Kate's Club is a resource that can help young people who have experienced the loss of loved one cope with the loss and continue living life. You can find out more about this unique organization in this exclusive interview with the organization's founder, Kate Atwood.
Interview with Kate's Club founder Kate Atwood
LoveToKnow (LTK): Can you tell us about Kate's Club?
Kate Atwood (KA): Kate's Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia that empowers children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. The main inspiration for me to start this organization was the death of my mother when I was 12 years old.
I remember thinking to myself, '"Whose mom dies?I only know two people who have lost their moms: Cinderella and Snow White." They weren't really going to be able to help me move through the challenges of grief and adolescence, now were they? So, I wanted to build a place where kids could come and form friendships with other kids in a similar situation, facing life after the death of a parent or sibling, and walk together in life with grief coloring their path. That magical place today serves hundreds of children and their families each year in Atlanta, Georgia providing year-round programs at no cost to the families.
LTK: What advice would you give someone who just lost someone close to them?
KA: I am very passionate about helping others who are grieving, especially children and teens. It is my own "Living by Giving" experience. I love to help people coping with such a profound loss in life.
Three important things to remember are:
- Acknowledge your grief.
- Keep an eye on the younger ones.
- If you are a family member, friend, or neighbor, and looking for a way to help, you can gift them my book, A Healing Place: How to Help your Children find Hope and Happiness after the Death of a Loved One.
About Living for Giving
LTK: What is Living by Giving?
KA: Living by Giving helps individuals discover happiness by inspiring them to connect to a cause that best fits their own unique lifestyle. If all of us realized how much hope and happiness comes into our lives when we help someone else, I have no doubt we all would be doing it. I'm here to help get people started. My blog, shares interviews and stories of everyday people who have discovered unique ways to build giving into their lives. And they aren't royalty, or millionaires, heroes, or celebrities. They are everyday people. Living by Giving is about the mutual benefits of giving our time, our mind, our money, and our spirit. I like to call it fitness for our souls.
Importance of Volunteering
LTK: What are some of the benefits of giving back and volunteering?
KA: Aside from the cultural correctness of being charitable, I am constantly impressed by the benefits of a giving lifestyle to both the individuals who are giving, and to those who are receiving. Research today shows us that helping others can improve one's own physical and mental health.
LTK: What advice do you give someone who is looking to connect to a cause and start Living by Giving?
KA: Like most things in life, the journey to start Living by Giving begins with you. Often times we look way on the other side of the spectrum to find a cause to support. After all, getting involved in something "close to the vest" can be scary, but I want to challenge you to do just that. Look at your own struggles in life; perhaps you had support and resources to overcome this struggle. Or perhaps the struggle didn't affect you directly, but someone you loved. Adversity comes with every life; we all have our own. Be vulnerable and acknowledge your own struggles, and you may be surprised how finding that purpose in helping others will fuel healing and happiness in your life.
LTK: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
KA: During the holiday season and throughout the year, it is important to keep in mind the importance of Living by Giving. Since many people are struggling to regain economic comfort, I suggest finding ways for you and your family to "give" to each other without spending money. Make a list of some fun family projects you could do in your community as a family. Spend an afternoon at an animal shelter. Make decorations and deliver them to a children's hospital or senior center. Paint a mural at a soup kitchen. Create a care package for the troops. There are so many things you can do together that will bring you together and appreciate one another.
Thanks to Kate Atwood
LoveToKnow wishes Kate's Club continued success and thanks Kate Atwood for her informative interview!