Valerie’s House Receives Community Impact Grant from New York Life

Grant will Help Support Expansion of Valerie’s House Children’s Grief Programs in Southwest Florida

FORT MYERS, Fla. —  March 28, 2019 – Valerie’s House, a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping children and families work through grief following the death of a loved one, announced today New York Life has awarded the organization a $20,000 Community Impact Grant.

The grant will support ongoing programs at Valerie’s House, including support groups for more grieving children, their parents, families and other caregivers from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Hendry counties. 

New York Life Agent, Donna Caruso (l), CLU, ChFC, and Peter Lovley (r), Partner, New York Life’s South Florida General Office, present a $20,000 Community Impact Grant check from the company to Angela Melvin (center), CEO and founder of Valerie’s House, in support of the grief groups the nonprofit provides for children and families in Southwest Florida.

New York Life Agent, Donna Caruso (l), CLU, ChFC, and Peter Lovley (r), Partner, New York Life’s South Florida General Office, present a $20,000 Community Impact Grant check from the company to Angela Melvin (center), CEO and founder of Valerie’s House, in support of the grief groups the nonprofit provides for children and families in Southwest Florida.

“We are grateful for New York Life’s investment in Valerie’s House, which will change many lives for the better,” said Angela Melvin, CEO and founder of Valerie’s House. “With the Community Impact Grant from New York Life, we are now better able to continue providing grief support groups and programs at no cost to the families we serve.” The grant will also help as Valerie's House expands its services to meet the continuing need for grief support in Southwest Florida.

“I’m proud to work for a company that encourages its agents and employees to devote their time, energy and talents to support the needs and priorities of their local community,” said Donna Caruso, CLU ChFC, Financial Services Professional, New York Life’s South Florida General Office for over 29 years. “We are pleased that our partnership will have a lasting impact helping Valerie’s House provide the emotional support that is positively life changing for these young children.” 

Caruso’s personal experience with family loss and grief, along with her professional experience helping her clients plan for financial security, drew her to join Valerie’s House as a founding board member in 2016. She currently serves as vice-chair on the executive board, and supported the organization for the grant application. 

The Community Impact Grant program awards grants of up to $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations which are championed by New York Life agents and employees to serve the needs of their local communities. Since the program’s inception in 2008, more than 500 grants totaling nearly $7 million have been awarded to nonprofits across the country. 

Valerie’s House was founded by Angela Melvin in 2016 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grief support services to children and their families at its Fort Myers and Naples locations. As the first and only grief support program in Southwest Florida focused solely on helping children grieve, Valerie’s House provides a safe, comfortable place for children to bond, grieve, and heal together following the death of an immediate family member. Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency that is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information, enroll in programs, volunteer, or donate, visit www.ValeriesHouseSWFL.org or email info@ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

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