Valerie’s House Founder Presents at National Grief Symposium 

Southwest Florida Grief Center Paves the Way for Other Communities

FORT MYERS, Fla. – July 26, 2017 – Valerie’s House Founder and CEO, Angela Melvin, recently presented at the 2017 National Alliance for Grieving Children Symposium on Children’s Grief in Richmond, Va, paving the way for other communities around the country to build their own grief center. Melvin, along with Valerie’s House Program Director, Danielle Visone, led a presentation titled, “How to Build a Grief Center — Grassroots and from the Ground Up.” The presentation documented the Valerie’s House journey and discussed strategies and lessons learned with other communities who want to help children in grief. More than 300 grief organizations were in attendance at the annual conference.

“Two years ago, I attended this conference not knowing a soul and wanting to learn from as many people as I could,” Melvin said. “This time Valerie’s House was being looked to as an up-and-coming leader in the grief movement. It was a true honor to be there.”

Melvin and Visone spent three days learning from other trailblazers in the field of children’s grief, including meeting the founder of the first grief center in the country, Donna Schuurman. Valerie’s House is designed around the model that Donna created, The Dougy Center, located in Portland, Oregon.

Valerie’s House is enrolling children for its Fall 2017 grief groups, beginning August 14th. The organization has three meeting locations: 1618 Avalon Place in Fort Myers; Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd S. in Cape Coral; and The Village School at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road, in Naples. Families interested in Valerie's House programs, or mental health professionals who would like to volunteer, can contact

Valerie's House is fully supported through generous donations from the community.