The WARM Place celebrates 30 years

When Peggy Bohme and Dr. John Richardson started The WARM Place in 1989, no such program of its kind existed in Texas.

To honor of 30 years of hope and healing, The WARM Place will be hosting several celebrations including a backyard Birthday Bash on Aug. 24 and A Cool Night on Oct. 5, the organization said in a news release.

The mission of The WARM Place is to provide grief support for children ages 3 ½-18 and their families as well as young adults 19-25 who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Bohme and Richardson saw the need for grieving children to have a place to express themselves in the wake of a death after Bohme’s 14-year-old son died in 1984 from bone cancer, the release said.

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The organization draws its name from the words of Bohme’s daughter: “What about me?” That inspired the acronym “WARM,” standing for “What About Remembering Me?”

Since its inception, The WARM Place has expanded its services and helped over 38,000 children and their families through peer support grief groups. Presently, the agency is seeing record-high enrollment numbers.

The celebration of three decades is bitter sweet in the absence of co-founder Richardson, who died this year.

“His leadership was instrumental in the development of the agency, and his legacy will continue to provide guidance moving into to the next 30 years,” the organization said in the news release.

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“My hope for the next 30 years is that we are able to continue healing even more grieving hearts in our community and to truly make an impact in the lives of children,” Bohme said.

Since becoming the first children’s grief support center in Texas and the sixth in the nation, The WARM Place continues to be a leader and expert in children’s bereavement.

Services include ongoing bi-weekly peer support groups led by trained volunteers for children ages K-12th grade, Pre-K support groups held in the spring and fall, and a Young Adults group offered for eight weeks during the winter, fall, and summer.

In addition, The WARM Place provides unique opportunities for grieving families to experience community such as Family Nights and Camp Remember Me.

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The organization said there is never a fee for services, no geographical limitations on service area, and no time limits. Families are welcome to participate as long as they feel they are benefiting from the program.

The WARM Place is not a United Way partner or government supported and relies on private funding from donors and foundations, the news release said.