School Shootings: Advice for Parents

Recently our own Jen McCormick, Clinical Supervisor at The Healing Center, was asked by King 5 News to go on air and provide parents with advice about how to help their children cope with tragedies such as the recent Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting. Here is some advice she shares.

1. Be open and honest

2. Let them share their version of the story as many times as they need to

3. Be authentic (especially with your teens) and show your true concern

4. Keep the door open to conversation for as long as it takes- new events might trigger grief in children unexpectedly

Click below to see the full video:










A Spectacular Night of Celebration and Giving

As we wrap up auction season, we’d like to share with you some of the lovely pictures taken at the 2014 Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Auction and Gala. The Ripple of Giving was truly felt as hundreds gave to benefit the programs of Inspire Youth Project and The Healing Center. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, or donated items. Your generosity inspires us and the work we do!








Day Camp and Summer Children's Groups


Come to The Healing Center’s 2 summer children’s groups! All ages will meet together and there will be a parent group offered concurrently. Below are the dates offered:

Weds. July 16th from 4:00 – 5:30pm

Weds. August 13th from 4:00 – 5:30pm



We’re also holding summer day camps! They will be held on Wednesday’s from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Check ‘em out:

July 9th    Meet at The Healing Center.  Walk to Greenlake for fun in the park and a swim in the pool.

July 23rd   Explore Volunteer Park and the Asian Art Museum. Group art project followed by tour of conservatory, climbing the stairs of the water tower, and playing at the playground/wading pool.

Aug. 6th    Woodland Park Zoo

Aug. 20th   Visit the EMP (Experience Music Project) for a tour, scavenger hunt, and ice cream.

Registration required. Please contact Jeanne for more information and to register  or call (206) 523-1206.


Top 3 Reasons We Loved The 2014 May Day Walk

On May 4th 2014, The Healing Center celebrated it’s 6th Annual May Day Walk at Gas Works Park with over 60 participants and 25 volunteers. Here are our top 3 reasons why we loved the day and are excited to keep the May Day Walk tradition going for our Healing Center community. Be sure to check out the pictures below.

1. YOU – Nothing makes us happier than seeing our Healing Center friends and families come together. We believe so much benefit comes from meeting others that have shared the experience of walking through grief. While this year it was under more drops of rain than rays of sun, we are so grateful for all who joined us and those who couldn’t make it but supported their friends and family in other ways. You are our inspiration.

2. The chance to remember – Transitional periods can be difficult – even the transition between seasons. As we move swiftly into spring, we enjoyed the opportunity to do some reflection during the art activities during the Walk. We wrote a message to our loved one on a message flag. We considered what we’d say to them in a private message. We contemplated the meaning of short-blooming cherry blossoms during origami folding. We stood with everyone and felt the words of the poem, “We Remember Them”.

3. Support for our programs – With the combined donations from The May Day Walk and GiveBIG two days later, we received $63,053 from our generous supporters. This doesn’t even include the GiveBIG “stretch funds” that will be applied to our GiveBIG donations soon. These funds mean so much to The Healing Center and our community. They keep our doors open, buy pizza for our weekly children’s groups, make healing client retreats possible, and help to train our dedicated volunteers – all contributing to our overall mission of offering a safe, loving place that honors grief, helping you to move through it and heal. We thank those who fund-raised for us, our wonderful donors, and our $5,000 sponsors, Safe Crossings Foundation, Nintendo, and University District Kiwanis. THANK YOU!



May Day Walk 2014 – Register & Donate Today!

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WHEN: Sunday, May 4th, 12:30 – 4PM
Sign in starts at 12:30pm
Walk starts at 1:00pm
Picnic and kids’s activities start at 2:00pm
WHERE: Gas Works Park
WHY: To raise money for The Healing Center’s grief support programs
HOW: Register here to join the 2014 May Day Walk and raise funds for The Healing Center,
click here to donate!

08_Silly Jane, Alexander & Mattie_closeupMay Day celebrates the coming of summer and new beginnings, and The Healing Center is excited to celebrate this holiday with our friends, families, and community. The May Day Walk is an event to raise funds to grow our grief support programs which serve widows, widowers, children, and young adults who have experienced the premature death of a spouse, parent, or sibling.

We hope you will join us for a fun-filled day! Please encourage your friends and family to join us as we raise funds to support our healing programs. Register or donate today to support The Healing Center!

If you need any help, or have any questions about the online registration or donation process, contact Jen Power, Development Coordinator, at or (206) 523-1206 x15.

Thank you to our May Day Walk Sponsors!

Amaryllis Level – $5,000

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The Healing Center's Four-Legged Friends


As we settle into the couches, chatting before children’s group starts, we hear the front door’s usual “beep beep beep”. But instead of the pads of little feet, in comes the rush of four legs. As the panting of doggie excitement comes closer, the children’s faces light up–it’s one of our therapy dogs!

