My name is Mattie Bess and you may have seen me around. Even though I just started three weeks ago as The Healing Center’s new Program Coordinator I have been bouncing around the walls of The Healing Center house for eight years now. As a former client I grew up within the community of The Healing Center, finding my voice in the teen group, sharing The Healing Center with my family and friends at yearly events, learning a ton about event planning while serving as the May Day Walk intern, and of course, goofing around in lederhosen, meeting all of you at our fall event (stay tuned, Oktoberfest is coming up Oct. 19th)!
Sometimes I wasn’t sure what kept bringing me back to The Healing Center, even when college life was pulling me in a million different directions. As many of you have experienced, it isn’t one specific thing that keeps you coming back but a collection of people, events, stories….the life in the walls.
Recently I had a reminder of how important grief support can be for children. For years I have been volunteering with Camp Erin, a weekend camp for children who have lost a loved one, as a “big buddy” aka cabin counselor. In my cabin I watched the transformation of girls who started out homesick and not interested in sharing on the first night of camp. By Sunday morning I had a cabin full of Chatty Cathys who were talking about anything from Justin Bieber to memories of the person that had died. It was beautiful to see them make friends who understood and find ways to honor their loved one.
Being in that environment right before starting my job at The Healing Center was perfect. Not only was it a reminder of just how much a life can change when a person feels supported in their grief, but it made me glad to be joining an organization that continually offers this community support and becomes many people’s “healing home”. I am so excited to be joining the team and look forward to meeting all of you around the center! Stop by and say hi!