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House of Hope of Central Illinois offers an oasis for grieving families | Community

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (WAND) – A parent who has endured an unimaginable loss is hoping to bring comfort to other grieving families.

House of Hope in Central Illinois was started by two couples who lost babies months apart.

“We’ve just been thrilled to raise our kids together as friends and watch them grow up together and get into all kinds of trouble together,” said Monica Wamsley, co-founder and board member of Hope House of Central Illinois.

After the loss, the husband and wife decided to go on a trip where they were able to adjust to life without children and with grief. They wanted to provide the same service to other families struggling with the death of a child.

“Vwhen it comes to your children’s grief, there’s something completely different about it, said Michael St. Louis, co-founder and board member of Hope House of Central Illinois. “I don’t know if it’s because you, as a parent, understand that through love, it’s your duty to guide and protect your children with everything you have, and there are times when everything you have is still not enough.”

The House of Hope has enough space for about 10 people. This will allow families of all sizes to stay together during times of grief.

Every family that comes to House of Hope goes through an intake process where they can indicate what support they need. Volunteers will help in the house while guests are there and help restore the building between stays.

“Our program will involve more day-to-day learning about how to cope with your new skills and how to interact with your family and community and just normal activities,” Wamsley said.

So far, organizations in Taylorville have donated about $300,000 to help partially build the home. The group now hopes to expand to other areas to gain more support.

“We’re looking to partner with people from Champaign, people from Decatur, Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, Pa.,” St. Louis said. “Within a 100-mile radius of Taylorville, 600 children die every year, and that’s 600 grieving families.”

House of Hope of Central Illinois still needs about $300,000 to finish construction. To donate or for more information, click here.

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