All throughout Michigan and especially in Greater Lansing, you can see the sense of community created by the people within it, from simple acts of kindness to providing support during the toughest economic or socially-charged times. This is especially true through gift-giving to causes that help those who need it most. That need for community is easily found at Ele’s Place, a grieving center for families.
Ele’s Place has only been able to accomplish their mission to help children and teens with the help of volunteers and donors who make their no-charge services possible. But donors and volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, including in the form of local companies. That’s why the far-reaching efforts of Jackson, the marketing arm of the Jackson National Life Insurance Company, has raised approximately $2,145,000 over years of support to aid families through the grieving center.
According to James R. Sopha, Jackson’s president, supporting area children in Lansing is exactly the kind of engagement Jackson strives to achieve, demonstrating how to meet the needs of others in sustainable ways. Because of the natural prevalence of something like grief, it only makes sense that Jackson, throughout the years, has been able to recognize that consistency is key.
“Jackson has called mid-Michigan home for nearly 60 years, and we are committed to investing in charitable initiatives that support strong families and increase economic opportunities for our associates and neighbors,” said Sopha. “Ele’s Place plays a critical role in our community by helping children and families heal after the loss of a loved one. The impact of Ele’s Place extends beyond grief support to strengthen our entire community as youth and families recover and rebuild their lives. Over the last 10 years, our associates have shown us how much they care about Ele’s Place with their own generous contributions, and Jackson is proud to multiply those efforts with corporate donations and sponsorships.”
Jackson’s long-standing support is equivalent to directly assisting nearly 4,300 children in Lansing. They recognize the significance in uplifting the wellness of community members, especially the youth, by supporting Ele’s Place’s mission to be a place of healing and progression for families enduring the death of someone close to them.
Typically, it costs Ele’s Place $500 per child, per year to help families that need additional support in the grieving process. Because of the ability to see a need and be supported to that end, Ele’s Place can continue providing completely free services to families — thanks to the efforts of community residents, as well as organizations like Jackson.
“Ele’s Place’s programming and services come at no cost to children and teens, and the types of commitment like Jackson’s is what helps to make that possible,” said Kate Powers, managing director at Ele’s Place Lansing. “We thank them for their amazing diligence and consistency in aiding the perpetual effort to give children hope, not just within the holiday season but 24/7, year-round.”
Ele’s Place helps children, teenagers and young adults find a path to emotional peace and understanding in the face of the death of a loved one or terminal illness. Whether a parent, sibling, other family member or even a friend, children and teens often have additional difficulty after a person close to them has died. They also may feel as though sharing their feelings are a burden.
Unfortunately, death is a part of life, which means Ele’s Place is always fulfilling a need that touches the lives of everyone. Why? Because everyone has grieved before and knows what it’s like to lose someone meaningful. That’s why, for 26 years, Ele’s Place has been devoted to easing the grieving process of children, teens and families throughout Michigan communities. For more information about Ele’s Place or resources on childhood grief, visit elesplace.org.