Patsy Hill is a passionate advocate for children. For the past several years, her Kiwanis club has shared her fervor for helping children and teens in the most troubling circumstances of grieving a death or divorce within their families.
“Children suffering grief really do need someone who can walk alongside them and listen to them at a time when, maybe, they feel they have no one who they can confide in or talk to,” says Hill, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Takapuna, New Zealand “When children begin the program, they often are sad, withdrawn and even angry. It’s amazing how, in a relatively short space of time, the children grow in confidence and realize they are not the only ones in their position.”
Hill began her walk with children through Seasons North Shore soon after the program took root in the Auckland area in 2003. The agency supports children and teens experiencing the death of someone close to them or the separation or divorce of their parents.
“I have always been keen to work for and with children,” she says. “Shortly after hearing about Seasons North Shore, I was trained as one of the earliest companions and am still a companion.”
The child advocate shared stories of her work with her Kiwanis club, and her fellow Kiwanians decided they wanted to get involved too. The club’s support includes:
- Supporting the organization’s successful requests for grants totaling almost NZ$10,000 from the New Zealand-South Pacific District Foundations.
- Donating more than NZ$10,000 worth of books to program during its formative years.
- The work of two other members—Barrie Collette and Patsy’s husband, Mike. — Dick Isenhour