From left, Dr. Glenn Brown, Mount Dora Community Trust Distribution Committee member; Nick Buchholz, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation executive director; Kristen Nardolillo, MSW, Cornerstone children’s bereavement counselor; Reggie Riley, Ph.D., MSW, Cornerstone psychosocial services director; and Rob English, Mount Dora Community Trust executive director.

Recently, the Mount Dora Community Trust awarded a $10,000 grant to help fund Cornerstone Hospice’s Children’s Bereavement program, which serves any child in Cornerstone’s Central Florida region, whether the child’s loved one was cared for by the hospice agency or not. In many cases, the loved one’s death can be sudden and traumatic, leaving the family without emotional support.  

“Research has shown that one out of every 15 children, age 15 and younger, will suffer the loss of one or both parents. These statistics don’t account for the number of children who lose a parental figure, such as a grandparent or other relative that provided their care,” said Nick Buchholz, Cornerstone Hospice Foundation executive director. “The trust’s investment in our children’s bereavement program ensures Cornerstone’s ability to provide grief counseling to help these young people cope free of charge.”

“Children, especially teens, have experienced a great loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. They lost their entire world, such as interaction with friends, teachers and coaches, after school activities, jobs, prom and traditional graduation. Our children’s bereavement program will serve them too, even though their loss is not from a death,” said Reginald Riley, Ph.D., MSW, Cornerstone psychosocial services director.  

Counselors are available for one-on-one sessions or group sessions, and accommodations have been made for virtual meetings with those who need support. For information, email or call 866-742-6655.

Cornerstone Hospice serves more than 7,000 people in Lake, Sumter, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties each year.