The Children's Grief Connection grew out of Minnesota funeral directors' concern and compassion for grieving families that they assist and support every day. Funeral directors experience the grief of the big tragedies that grab headlines and the everyday tragedies that only the family mourns. The collective experiences of Minnesota's funeral directors gave them the insight that children are often overlooked in their grief process and that the children bear a burden much too heavy for their small frames. Seeking to lighten this burden, the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association created the Minnesota Foundation for Children - now known as Children's Grief Connection - to bring hope and healing to school-age children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or significant friend.
In January of 2003, a partnership was forged with Amanda Cares Inc. of Des Moines, IA, the longest running children's grief camp providers in the country to begin Camp Amanda-Minnesota. Camp Amanda-Minnesota served over one thousand grieving children and their families through eighteen camp sessions until January of 2009.
Beginning in January of 2009 Children's Grief Connection began providing extensive educational and grief services for grieving children and families throughout the state through the Hearts of Hope camp, Hearts of Hope Teen Retreat, Family Grief Connections and Community Grief Connections programs.
Children's Grief Connection is funded through the generous donations of Minnesota Funeral Director Association members, Minnesota funeral directors, others in the funeral service community, and many individuals, service clubs and corporations that care about helping grieving children. Because of the on-going commitment and generosity of our donors, all grief services are free to participants.
Children's Grief Connection relies heavily on volunteers to staff our camps and run our day-to-day operations. Each volunteer has experience with children or youth and must pass a background check through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The Children's Grief Connection Board of Directors is made up of fourteen committed men and women and our Exective Director who give their time and energy to this cause because they have seen the positive results our programs bring to children and families