Comfort Zone Camp

Heal, Grieve, Grow

Richmond, VA   |  www.comfortzonecamp.org

Mission

Comfort Zone Camp's mission is to provide grieving children with a voice, a place and a community in which to heal, grow and lead more fulfilling lives.

Ruling year info

1999

Founder and CEO

Lynne B. Hughes

Main address

6606 W Broad Street Suite 401

Richmond, VA 23230 USA

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EIN

54-1916517

NTEE code info

Family Services (P40)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There is a severe gap in childhood mental health services that provide therapeutic programs that specifically address childhood grief. For this undeserved population there are few programs that exist, with even fewer offering free services, which limits help for those from low-income backgrounds. Children with unaddressed grief are particularly vulnerable to negative outcomes., and are: • 5x more likely to die by suicide (USDHHS, Bureau of the Census) • 9x more likely to drop out of high school (National Principals Association) • 10x more likely to engage in substance abuse (Rainbows for All Children) • 20x more likely to have behavioral disorders (Center for Disease Control) Our current health crisis has increased the need for our services for grieving children. At a time of unimaginable uncertainty, fear, isolation and death, our programs are needed now more than ever.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Weekend Bereavement Camp Program

Comfort Zone’s three-day weekend bereavement camp program is offered free of charge to children aged 7 to 17 who have experienced the loss of a parent, guardian, primary caretaker or sibling. Our camp program was created to help children and youth develop resiliency and learn to better cope with their grief. With therapeutic group sessions in addition to arts and crafts, free time and so many songs and games, Comfort Zone’s program creates a safe place for sharing, for connecting with other people who understand loss, for reinforcing bonds with new friends and learning coping skills.

Our weekend camps take place in natural “electronics free” settings where the distractions of television, smart phones and social media are not found. Campers find themselves surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors where they can appreciate the comfort and peacefulness of nature. Instead of “plugging in” campers engage in healthy social interaction with their peers and mentors. Each camper receives one-to-one mentorship, clinical support group services, and group exercises to explore their grief and to develop positive coping skills as they learn new ways to carry their grief and remember their loved one. Children grieve differently than adults. They grieve in short bursts and the busy camp schedule combining bereavement sessions with games and activities allows children appropriate periods of time to address grief and then get back to the fun happenings of camp. In this way, each day at camp is strategically planned with the intention of maximizing our impact on the campers we serve. Passionate and highly trained volunteers are provided to each camper as a “Big Buddy”. This Big Buddy acts as the campers support person each day of the weekend.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to provide children with the coping skills they need to manage their grief in healthy ways and know they are not alone.

Our camp program was created to help children and youth develop resiliency and learn to better cope with their grief. With therapeutic group sessions in addition to arts and crafts, free time and so many songs and games, Comfort Zone’s program creates a safe place for sharing, for connecting with other people who understand loss, for reinforcing bonds with new friends and learning coping skills.

Programs offerings are designed to:
• Identify and customize programs based on the cultural and bereavement practices and needs of the community.
• Offer 1:1 mentorship and psycho-educational peer support groups to provide campers with uninterrupted and unconditional support throughout the entire program. Programs are facilitated by clinical therapists with an expertise in trauma and bereavement. A fun and dynamic environment is designed to engage each child and provide the opportunity to share their grief experience and to receive support and validation from a community of committed resources and peers. Comfort Zone operates from the perspective of “challenge by choice,” a best practice for children impacted by trauma and/or loss. Each child is able to personally own the pace and medium for which they share their experience with the community.
• Engage and build competence in the family and surrounding community on the topic of bereavement, with a specific focus on childhood bereavement.
• Collaborate with schools, agencies, organizations, and other community resources to ensure a continuum of care for the children and families served.

Comfort Zone’s model was developed by founder Lynne Hughes in Richmond, Virginia. Lynne lost both of her parents at a young age and created Comfort Zone as an adult to give grieving children a safe, fun place to connect and to know that they are not alone. From what started as camps at Lynne’s home, evolved into an organization that has served over 21,000 children at no cost to the families. For more than 21 years, Comfort Zone has worked to fill the gap in childhood bereavement care and has been uniquely positioned as a thought leader in the field.

Comfort Zone Cap was founded in 1999 in Richmond, VA. From what started as camps at Lynne’s home, evolved into an organization that has served over 21,000 children at no cost to the families. We currently serve children throughout the country always free of charge to the families who need our programs.

In response to the current pandemic, Comfort Zone has created a virtual program that provides a safe environment for grieving children to connect with their peers in spite of the social isolation brought on by the current health restrictions.

Financials

Comfort Zone Camp
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Comfort Zone Camp

Board of directors
as of 09/09/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Whit Baldwin

HeloAir

Term: 2019 - 2021

Karen Bouchard

Racepoint Global

Todd Purich

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Ginger Drysdale

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Elaine Haney

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Josh Parsley

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Craig Heah

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Luke Puccinelli

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Derek Mohar

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Jim Brady

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Carlisse Davis

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Candy Hipple

Consultant

Sahmon Zoughi

Greenbelt Real Estate Team

Kelly Plageman

Commonwealth Primary Care

Marty Wilson

IT Software Engineering UNOS

Mitch Decter

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