided it was better as a group to “say what you need to say” and share your feelings and your story with someone, and I loved using music to facilitate that discussion. Music therapy can bring light to even the darkest of places, and we are so honored to partner with Kate’s Club to shine that light.
If you would like more information on how to get involved, please visit their website at http://katesclub.org