An Evening of Laughter, heart-warming stories, and fundraiser auction, put on by the Associate Board of Our House at the Palace Theatre, Los Angeles last week.
By: Judy Shields
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 11/24/2017 “I have known about Our House Grief Support Center for many years. I myself, was a bereaved child and there was no such thing as Our House Grief Support Group. When I was in social work school, I learned about the agency, because I was doing a grief project and that was it, I was hooked for life,” Michele Prince, Executive Director for the agency told The Hollywood Times.
Michele Prince said she became a staff member back in 2012 to help grow the agency. She said there are many volunteer opportunities and that on any given week there might be 50 to 80 groups going on. There are may volunteer opportunities and to check out their website for all the information.
Michele Prince said that they are in 60 different schools all around the LA region and that the schools are listed on their website as well.
“We have three weekends every summer that are free, yes free, for kids throughout LA and Orange County. We are part of a national camp family called Camp Erin, which is run by the Moyer foundation and we are the LA and Orange County Partner,” Michele said.
The Hollywood Times spoke with on the Associate Board Members Amanda Grumman-Goldsmith
THT: How did you get involved with Our House?
Amanda: “I got involved when I did group therapy when my Dad passed away suddenly in 2013 and I was referred here by a friend who had done the program and my therapist, who told me to check the place out. I made a call and it sounded like a really great fit and then I was able to do a group. I did a year-long group and everyone in that group had lost a parent within that year. I wrapped that up and said how could I stay involved further. I did a group of medical student speaking engagements, where they would teach first-year medical students about grief and how to handle patients and their families. What people find to be helpful and challenging about dealing with medical personnel when someone is near the end of their life. That was incredibly powerful.
Okay, now what else can I do and I was asked to speak at a board meeting and did a presentation there. They told me there was an associate board and I went through the process of getting to know everyone on the board. Two years later, here I am.”
THT: What is an Associate Board at Our House?
Amanda: “It is a young group of 20s – mid 40s young professionals all trying to find our way and give back to our community. A great foot in the door to learn how non-profit organizations work and feel like we are doing something great for the community. Lucky that Our House is where I landed. Grief Support services for those that have lost a parent, child or spouse. They put you in a group that is also dealing with the loss you are experiencing.”
“What a resource to know that there is an actual program designated to help people. You are not going to stop grieving, but there is a really amazing support system. There are so many little things that can really help. Even just being in a room with a bunch of people, who are there to get support as well.” Amanda Grumman-Goldsmith said.
Melissa Rivers took the stage to bring out the Associate Board Members for Our House. They each were carrying a white poster board and Melissa asked them to share their story. Each of them turned it over and revealed Sisters, Brothers, Mom or Dad on their board.
Isiah took the stage to talk about his involvement with Our House and told a story about his little cousin, who was killed in an automobile accident a couple of years ago. “I remember, with all my professional training and years of learning in school how to help others, but the pain became so much more real when it is someone we love. It gave me the inspiration to go beyond my every day work and try to help those who are grieving. It led me to accept the call from Our House to join in on this mission. The one thing that really impressed me about Our House was when I became a camp counselor for the first time this past summer. It was an amazing experience for me.”
“What is most impressive to me is how Our House has its practical way for people to be able to do this work. They were able to transform business women, lawyers, firefighters, people who were willing to volunteer and transformed them into healers. Building a community as a whole in order to heal.”
Melissa Rivers told the audience that she was so touched by how many of the signs said “Dad.” She lost her Dad when she was 18 years old and that he committed suicide and tit was very public, because of her Mom’s line of work. She went back to college three weeks after it happened. “When my father passed there was nothing like this, you could go to a grief counselor and I was away at college and I felt different and people didn’t know what to say to me. I am so proud to be a part of it, because look how far we have come as a county and people facing and talking about grief. The main thing is that we all find out that none of us are alone.”
“Every one has a story, everyone has lost someone and the beauty of Our House, is that we are alike. You get into these groups, especially now that they are reaching out in the many school. They come from different backgrounds and even if it’s just half an hour a day, it is so important to give tonight any amount you can give and any amount is greatly appreciated.”
The audience was told that they could send a donation via a Gmail account and the donations were shown up on the big screen.
The talent part of the evening started with MC JC Coccoli, who was really funny and sure got the audience ready for the other comedians.
Vargus Mason, Steve Rannazzisi, Ian Edwards and Adam Ray.
There were all so funny and at times would pick on an audience member.
It was a great night of comedy and raising money for a great non-profit organization.
Everyone in attendance had a bag of popcorn by Popcornopolis at their chair to enjoy during the show.
The items up for auctions were all worth the money that folks were bidding on.
There were tickets to the Kings and Lakers games, gift baskets for NBC television shows “This Is Us” and “Will and Grace”, trips, golfing packages, spa packages, Disney on Ice and Universal Studios
About Our House
Grief is a natural reaction after the death of someone close. Yet in our society, few people are prepared for the intensity and duration of the grief process. Learn about OUR HOUSE Grief Support center and how we were founded on the premise that grievers need understanding, support, and connection. If you or someone you care about is grieving, we are here to help.
The OUR HOUSE mission is to provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope. Since 1993, OUR HOUSE has helped thousands of grieving children, teens, and adults as they embark upon their journeys to hope and healing.