At The Healing Center, we are lucky to have two therapy dogs who regularly attend our children’s groups. Glory, a Newfoundland, and her owner Diana Stoll attend our Healing Club 4-5 and Justina, a yellow lab, and her owner Ronit Amitai attend Healing Club 1-2-3 and Gigi’s.

Therapy dogs connect with adults and children in a way that humans cannot. Being in the presence of a therapy dog can bring back happy memories of pet ownership, can calm a person down through the act of petting the dog, and can be a non-intimidating companion to talk to.

We asked Diana to tell us a little about her experiences with Glory (pictured to the right). Whether it’s a quick hug or wanting to sit down and read a story to her, Diana feels like children are drawn to Glory and Glory helps put them at ease. “What they say to Glory might not have anything to do with grief or The Healing Center, but she helps them open up. And if we could bring that kind of joy to people, why wouldn’t we?”

Summer Camp 2013!

The purpose of Summer Camp is to provide an opportunity for the children of The Healing Center to remain connected to one another during the summer months when children’s groups are not in session. Camp provides an opportunity for play while recognizing that play may have threads of grief intertwined. Camp is open to all children who will be entering 1st through 8th grade in the Fall of 2013.
Suggested cost for each camp is $20 per child. Swim Camp has an additional cost of $3 for Evans pool. Ferry~IslandWood Camp has an additional cost of $20 to cover the cost of ferry, bus transportation, and ice cream.
All are invited to join us at the end of Beach-Combing Camp for a  BBQ at Golden Gardens Park from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.

Back-to-Nature Camp

Date: July 10th
Time: 10:00 to 4:00
Drop off & pick up: The Healing Center
Activities: kite-making, tie-dye bandanas, walk to Ravenna Park, Yoga in-the-Park, nature-art

Swim Camp

Date: July 24th
Time: 10:00 to 4:00
Drop off & pick up: Green Lake Park near Evans Pool
Activities: scavenger hunt, swim, Laughing Yoga, field games

Ferry to IslandWood Camp

Date: August 7th
Time: 10:00 to 4:30
Drop off & pick up: Seattle Ferry Terminal
Activities: Ride a ferry to Bainbridge Island, bus to IslandWood, Circle of Life campfire, forest walk, ice cream at Mora’s, kite-flying on the ferry back to Seattle

Beach-Combing Camp

Date: August 21st
Time: Noon to 5:00 followed by family BBQ 5:30 to 8:00
Drop off & pick up: Golden Gardens Park, Seattle
Activities: beach-combing, frisbee tag, kite-flying, family BBQ


Please register ASAP. You may register for summer camp by clicking HERE.
Once you register you will be receiving more detailed information. If you have any question you may contact Michele Koger at: or call 206-523-1206.


Volunteer at the May Day Walk!

spring-kids-main_MDW vol post picSunday, May 5th is the magical day!

Spring is in the air and we are gearing up for our 5th Annual May Day Walk. Come one, come all volunteers. There is plenty of room for everyone!

For a list of volunteer opportunities, take a look at our Sign Up Genius page. Most needs do not require pre-training or clinical expertise. Simply click on the “Sign Up” button next to each task or tasks that grab you!

Imagine HUGE balloons, AWESOME crafts, YUMMILICIOUS food, FUN games, WILD tattoos, INSPIRING prayer flags, CHILLIN’ OUT with other volunteers at Gas Works Park, and an opportunity to make this a very special day for our grieving families.

We hope you’ll be willing to support our fun and magical event. We can’t do it without you!

October Potluck: Dia de los Muertos!

Join us for a special potluck, Saturday, October 29th (6:00 to 9:00 PM) at The Healing Center where we will collectively observe the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Though this occasion is officially observed on November 2nd, we will be using the opportunity of our October potluck to gather as a community and observe some of the traditional customs that honor friends and family members who have died.

We have built an ofrenda (altar) on which pictures of our love ones will be displayed, along with other items that honor your loved one who died.  A central part of this holiday is focused around the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, so we ask that you bring a dish you associate with your loved one.  We will also have dough available for you to make the traditional Pan de Muerto (Dead Bread) which is a sweet egg bread made in various shapes to honor the loved one.

Read more about Dia de los Muertos.

Dia de los Muertos ofrenda

Dia de los Muertos ofrenda

Although Dia de los Muertos occurrs shortly after Halloween, the two holidays have little in common.  However, in a multi-cultural spirit, we will combine traditions from both holidays.  Everyone is encouraged to wear a Halloween Costume!  (All of our Healing Center staff members will be in costume!)  Of course, we will have plenty of Halloween treats available for all little ghosts and goblins.

Please RSVP so we can be fully stocked and ready! We hope to see you there!