Valerie’s House hires national leader in grief movement
Former CEO of National Alliance of Grieving Children assists growing program
FORT MYERS, Fla.–-Valerie’s House, Inc., a Southwest Florida nonprofit helping grieving children work through the loss of a loved one together, has retained former National Alliance of Grieving Children CEO Andy McNiel as chief consultant to work hands-on with the organization. A pioneer in the children’s grief movement, McNiel will work with Valerie’s House to develop and enhance its grief programs, provide ongoing training and support to staff and volunteers, and expand the program’s reach in the community.
“McNiel brings more than two decades of building and running grief centers around the country and his perspective and experience will significantly impact Valerie’s House and the Southwest Florida community,” said Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. “We are fortunate to have his expertise and passion for children’s grief as Valerie’s House grows to help the thousands of children in our community struggling with the death of their parent or sibling.”
McNiel served as founding Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, the nation’s leading organization in the development of children’s grief programs, from 2011 to 2017. In addition, he is the former CEO of The Amelia Center Children’s Grief Center of Alabama, and is a nationally recognized presenter and trainer on facilitating childhood bereavement support, adult bereavement issues, and group facilitation. McNiel is co-author of the book, “Understanding and Supporting Bereaved Children.”
McNiel began consulting with Valerie’s House January 2 and will be commuting from his Stuart, Florida home twice a week to work onsite at the new Valerie’s House Fort Myers location at 1762 Fowler Street.
Valerie’s House is currently serving 140 children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota counties at its Fort Myers and Naples locations. The organization’s vision is that no child will grieve alone. If you know a child struggling with grief, please contact Program Director Danielle Visone at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.valerieshouseswfl.org. Valerie’s House is a United Way Partner Agency and is fully supported through generous donations from the community.