Journey of Hope Grief Support Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing group grief support to children, adolescents, and their parents or adult caregivers who have lost a loved one to death.
Journey of Hope offers these services in a warm, caring, and nurturing environment where the feelings of grief, pain, and loss may be expressed. Trained volunteer group facilitators lead participants in their personal journey toward healing and healthy reconciliation of their grief. Presently, our program is the only open-ended one that focuses on the needs of children and their families. Those we serve determine when to begin and how long to attend Journey of Hope.
In late 1996, searching for a way to help children deal with death, Hila Pepmiller and Judy Sims, school counselors in the Plano Independent School District (Plano ISD), attended a presentation by the WARM Place in Fort Worth. What they saw convinced them that a facility was needed to serve families in the Dallas and Collin county area. Within months they were joined by five others: Sandra Aikins, Plano ISD Director of Counseling: Gaye Ratcliff, a Plano Senior High teacher: Vanessa Moore-Hundley, school counselor: Mark Hundley, whose first wife had died in 1989: and Ginny Robinson, R.N. in charge of Healing Matters Support Group at Medical Center of Plano. Through their efforts, the organization was granted a 501(c) (3) tax exemption status by the IRS in June of 1997.
By the fall of 1995, the Christian Living Sunday School class at St. Andrew United Methodist Church added their support and financial backing. This was followed by grants from the Junior League of Plano and Junior League of Richardson, NationsBank and various other individuals and organizations of the community. On June 9, 1998, Journey of Hope opened its doors to its first no-fee support group for children and their families experiencing grief from death. Journey of Hope relies on the support of community donations and grants to continue its mission.
The mission of Journey of Hope Grief Support Center is to provide support at no cost for children, teens, young adults and their families as they learn to mourn the death or impending death of their loved one in a safe, caring and nurturing environment.
Our Board Members and staff are dedicated to the mission of Journey of Hope Grief Support Center.
JoAnn Brooks, President
Russ Aikins, 1st Vice President
Gordon Garst, 2nd Vice President
Kathy Schell, Secretary
Jama Ball, Journey of Hope Family Fun Walk Co-Chair
Glenna Blackstone, Golf Chair
Linda Jung Wong, Breakfast with Easter Bunny Co-Chair
All of our services are focused on the welfare of grieving children. We serve the children and their families through no-cost assessments, grief peer support sessions, implementation of effective curriculum, providing needed referrals, community events, and family special events.
Do you like helping people? Maybe it’s a program you want to get involved in or a special event you would like to organize. Perhaps you only have a couple hours a month or diving in a couple times a year is more your style. Here, you are welcome to join our team where you can work as a volunteer who makes a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.
Stay up to day with the latest Journey of Hope news. We’ve separated our news in two categories. The first, “In the News”, will highlight the various news articles and press releases that are relevant to Journey of Hope. The second category, “Current Events”, will allow you to discover information and Journey of Hope press releases regarding upcoming events.