More than 170,000 U.S. children have lost a parent or caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an October 2021 study, and it’s estimated one in 14 children in the United States will lose a parent or sibling before age 18. While supporting grieving children is always important—and childhood bereavement has been a philanthropic focus area of the New York Life Foundation for over a decade—the need is especially acute right now.
That’s why for this year’s Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which falls on the third Thursday in November each year, New York Life is combining forces with four of our national partners to create a month-long campaign dedicated to increasing awareness of the need for grief support in school communities across the country. The four partner organizations are:
4. First Book
Each partner organization offers uniquely focused bereavement resources—such as NACG’s Tool Kit, the PTA’s Healthy Minds, and First Book’s Guide, Using Books to Support Students Through Grief, Loss, and Healing —that will be highlighted on a dedicated page on the Foundation’s website during each week of November. There will also be numerous seminars, webinars, and more happening.
New York Life and our Foundation offer many tools and educational resources to help raise awareness of not only the need to support the grieving, but also the best ways to do so.
All New York Life employees and agents are welcome to become an ambassador for the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative. According to New York Life’s 2020 Educator Survey with the American Federation of Teachers, 95% said they would like to do more to help grieving students, while only 15% said they feel very comfortable addressing students’ emotional needs. The Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative (GSSI) is part of New York Life’s nationwide effort to better equip educators and other school personnel to care for grieving students.
· Download and share Kai’s Journey, a book and short video series accompanied by a discussion guide, from the New York Life Foundation. Kai’s Journey is about a little boy named Kai who, together with his mom, learns how to navigate a profound loss in their family. The series strives to provide guidance and support as they embark on this lifelong journey of learning to better understand, process, and communicate their grief.
· Share the free bereavement resources from the Foundation and its partners with those who need them.
Join us in this campaign by learning more about this issue, sharing information, and engaging in events throughout the month. For more information about this campaign and our bereavement resources, please visit here.
Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.