Catawba Regional Hospice Eases Holiday Grief with Teddy Bear Workshop

On December 20, Catawba Regional Hospice hosted a workshop to help children dealing with grief remember their loved ones. In collaboration with Teddy Paws Workshop at Valley Hills Mall, CRH invited kids to choose a plush animal to fill and take home as a holiday gift. The children were also encouraged to insert a commemorative keepsake into their chosen animal as a reminder of the person they had lost. The program was made possible with contributions from the Rotary Club of Catawba Valley, the Rotary Club of Lake Hickory, and the Rotary Club of Newton-Conover.

Elizabeth Arditti, Catawba Regional Hospice’s counselor specializing in children’s grief, met with each child and worked with them to pick out a favorite animal. As she spoke one-on-one, hospice employees helped attendees name and register their finished animals and obtain a “birth certificate,” along with a complimentary backpack. Many children also wrote notes of encouragement to send to students in Newtown, CT, as part of the “Snowflakes for Sandy Hook” program.

Annette Walker, counseling services manager, said, “We are thankful to have the opportunity to help these children as they come to terms with their grief. The journey is not a quick one, and we’re fortunate to be able to help them along – through counseling, through play, and by strengthening good memories. Our partnerships with the Rotary Clubs and Teddy Paws allow us to reach children in really tangible, supportive ways.”