An important announcement from Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre (DJCGC)

Dear Clients, Donors, Volunteers, Staff, Colleagues and Friends of DJCGC:

Over the years, the Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre has supported hundreds of grieving children, youth and their families while building strength, resilience and hope. We are proud that, with your help, we have been able to provide compassionate care and support to so many young people experiencing profound grief. None of it would have been possible without the passion and dedication of our staff, donors, volunteers and community partners, as well as the extraordinary courage of the children, youth and families we have had the privilege to support.

That is what makes what we have to tell you today so difficult. As of May 28th, 2021 the Centre will cease to operate and we will no longer be offering our services.

Why we are taking this step: Since our inception, we have provided our services solely through the generosity of our donors and grantors. However, donations are variable from year to year and the Centre does not have, nor has ever had, ongoing annualized core funding. This funding model has made it very hard for the Centre to achieve the financial stability needed to plan for the future and provide the continuity of service that our clients deserve.

The COVID-19 pandemic made these challenges much more difficult. Over the last year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, federal wage subsidies and by also carefully monitoring and reducing costs where possible, we managed to support our clients without a significant reduction to services. However, the challenges of long term sustainability for the organization have remained.

Given the economic uncertainty going forward and the harsh reality of the fund-raising and operating climate for small non-profits like ours, the Board of Directors has come to the difficult decision that the Centre must close and begin the process of winding down ethically and responsibly.

What this means for our clients: Our clients have engaged in very meaningful journeys, and we know that this decision is unexpected. Our top priority through this transition is the well-being of the children, youth and families we currently serve. Over the next two months, we will be assisting clients who are currently actively involved in our individual and/or group services. For those clients who may need to continue their care journey beyond that period, we will provide resources and information, and assist in a transition to a qualified care provider wherever possible. Our staff will be following up with their current clients to discuss service needs. Unfortunately, we are not able to re-engage with previous clients or to accept new clients or referrals.

What this means for donors and volunteers: We thank all of our donors and volunteers for your commitment and the support you have offered throughout the years. You truly did make a difference.

The impact of COVID has added to the mounting mental health needs of children, youth and their families, including those who are dealing with grief and loss. While the Centre will close, the need for supporting children, youth and families in their grief will continue. We encourage you to continue your commitment to helping grieving children, youth and families by supporting and advocating for these important services.

We are no longer accepting donations effective Feb. 16, 2021. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our current resources will allow us to live up to our commitment to provide care to current clients during this wind-down period and, if needed, to help them transition to other qualified service providers. We of course will continue to be fiscally responsible and accountable to our donors.

To our Community Partners: We have been very fortunate to have worked and collaborated with such dedicated partners who are committed to assisting children, youth and their families in their journey. Thank you for your partnership. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept new referrals.

To our Staff: Since its inception, the Centre and its clients have been the beneficiaries of hardworking, dedicated and passionate individuals united in their commitment to helping grieving children, youth and their families. The Centre’s management understands that this decision impacts our staff. We will provide assistance where possible to staff during this period of transition and dissolution. We truly appreciate their commitment and know that they have made a difference to our clients and community.

How to find out more: Please check our FAQ page on our website for more information. Should you have additional questions that are not posted in our FAQ, you can contact us by email at info@griefcentre.org. We will also be updating our website with information and resources.

Please understand that as we work with our clients through this transition, our staffing and resources will be focused on responding to our clients’ priority needs. We will make every effort to reply to inquiries, but there may be delays. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Finally, on behalf of Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre, THANK YOU all for your support and commitment. At this difficult time, we are deeply saddened, but we are also proud of what the Centre has accomplished together with our donors, volunteers, staff, community partners and, most of all, our clients. We could not have done it without you.

The Board of Directors at Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre

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