Harlingen students donate to local Children’s Bereavement Center

HARLINGEN — When the students from the Interact Club of the Harlingen School of Health Professions toured the Children’s Bereavement Center of the Rio Grande Valley in Harlingen on May 18, they brought a list of items useful to the Center.

The donations of stuffed animals, toys and art supplies were in response to a “wish list” that the Center’s director, Corie Olivares Ramirez, had given the students at an April meeting at the School of Health Professions.

The on-campus introduction to the CBC-RGV, the gathering of wish list items and the delivery of the items and tour of the Center were done in conjunction with Global Youth Service Day, which fell on April 23 this year.

“Coordinating our efforts with Global Youth Service Day helps our club members better understand how they can make a positive difference in their community as well as in the lives of those in need,” said Alexa Higginbotham, a teacher at Health Professions and an Interact co-sponsor.

The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas first opened in San Antonio in 1997 to help children and families grieving the death of a loved one.

Seeing a need for this service in the Rio Grande Valley, the organization opened an additional center in February of 2017.

“CBC-RGV offers grief counseling to children and their families from across the RGV,” Ramirez said. “It is the first time services like ours have been made available to the RGV community at no cost to families.

“Since we opened, we have been contacted by close to 500 families requesting services. We have also held various workshops to train school counselors and other mental health professionals to better help grieving children and families. We are grateful the Interact Club has shown an interest in our mission to foster healing to those experiencing a death loss.”