A Hays-based nonprofit that hosts four grief-support groups for people in northwest Kansas will get a little boost from Ellis County.
The Ellis County Commission at its regular meeting Monday evening approved a $1,000 donation to the Center for Life Experience Inc.
The 18-year-old Center hosts Healing Hearts, a group for families grieving the death of a child, as well as three other grief-support groups: one for people who have lost an adult in their life, one for families who have lost someone to suicide, and an annual weekend retreat for kids who have lost a significant person in their life.
Neal Younger, Munjor, in January came before the commission at their regular meeting and requested the donation. He and his wife, Carolyn, have belonged to Healing Hearts for more than nine years. They lost their 16-year-old son Cody, who died in a car accident with his girlfriend, Jordy Claiborn.
“I think that’s something that’s just really good for Ellis County. I was actually never aware we had that in Ellis County until Mr. Younger came up and presented that,” said Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst.
Although the county’s 2019 budget has already been set, Haselhorst and County Commissioners Dustin Roths and Butch Schlyer approved taking the money from the Commission’s budget for the year.
The Center’s annual budget is $56,800 and it serves about 1,000 people, but continues to grow, Younger said.
“I do think that’s really good after hearing everything they do and all the different lives it actually touches in our county,” Haselhorst said. “I hope a parent never has to go through that, but unfortunately it’s happened in our county numerous times over the years.”
Healing Hearts meets the second Thursday of every month at The Hadley Center, 205 E. Seventh.
The Center until recently was under the nonprofit umbrella of the First Presbyterian Church of Hays. Now it’s starting its first year as a stand-alone non-profit, and is seeking donations throughout the community, according to Dawn Gabel, a professional fundraiser who recently joined the Center’s board of directors.