Valerie's House Halts Group Meetings Due to COVID Spike

 
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Aug. 16, 2021 - PRLog -- The growing number of COVID deaths among young people has led Valerie's House to suspend group meetings until the numbers recede, founder and CEO Angela Melvin announced Sunday. Although Valerie's House has not seen a COVID outbreak within the organization, Melvin says the virus is still hitting close to home with new families entering the program because of a COVID death, as well as a young volunteer who died over the weekend after contracting the virus.

"We have had a growing number of heartbreaking calls and emails this week from families where a parent has died from COVID, leaving children behind.  In almost all cases, the words are the same, 'He was so healthy and young, we never expected this.' They have all been unvaccinated," Melvin said.

"When the first round of COVID occurred a year ago, we had only a handful of children enter our program because their parent died from COVID.  The number of families now grieving the loss of a parent because of the virus is gut-wrenching for the entire Valerie's House family," she emphasized.

The nonprofit organization that helps children grieve the loss of a loved one, is also seeing a growing number of their own teen and young adult volunteers contract the virus.

"We tragically lost one of our own volunteers this weekend who was a young man, healthy, and a beloved group buddy in our Val's Pals mentoring program.  He was unvaccinated," she said.

Valerie's House will continue with individual counseling and family care in person. In the meantime, Melvin said support groups may become virtual until the COVID numbers come down.

Valerie's House provides a safe, comfortable place for children and their families to heal together following the death of someone they love. Valerie's House offers support groups and other activities at a home on 1762 Fowler Street in Fort Myers and a home in Naples at 819 Myrtle Terrace. Valerie's House also holds group meetings at First United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda. Valerie's House is a United Way partner agency and is fully supported by community donations.  More information can be found at www.valerieshouse.org.

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