By: Sharon Aron Baron
On Christmas Day in 2007, Keith and Sasheena Reynolds welcomed the birth of their baby daughter Jada. Sadly, her little life would end eleven months later, just a few weeks shy of her first birthday due to a tragic home fire.
The family was devastated. They lost their daughter and their home. They prayed for a way to get through and survive the sorrowful Christmas season and were inspired to turn their grief into giving.
Sasheena said that Jada was a gift given to them on Christmas morning, and to celebrate her life and give back, they started the Gifts From Jada Foundation, which came from a place of grief and gratitude, to provide grief support, relief, and resources for children, teens, adults, and families following the death of a loved one.
Each year the nonprofit distributes Christmas gifts to local hospitals, homeless shelters, group homes and orphanages. They even have donation drop boxes stationed in select businesses to collect new and unwrapped toys. This year they hosted free back-to-school haircuts for kids, and helped assemble backpacks for children who lost a parent or guardian.
Beginning on January 10 at the Northwest Regional Library in Coral Springs, Gifts from Jada is launching the new support group for individuals, children, and families who have lost a loved one.
“Nothing takes the pain away after your loved one has died, but you don’t have to grieve alone,” said Reynolds. “There’s a need for people who hurt apart to heal together and it will be good for the residents who need it most.”
Called the Grief Relief Support Network (GRSN), this five week program which meets each week from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. helps others learn about the five stages of grief, how to cope using a variety of techniques including art therapy, meditation, exercise, and more. It is a safe place to bring fears, anxieties, sadness, and joy.
Because grief is unique to each individual, the length of participation is determined by the participants. Participants may join at any time during the year, however, all persons attending GRSN must be registered, and there is small cost for participating so find out more about Gifts from Jada and register on their website.
The Northwest Regional Library Multipurpose Room is located at 3151 N University Dr Coral Springs FL 33065.