Not My Child QAC donates to Compass grief retreat

Not My Child QAC 2.0 has donated $2,500 to Camp New Dawn, a grief retreat hosted by Compass. From left are: Kenda Leager, development officer of Compass; Morgan Reno, Not My Child QAC 2.0; Rhonda Knotts, director of Camp New Dawn; Heather Guerieri, CEO of Compass; Laura Pell, Not My Child QAC 2.0; and Tony Reno, founder of Not My Child QAC 2.0.

CENTREVILLE — Not My Child QAC 2.0 has made a $2,500 donation to Camp New Dawn, a grief retreat hosted by Compass for children, teens and families who are struggling with the loss of a loved one.

At Camp New Dawn, campers learn healthy coping skills that will benefit them throughout their lives, a news release states. They engage in group discussions and activities with other kids who have experienced loss, and interact with professional grief counselors who help them learn about and express grief in a safe, natural environment.

Camp New Dawn is open to anyone ages 3 to 18 who is learning to navigate their grief, including those who have lost a loved one to substance abuse.

Since losing his son to addiction in May 2017, Not My Child QAC 2.0 founder Tony Reno has spoken out about the dangers and realities of the opioid epidemic, provided support to those recovering from addiction and given assistance to families who have lost a loved one.

The Not My Child QAC 2.0 donation will help pay the costs of Camp New Dawn supplies and registration fees for future families dealing with the grief associated with losing a loved one to an overdose.

Grief following a drug overdose is often very complicated and can be different from other forms of grieving.

An untimely and traumatic death can cause intense emotional reactions in loved ones, including guilt, shame/stigma, anger, anxiety and fear, and isolation.

For that reason, Compass also offers a Recovering After a Substance Passing (RASP) support group for adults. This program is designed to be engaging and welcoming to those who are suffering the loss of a loved one due to an overdose death.

Grief Support Supervisor Rhonda Knotts said the group includes fellowship, guided conversation or activities, and the occasional guest speaker.

To learn more about Camp New Dawn or the RASP grief support group, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregional hospice.org.

If you would like to support Not My Child QAC 2.0, the organization will be hosting the Carson Freedman Crab Feast and Cornhole Tournament on Aug. 21 at the Kent Island firehouse. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

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