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Nonprofit holding virtual grief counseling camp for children coping with loss

Session open to children ages 5-10
Posted at 7:28 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 19:35:41-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Coping with the death of a loved one can be a difficult to process, especially for a child.

A South Florida nonprofit has created a virtual camp to help children better understand the emotions of grief.

For 11-year-old Charisma Culmer, family time is the best time. It was extra special when she got to hang out with her uncle Christopher.

"He was like my favorite," Charisma said.

In 2018, her uncle unexpectedly passed away.

"I knew that I was sad that he left me. He didn't tell me that he was going to leave me. I didn't understand why," Charisma said.

She couldn't escape the feeling of sadness.

Kellie Kintz
Kellie Kintz of Trustbridge is helping coordinate "Camp Stingray" on Sept. 12, which is helping children cope with the loss of a family member or close friend.

"I was struggling to pay attention in class because of the way I felt, and I didn't really want to be bothered. You feel like you're alone in the world," Charisma said.

That's when she was introduced to Kellie Kintz, a children's bereavement coordinator at Trustbridge.

"Our department provides grief counseling for grieving children across Palm Beach and Broward County," said Kintz.

They are kicking off a free virtual grief camp Saturday for children ages 5 to 10, who are struggling with loss.

"To provide grief counseling, coping skills, music therapy, which for Saturday will be songwriting, a yoga teacher and dietician who will be teaching mindful meals," Kintz said.

Now more than ever, she said children need to learn coping skills.

"If children don't have that opportunity to learn those coping skills, it can affect them for the rest of their lives. So, for me, it's truly a personal mission," Kintz said.