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New York Life Foundation Awards $25,000 to the Bereavement Center of Westchester

Grant Supports Programs to Help Children in Westchester County
Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

NEW YORK, NY, February 11, 2010 - The New York Life Foundation announced today a $25,000 grant to support The Bereavement Center of Westchester's School Outreach Program (in-school) and Tree House program (out-of-school) that assist youth and their families after the loss of a loved one.

"This support from the New York Life Foundation will help us provide a safe and caring environment where comfort can be felt, hope can be seen, and healing can happen," said Patty Donovan-Duff, director of the Bereavement Center of Westchester. "The grant will allow youth, their families and the community to continue to get the support they need after the death of a loved one."

"We are pleased to assist the Bereavement Center of Westchester with its grief counseling, education, guidance and support to Westchester families who have experienced a loss," said Chris Park, president, New York Life Foundation. "This partnership enables us to expand much-needed bereavement services -- one of the Foundation's core focus areas."

The Tree House, the cornerstone program of The Bereavement Center of Westchester (BCW), launched in 1996, was designed for children aged four to eighteen who have lost a parent or sibling. The eight-week program, currently offered four times a year in Bronxville, Hastings and Mount Kisco, offers grief support for children and their surviving parent or guardian. After families complete the eight-week session, they can attend ongoing monthly programs. Children report that this program helps them find comfort in meeting other children who are also grieving the death of a loved one and learn that everything they are feeling is normal.

Since 1996, 50 Tree House Programs have served over 600 families, some of whom attended more than one eight-week program.

As an outgrowth of the Tree House, BCW's School Outreach Program was created to meet the needs of the students, teachers and staff during school hours. It provides the ideal medium to reach out to children and teens in the community who have experienced a death but cannot attend the Tree House program. Children who attend this program find that the familiar and consistent school environment makes them feel safe and supported. The Bereavement Center offers education, guidance and support to school professionals in dealing with issues of loss and grief among their students.

About The Bereavement Center
The Bereavement Center opened its doors in 1995 through the efforts of Jansen Memorial Hospice and The Junior League of Bronxville. The staff at Jansen saw the need for a community bereavement program in Westchester County, with a special program for children. The Bereavement Center is a program of Lawrence Community Health Services, located in Tuckahoe, New York, about 30 miles north of New York City. To learn more, please visit the Bereavement Center of Westchester's website at

About The New York Life Foundation
Inspired by New York Life's tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $130 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on "Nurturing the Children," the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, educational enhancement opportunities and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation's Web site at

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New York Life Foundation Awards $25,000 to the Bereavement Center of Westchester

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