Impact Stories

We Are All Connected: Rainey Gronwall

August 31, 2022

Rainey began volunteering at Judi’s House six years ago and has served in several roles during that time, providing meals to families through our nourishment program and as a companion volunteer. Her personal connection and passion for our work has allowed her to provide compassionate and meaningful support to the children and families we serve – we are so lucky to have her as part of our community!

What first attracted you to or spurred your involvement with Judi’s House?

I first learned about Judi’s House when I signed up with my company to be a nourishment volunteer. My first night of volunteering I saw the Judi’s House mission in action and it really struck home with me. My daughter lost her dad at the tender age of eight due to a long illness caused by a spinal cord tumor. After that first night, I knew I needed to help.

What do you feel is the most important component of the work we do at Judi’s House?

Grief encompasses a wide range of emotions and allowing children to explore all of those emotions in a safe place without fear of judgment is key. Even the youngest kids make connections with their group members – I’ve seen even four-year-olds exclaim, “that happened to my mommy too!” These connections are purposeful to helping the kids feel like they aren’t alone in their grief and that they have a community supporting them.

Why do you choose to volunteer in the role you do?

Other than being a parent, volunteering at Judi’s House is the most rewarding job. The kids continuously remind me they are as smart, if not smarter, than adults. There is nothing like seeing a child who has been seemingly disinterested in the curriculum come out and say something so deep and meaningful that you realize they were processing grief the whole time.

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