How a Game of Golf Can Change the Lives of Grieving Men in Our Community.
“Iron sharpens iron,” is an expression widely used. In the context of grief support agency, Fox Valley Hands of Hope (FVHH), Ken Schneider uses the phrase to describe the grief coping process with men. Ken is a 15 year volunteer with the non-profit, mental health organization, located in Geneva. This year also marks the 15th anniversary of FVHH’s M.A.L.E.S. group, which has helped men in our communities who are suffering from grief. The acronym stands for “Men After Loss Expressing themselves Safely.” Ken developed the program a few years after the loss of his wife in 2003. Once he received support from FVHH he knew that he could help other men who were going through similar experiences. “There weren’t any places around for men to openly express themselves in a safe space and learn from each other. Men are not conditioned to feel like they can cry or discuss their emotions without judgement,” so Ken determined to create that safe space. The group, held on a monthly basis, is open to any man who walks through the door. The participants learn about the grief process; their feelings heard and validated. “True strength is about asking for help and not being unemotional. It is my job to help them understand that they will smile again, they will laugh again, and they will dance again, but they will never forget and it’s okay have to those moments of sorrow.” The M.A.L.E.S. group participants know that Ken and FVHH are always available if they need help during difficult moments of grief.
Programs like this are made possible by support from the community. FVHH provides the M.A.L.E.S. group and all other programs at no cost to the community, so that grieving people do not have to worry about payment amongst all of the other things they are going through. This year, on August 8, Fox Valley Hands of Hope is hosting a Golf Classic fundraiser to ensure they can continue to change lives through compassionate, heartfelt support. Tickets are currently available and can be found at https://one.bidpal.net/fvhhgolf22/welcome. “I volunteer for Fox Valley Hands of Hope because I know if I went through what I did, felt the things I did and received the help I did (at FVHH), someone else probably feels the same. I want to now be the one to help teach them that it is important to let themselves be human,” Ken said. Participation at FVHH’s annual golf event means that you could also play a part in making a difference in the life of someone grieving. If there are any questions regarding the event email Director of Development, Noe Janus at firstname.lastname@example.org