Our Mission Statement
Joel’s Place for Children provides grief support for school-aged children and their families who have experienced the death of someone special in their lives.
Our groups are offered free of charge to the families we serve.
About Joel's Place for Children
Joel’s Place is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-denominational, free-of-charge bereavement support group for children and their families who have experienced the death of someone special in their lives. Joel’s Place was founded in 2003 and operates on the belief that it is helpful and healing for grieving children and their families to share their stories, memories, experiences, thoughts, and feelings with other grieving children.
Our children and family grief support groups meet every other Tuesday at Bay Presbyterian Church from 6:30-8:15pm. Families enjoy a meal together from 6:30-7pm, then the age-appropriate grief support groups take place, including our group for adults. The space at Bay Presbyterian is generously donated.
Contact Us to join our grief support groups or ask questions about our services. Learn about our History.
Joel’s Place for Children is named after Joel Willhite who died of colon cancer on May 24, 1998. He was 51 years old. His father died when Joel was 18. It deeply saddened him for the rest of his life. He would be honored that an organization that carries his name is providing comfort to children and their families who have suffered one of life’s most difficult experiences. Joel’s wife, Mary Willhite, is one of our Co-Founders and Board Member Emeritus.
• Grief is a natural reaction to the death of a loved one for children as well as adults.
• Within each individual is the natural capacity to heal oneself.
• The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual.
• Caring and acceptance assist in the healing process.
• Moving through the grief journey is not about letting go; it is about finding ways to incorporate memories of those that have died so that over time the loss is less painful.
• Essential to our work is a guiding belief that the support group environment can be a source of empathy, understanding, and encouragement to grieving children and adults during a very difficult time in their lives.