Hospice party gives keiki reasons to smile

Hospice of Hilo recently hosted its annual youth bereavement program holiday party, open to any child that had suffered the loss of a loved one in 2016.

Hospice of Hilo recently hosted its annual youth bereavement program holiday party, open to any child that had suffered the loss of a loved one in 2016.

Activities included creating gingerbread people, crafts and horse-drawn carriage rides courtesy of South Hilo Rotarian John Fitzgerald. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus made an appearance, happily handing out presents donated by staff members to all participants.

“The staff look forward to this event every year,” said Fujio Sato, the organization’s children’s bereavement counselor. “Some children believe they should not have ‘happy time’ because their family members are not with them.

“I believe all children should be and can be happy during the holiday season.”

Hospice of Hilo offers its grief and bereavement support services to the community free of charge. The program is made possible with the support of donations from individuals and businesses.

For more information about Hospice of Hilo or its grief and bereavement services, call 969-1733.