I married the love of my life over forty years ago. Together we raised seven amazing children and thirty-six foster children. Now we are enjoying our nine adorable grandchildren, traveling and (still) working on the home we built together.
My love for children and healing brought me to the job of a lifetime in 2007 when I became Executive Director. I maintain the day to day operations of Children’s Grief Connection and Hearts of Hope camps. Compassion for grieving families, spreading awareness of children’s grief and being in partnership with funeral directors are the best parts of my job. A full bio and cv can be found on the Executive Director page.
“Being witness to the stories and memories of love and laughter and just a little while later being able to sing silly songs and play goofy games are the best parts of camp for me.”
Stephanie Lee – Development manager
I love cooking and eating good food, reading and gardening. I am blessed to live a life surrounded by beauty.My family has attended Hearts of Hope Camp and experienced the benefits.
I’m a nonprofit fundraising warrior responsible for the fundraising activities that keep the camp engine running. I also lead the marketing and social media charge. Sharing moments with Campers and witnessing their grief journeys, I never lack the motivation to come to work and do what I do.
“My sweet Camp moment – an 8 year old girl said to me ‘My Daddy died too. I love you!’ “
Jessica Moujouros – Program director
In 2007, I married my big Greek husband, his big Greek family, and got that big Greek last name you see above. I’m a mother to the world’s best 7 year old and the sweetest 2 year old ever. (There’s a small chance I’m biased). I moved back to my tiny Minnesota hometown from Chicago about 2 years ago, and I deeply miss the drive thru coffee, but not the traffic. I’m responsible for all things “camp” and “volunteer” and I am still confused every time I try to sing the camp song.
I am an avid sewist, crafter, baker, and lapsed reader and traveler.
“My favorite thing about camp is the overwhelming energy of Hope-of maybe this weekend will help things-of I think I can lay down my troubles here and bust out a mean tie dye tee.”
Luke Lekander – Office Manager
I have been married to my best friend for 20 of the 27 years we have known each other. We have three children who are equally amazing yet each in her or his own way. I am currently in graduate school at Luther Seminary seeking a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Justice and Reconciliation. I love to cook, eat seafood, go camping, play my drums and guitar with the Holy Hootenanners, and entertain guests at home.
I have several years of experience working with youth and young adults both in a public school setting and as a volunteer for various programs. I am a trained Circle Keeper (facilitator) for the Carlton Country Communities Restorative Justice Program as well as an educator. I look forward to employing these and my other skills at camp.
Pat Sheveland-Family Camp director
I am a licensed Registered Nurse, and a professionally trained Life Coach. My life purpose is to be a healing light for those who grieve and my mission is to use my coaching skills to support my clients in moving from grief and sadness to a life filled with Purpose and Joy.
I have an awesome husband who is one of the greatest guys on this planet. We blended our family over twenty years. We have three amazing adult children and two granddaughters who are the light of our lives! We also have two furry kids (our dogs Gus and Gracee) and I am step-grandma to Falco…a chattering Cockatiel.
“My favorite part of camp is seeing the smiles and connections on Sunday morning when kids and families reunite. The support of others who are going through similar feelings is awe-inspiring.”
Cole Lekander – Teen Camp Director
I am a step-father to an awesome young man and husband to an amazing wife. I am currently working on a degree in Chemistry/Secondary Education. My interests include old woodworking hand-tools, nature, trying new food, visiting with family and friends, and (only for one more year) homework.
I have had the experience of being the parent of a camper, a camper myself, a helper, and a camp counselor at Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp. Each and every time I have been amazed by the courage I see in our campers. Each and every time I have seen connections made. Each and every time I know that our campers leave not feeling so alone anymore.
I‘m excited for my new role as Hearts of Hope Family Grief Teen Camp Director.
“We have a saying at camp, “All feelings are okay”. My favorite part of camp is helping to teach safe and productive ways to cope with those feelings.”
Kristy Peterson- Support Services Director
I came to CGC after watching my dad, who is a funeral director, volunteer as the camp photographer. I also attended many fundraising events and heard all of the inspirational stories of the families. I just had to check it out.
I work in the medical field as a pacemaker/ICD specialist. I am a proud aunt to five amazing nieces and nephews and I have one furry child myself. My interests include hockey, gymnastics, golf, boating, skiing, running, anything outside, and spending time with family and friends. I love to be around people.
“My favorite part of camp is seeing the transformation of the kids over the weekend. They come on Friday night unsure of what lies ahead, and leave Sunday with new friends and most importantly HOPE.”
You don’t need to be a professional grief provider – a funeral director, counselor, or social worker. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and are all ages. To be a volunteer, you do need to 1) enjoy children, 2) be willing to listen without fixing their grief, 3)be prepared for a very active weekend. Whether you are a camp counselor or a camp helper, expect to be involved. Many of our volunteers have been at 5,10,15 or more camp weekends and keep coming back!
Children’s Grief Connection volunteers are the most awesome people you’ll meet. Dedicated to providing the best experience for each camper family member, our volunteers spend the weekend running, playing, laughing, crying, singing camp songs, and roasting marshmallows. The weekend is exhausting and exhilarating.
“I get so much from coming to camp; I can’t wait for the next one, you meet some incredible kids and hear some stories that touch your heart and give you hope.”- John, 22, camp counselor