Community rallies together in time of grief
January 16, 2019
I find myself struggling for words this week. It is difficult to process the collective anguish around the tragic events that have rocked the Carson Valley over the past several days. However, I feel both grateful and blessed to live in a community that faithfully bands together to support one another in times of distress and where we have resources available to help move through the differing stages of grief and loss.
One such resource is The Center for Hope and Healing (CHH), a safe space that offers free services to assist those mourning the death of a friend or loved one. From 6-7 p.m. on the second Wednesday and fourth Thursday of each month, CHH hosts three grief support groups simultaneously; one for children ages 4-12, another for teenagers ages 13-17, and an adult group for those 18 and older. Participants are asked to fill out a brief intake form prior to attending the support group. Forms are available online at douglascenterforhopeandhealing.org or in person at the CHH office, 1528 Hwy 395, Suite 215 in Gardnerville. You can also call CHH at 775-450-0329 to request that a form be mailed directly to your address.
CHH also offers home visits; distributes grief backpacks that include journals, pertinent information specific to each person's loss, self-care items, and a photo album to hold precious photos of their loved one; and maintains a helpful library of resources, many of which can also be found on their website. Additionally, CHH representatives are available to speak to local businesses and groups and at community events regarding strategies on how to cope with devastating loss.
Grief counselor and co-founder of CHH Jodi Wass said, "My heart aches over what is happening right now. These multiple losses in our community are overwhelming and this can oftentimes create issues for people by triggering grief around prior losses. Feelings from the past can be brought to the surface, almost like going through the experience of loss and death all over again. Anxiety and depression are heightened when things like this occur."
Through their varied resources, CHH aims to provide those dealing with grief "many opportunities for sharing and self expression in healthy, positive ways."
Wass said, "We reach out and we wrap each other in loving support through the services offered at the Center, all of which are free to members of our community. It is important that people know they are not alone in their grief."
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CHH is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and accomplishes its mission through grants, fundraisers, and donations. For information, call or stop by their office or log on to their website at douglascenterforhopeandhealing.org.
Be safe and aware
In response to the recent homicides in the Gardnerville Ranchos, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, and to contact the Sheriff's Office immediately if they feel unsafe or if any suspicious or unusual activity is detected.
The DCSO has established a tips and information hotline to assist in the reporting of non-emergency information related their ongoing investigation. That number is 775-783-6030 and is in operation from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday until further notice. Tips may also be reported via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report a tip after hours or on weekends, utilize the Douglas County Secret Witness hotline at 775-78-CRIME (775-782-7463). The number for Douglas County Communications Dispatch is 775-782-5126. Always dial 911 for emergencies.
The DCSO advises residents to keep doors and windows locked and any alarm systems activated. It is recommended that outside lights be kept on continuously after dark and that neighbors communicate with and check in on each other periodically.
The National Neighborhood Watch program (nnw.org) offers additional tips regarding safety and crime prevention:
Install secondary locks (deadbolts, pins, dowels) on all doors and windows.
Don't hide spare keys under doormats, in mailboxes, or in planters.
Keep doors and windows free from overgrown foliage. Trim trees and shrubbery around entry points to your home.
Lock vehicles parked in the driveway.
Use caution when strangers approach your door; ask for identification from sales and delivery persons.
Thank you to the DCSO, first responders, and other community partners who continually exhibit calm professionalism, diligence, and compassion in the face of emergencies and who work steadfastly to ensure our community stays safe and informed.
Friends of the Library membership meeting
The Friends of the Douglas County Public Library hold their annual membership meeting and reception at the Minden branch, 1625 Library Lane, on Saturday, January 26 starting at 11 a.m. The public is invited to learn more about the Friends of the DCPL and the many ways they support our local library branches. Light refreshments will be served.
The DCPL in Minden will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21. The Minden library's regular hours resume on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 10 a.m.