COPE Foundation
P.O. Box 1251, Melville, NY  11747
Phone: 516-484-4993
fax: 516-484-4885
COPEline: 516-364-COPE

FOR RELEASE: 6/1/14
Contact: Karen E. Flyer
Telephone: (516) 484-4993
Fax: (516) 484-4885Email: karen@copefoundation.org

COPE FOUNDATION OPENS HEALING CENTER AT EISENHOWER PARK TO SUPPORT FAMILIES WHO HAVE LOST A CHILD

LONG ISLAND, NY, June 1, 2014 – COPE Foundation (Connecting Our Paths Eternally) opened a healing center in Eisenhower Park, in East Meadow, New York, on May 1, 2014 in order to better serve the needs of local Long Island families living with the loss of a child.  COPE now occupies the Lannin Carriage House, at Field 6A, adjacent to the Park’s administrative offices and the Rose Garden.  The approximately 1,000 square-foot Tudor cottage will be the home of many of COPE’s parent and sibling bereavement support groups, as well as the foundation’s alternative healing workshops.

Up until now, COPE had been sharing county space with the National Association of Mother’s Centers and the Women’s Fund of Long Island at the Elias Hicks Home in Jericho, NY.  The foundation also utilizes donated space across Long Island in Jericho, Syosset, Dix Hills, Merrick and Ronkonkama to hold its support groups and meetings, and will continue to do so in order to serve families across Long Island.  (Parent and sibling support groups are also held in Manhattan).  The new COPE House is centrally located on the Island and avails the COPE Foundation of park facilities for future COPE events. The Lannin Carriage House has a downstairs meeting space where COPE will be able to accommodate even more families than its previous location. In a cozy upstairs loft, COPE will be able to offer many of its alternative healing workshops such as art and music therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki, meditation and drumming for COPE families as well as others in the community who have lost a child.

“This has literally been a long-term dream of mine,” says COPE President and Founder Lilly Julien.  “Shortly after my daughter Michelle’s sudden passing in 1992, I had a dream in which Michelle appeared before me and said, ‘I’m OK, Mommy.  You’re the ones who aren’t OK.’ And I awoke with a vision of a healing center—a warm, safe, tranquil and nurturing place where parents and siblings could come together for emotional and spiritual support.  Now, 22 years later, we finally have our home.”

“The county has been so generous to us,” says COPE Executive Director Karen Flyer.  “As soon as this space became available, they called us immediately, and then worked tirelessly to make the space a warm and tranquil home for us as soon as we were ready to move in.  Clearly, the county, under the leadership of Ed Mangano, is serious about supporting families in need and recognizes that there are so many more families out there in our local communities who need our help.”

It has long been said that the most difficult situation for a family to deal with is the death of a child. Although causes are varied – birth defect, sickness, accident, suicide, drugs and/or alcohol overdose, abuse, malnutrition, neglect, murder – the result is the same. It is estimated that 20% of all parents in the United States have lost a child. Tragic deaths of young people on Long Island continue to make headlines. Just this past month, five teenagers in Farmingdale, New York were killed in a tragic automobile crash, an event that, unfortunately, has become all too familiar. The NYS Department of Health, which depicts mortality rates by counties and age levels, estimates that, on average, three young lives (birth – 44 years of age) are lost on Long Island every day, severely affecting these families and all of their friends, neighbors and co-workers Since parents and siblings never get over this kind of loss, the cumulative effect is astounding. These frequent occurrences lead to a startling conclusion—with the volume of child deaths and the subsequent impact on loved ones, bereavement counseling, support services and therapeutic programs, such as those provided by COPE in a caring and nonjudgmental environment, are becoming increasingly more critical.

COPE, a not-for-profit foundation, 501(c)(3), is dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child. Since 1999, COPE has served the needs of approximately 700 families on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) by providing emotional, therapeutic and spiritual programs (at no cost to participants). These include parent and sibling support group meetings, individual one-on-one support, alternative healing therapy workshops, and a variety of special programs for local school districts, clergy and mental health professionals. COPE also operates COPE-Camp Erin® New York City, a free weekend bereavement camp for children ages 6-17 dealing with a major loss.  In addition to assisting local families, COPE’s grief hotline (COPELine) and website have enabled us to also provide grieving individuals outside of Long Island with immediate support and resources and referrals.

COPE was recently awarded the Roger E. Joseph prize by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The prize was presented to Lilly Julien and COPE—as an inspiring example of an institution governed by conscience and compassion—And to COPE-Camp Erin® NYC for the lifeline the camp provides to children who have experienced a tragic loss. Previous recipients include Victor Kugler (who sheltered Anne Frank and her family), Rosa Parks and Daniel Pearl, in memoriam.  COPE-Camp Erin® NYC will be hosting an open house for the community to learn more about COPE-Camp Erin® NYC at the Lannin Carriage House on Thursday, June 5th from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  COPE also recently received a grant from the Long Island Community Foundation to host a monthly series of healing workshops for bereaved parents, “Healing from the Inside Out,” which will take place at the new COPE House at Eisenhower Park.

Anyone interested in donating to COPE or learning more about the organization can do so online at www.copefoundation.org.  For more information on COPE, please contact Karen Flyer, Executive Director, at 516-484-4993 or karen@copefoundation.org.

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