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Camp Good Grief drive-thru set for Thursday in Elkins

Submitted photo Mountain Hospice will host a drive-through Camp Good Grief in Elkins Thursday beginning at noon.

ELKINS — A free event in Elkins this week will give away 250 backpacks to kids, along with free t-shirts and a chance to meet a friendly bear.

Mountain Hospice will host a drive-through Camp Good Grief Thursday beginning at noon for kids of all ages who are struggling with the grief of being away from loved ones, friends and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is free and open to any child. It will take place in the parking lot by the Subway restaurant in Elkins, near the Mountain Hospice office.

“We gave away more than a hundred backpacks last month in a free drive-thru event in Belington,” Patty Delauder, bereavement and volunteer coordinator for Mountain Hospice, told The Inter-Mountain. “Thursday’s event in Elkins will run from noon to 6 p.m., or until the backpacks run out.”

Camp visitors are asked to remain in their vehicles while staff and volunteers distribute backpacks and t-shirts to the children.

“There’s all kinds of crafts and stuff in there but there’s also some snacks, too,” Jessica McHenry, the director of quality and compliance for Mountain Hospice, said previously about the backpacks. “We just wanted to give back to the community we serve.”

In addition to snacks and crafts, Mountain Hospice provides each family with resources related to grief and COVID-19.

“Grief is caused by the death of a loved one, possibly by losing a pet or because a child has been taken from their parents and placed into foster care,” Delauder said previously. “Grief may be caused from not being able to visit your friends and your family while COVID-19’s going on, not being able to go to school or not being able to do normal activities.”

“Usually it’s a day camp … we’re doing drive-through camp because we know that with COVID we can’t really hold a large camp,” she added. “We have been holding camps for over 15 years and normally it’s anywhere from 25 to 75 kids.”

There is no age range on the kids that are allowed to attend Camp Good Grief. Delauder said toddlers up to college students have participated in the past.

For more information on Camp Good Grief or for more information on Mountain Hospice, call 304-823-3922.

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