Find out about our projects around the world.
USA - Travelling Bears
As we sadly expand as an organisation we have committed to a project over in the USA and we would appreciate any help of any kind as we get closer to launch date.
When a child dies quite rightly the attention is directed to the parents of the child however this leaves a gaping chasm for the forgotten bearers of grief ……. siblings. They have lost their playmate, their confidant and their future dreams yet they are often ‘shipped off’ to other family members whilst mum and dad grieve. We haven’t forgotten them. Whilst Dan was spending time with his living children he realised that there was a huge amount of underlying grief, his own children hadn’t opened up about their losses and had found there was nowhere to turn. It is now one of his life goals to give them that outlet.
The Sibling Bears
The vision of DWA is to provide bears that light up and bring comfort to a child after the death of their brother or sister. The bear is provided free of charge direct to the home address and arrives with a journal and a simple card of instructions.
Each bear will spend a month or two with that child, having adventures, attending activities and all this gets noted in the journal. At the end of that period the child with their parents, teacher or faith leader find another family with a grieving sibling and the bear is passed to them. Again at the end of that stay the child finds another family and the bear travels on.
These children need to know that across the USA there are thousands of children just like them, thousands grieving with little available outlets to express that grief. The journal allows them somewhere to write not only the adventures that the bear has with them but also their inner feelings. When the bear gets passed from family to family the new host can read back and see that its OK not to be OK and at the same time a network of siblings will start to form. Lifelong bonds with others that have experienced the unthinkable and together they can begin to heal.
Our initial plan is to get 100 bears travelling throughout the country, that’s 1200 kids having a little more support in the first year alone. We would like to arrange small events where the hosts of maybe five bears (60 kids over the year) can come together and spend time together sharing experiences and gaining strength from each others journeys. It’s vital work yet as child loss is never spoken about these kids are getting left behind. We will change that.
What do we need?
The list could be endless to be honest however the main thing we need is publicity!! My aim is to visit the USA next spring and visit East, West and Central areas and promote exactly what we are doing to the wider public. Nothing drums up more interest than a rather chubby Limey speaking passionately about what he wants to do to help American children.
A travel sponsor would be an amazing help. If we could bring anyone on board to assist in travel provision it would be a phenomenal help.
Spreading the word about DWA and the support we give all family members, it’s a lifelong support provision. There is no time limit on our grief. It’s been seven years since Dan’s 12th angel was killed and yet even as ‘supposedly’ the strongest of all angel dads around the world he still has his bad days and will for the rest of his life. By talking about us we could achieve a funding stream that will allow us to widen our reach and help even more families in need.
We just need people to listen. There are kids out there that need help and they are ignored because child loss is just too scary a thing to talk about. We live every families worst nightmare every single day. It’s time to shout our angels’ name because not only do they matter….. those of us left behind matter too.