Funds will enable expansion of grief program to more communities and serve more families
FORT MYERS, Fla. (October 21, 2016) Valerie’s House, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping children work through grief following the death of a parent or sibling, raised $80,000 from its inaugural fundraising event held October 13 at the historic Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs. More than 300 people attended Under the Stars at Shangri-La, including Valerie’s House families and supporters, city officials, and community leaders. The funds raised from the event will provide initial funding to help Valerie’s House build a much-needed house of its own to accommodate the waiting list of children and families who need support.
Guests at the island-themed party enjoyed live entertainment as well as a silent auction with Valerie’s House children’s artwork, followed by a program with family testimonials of how Valerie’s House is helping children cope with grief.
“We are overjoyed to see how many friends and members of the community came out to learn about Valerie’s House,” said Angela Melvin, Valerie’s House founder and president. “Our program will grow by leaps and bounds because of this very special evening.”
Valerie’s House opened in January 2016 and is serving more than 80 children and their families from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry counties. The organization provides a safe, comfortable place for children to share, grieve and heal together following the death of a close family member. Valerie’s House has two locations: 1618 Avalon Place in downtown Fort Myers and at Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd S. in Cape Coral, with plans to expand to Naples in early 2017.
Valerie’s House is named after Angela Melvin’s mother, Valerie Melvin, a 31-year old nurse and mother of two daughters who was killed in a car accident in 1987. Valerie’s House is fully supported through community donations that can be made online: www.valerieshouseswfl.org or by mail to Valerie’s House, Inc., P.O. Box 1955, Fort Myers, FL 33902.