Valerie’s House Founder Presents at National Grief Symposium 

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 info@valerieshouseswfl.org.

Valerie's House is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information, go to www.valerieshouseswfl.org.

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Media Contact:
Christina Mehta Prendiville | 239.470.4204 | christina@mehtacommunications.com

Three Community Leaders Join Valerie's House Board of Directors

Valerie’s House Elects Three Community Leaders to Board of Directors

Growing organization increases board to fifteen

FORT MYERS, Fla., June 27, 2017 – Valerie’s House, a nonprofit organization helping children and families work through grief following the death of a loved one, has elected three new members to its board of directors: Talisha Faber, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager, IBERIABANK; Max Haney, Risk Management Insurance; and Judy Williams, Owner, SPADA Salon & Day Spa.

Talisha Faber

Talisha Faber

Max Haney

Max Haney

Judy Williams

Judy Williams

They join existing board members Donna J. Caruso, CLU, Financial Advisor, New York Life; Joy Gugliuzza, Realtor®, Royal Shell Real Estate; Kristalyn Loson, Esq., Assistant City Attorney, City of Fort Myers; Victoria Loyola, CPA, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, P.A.; Kellie Nolan McCartney, Be Brilliant!® Marketing; Christina Mehta Prendiville, CEO, Mehta Communications; Bjorn Rosinus, CEO, Endeavor Innovative Workspaces; Scott Sherman, Engineering Executive, Arthrex Inc.; Mary Silverstein, Senior Partner, RMG, LLC; Melodie Turish, Community Volunteer; and Michelle Graham, CEO, Siesta Pebble, Inc.

Valerie’s House celebrated its first anniversary in January and is now serving 105 children and their caregivers from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry counties. Valerie’s House is located at 1618 Avalon Place in downtown Fort Myers, with satellite locations at Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd S. in Cape Coral and at The Village School at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road in Naples.

Founded by Angela Melvin, Valerie’s House is named after her mother, Valerie Melvin, a 31-year old nurse and mother of two daughters who was killed in a car accident in 1987 as she drove to pick up her girls from summer camp.

Interested families who want to enroll, or mental health professionals who would like to volunteer, can contact Danielle Visone at 239-841-9186 or e-mail danielle@valerieshouseswfl.org.

Valerie's House is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information or to support, visit www.valerieshouseswfl.org or mail to Valerie’s House, Inc., PO Box 1955, Fort Myers, FL 33902.  

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Media Contact:
Christina Mehta Prendiville | 239.470.4204 | christina@mehtacommunications.com

Introducing a New Support Group for Grieving Fathers

Valerie’s House to Launch Support Group for Grieving Fathers

Organization recognizes special needs of men who have lost a wife

FORT MYERS, Fla. - May 4, 2017 - Valerie’s House is introducing a new support group for men who are grieving the loss of a spouse and raising their children alone. The program will bring fathers together, led by a licensed therapist to address issues dads are facing since their wife’s death. Their children grieving the loss of Mom will also be meeting, using a variety of art therapy, and bonding with other children.

The needs of grieving fathers can be different from a mother who has lost a husband, or grandparents raising their grandchildren due to the loss of an adult child.  

Angela Melvin, founder and president of Valerie’s House, understands this as she herself was a child of loss, raised by her father. “Dads often find it difficult to ask for help when raising their children in grief,” Melvin said. “This is a special group for those Dads and their children to connect and help each other.”

Father of two Marshall Mills has been involved with Valerie’s House for the past year and is looking forward to a group concentrating on supporting grieving Dads.

“The ability to gain insight from men wearing the same shoes as I am is very exciting,” Mills said. “I look forward to sharing and learning together, as we all walk baby steps through this journey." 

The Valerie’s House Dads group will meet twice a month at the Valerie’s House-Fort Myers location at 1618 Avalon Place. The services are at no cost to families. To learn more about the days and times, please contact Angela Melvin at 239-841-9186 or Angela@valerieshouseswfl.org. 

Valerie’s House is serving 105 children and their caregivers from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Hendry counties.  Valerie’s House has three meeting locations: 1618 Avalon Place in downtown Fort Myers, Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd S. in Cape Coral, and in Naples at The Village School at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road. 

Valerie's House is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information or to support, visit www.valerieshouseswfl.org or mail to Valerie’s House, Inc., PO Box 1955, Fort Myers, FL 33902. 

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Media Contact:
Christina Mehta Prendiville | 239.470.4204 | christina@mehtacommunications.com

High School Holds Teddy Bear Drive for Grieving Children

Teddy Bear Drive Spearheaded by Bishop Verot High School Honor Students 

Scholars Academy Students Support Nonprofit for Grieving Children

FORT MYERS, Fla. – April 3, 2017 –  Bishop Verot Catholic High School students collected more than 200 teddy bears for the local non-profit, Valerie’s House, with hopes that the grieving children in the program would have a cuddly toy to comfort them when they are talking about their loss. 

To help comfort with loss, children at Valerie's House have their choice of a teddy bear thanks to the students of Bishop Verot High School. . 

To help comfort with loss, children at Valerie's House have their choice of a teddy bear thanks to the students of Bishop Verot High School. . 

Valerie’s House was selected to receive this generous donation by tenth graders Sophia Prendiville and Megan Piller as part of a Bishop Verot High School Scholars Academy service project.  Prendiville and Piller were aware of the nonprofit organization through Prendiville’s mother, Christina Mehta Prendiville, who serves on the Executive Board of Valerie’s House.  The teens also volunteer with the program by serving dinner at group night meetings and helping out at holiday parties and fundraisers.

Angela Melvin, Founder and President of Valerie’s House, said, “The Valerie’s House children look forward to getting a chance to go into the teddy bear library, and because of the generosity of the Bishop Verot staff and students, we will have plenty of cuddly bears for our kids in grief.  Thank you to everyone who helped us this year.”

Melvin said the teddy bear drive has also increased awareness of the new nonprofit within the Bishop Verot High School community, and several teens who have suffered a loss have come forward and enrolled in the program.

Valerie’s House is serving 105 children and their caregivers from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Hendry counties.  Valerie’s House has three meeting locations: 1618 Avalon Place in downtown Fort Myers, Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd S. in Cape Coral, and in Naples at The Village School at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road. 

Founded by Angela Melvin, Valerie’s House is named after her mother, Valerie Melvin, a 31-year old nurse and mother of two daughters who was killed in a car accident in 1987 as she drove to pick up her girls from summer camp. 

Interested families or mental health professionals who would like to volunteer can contact Danielle Visone at 239-841-9186 or Danielle@valerieshouseswfl.org. Valerie's House is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information or to make donations, visit www.valerieshouseswfl.org or mail to Valerie’s House, Inc., PO Box 1955, Fort Myers, FL 33902.

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Media Contact: 
Christina Mehta Prendiville | 239.470.4204 | christina@mehtacommunications.com