How we support...

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The Dick and Jody Vilardo Foundation was introduced to Caring Matters, (formerly Hospice Caring, Inc.) in the spring of 2017. The 501(c)3 organization has been working for the past 28 years in Montgomery County Maryland "to provide caring, compassionate, practical and high-quality, non-medical support services, without charge, to Montgomery County adults and children facing a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one". As our foundation was created due to the loss of Dick and Jody, it is that much more important for us to support the families in our community who are facing the difficulties of illness and grief. The Vilardo Foundation supports the following Caring Matters services (click below to jump to learn about these services):
 

About Camp Erin...

About Camp Erin...

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Caring Matters created Camp Erin Montgomery County, MD in 2016 with support by The Eluna Network (formerly The Moyer Foundation). Camp Erin is the largest national bereavement program for youth grieving the death of someone close to them. This free, weekend‐long experience combines traditional, fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support. Led by grief professionals and trained volunteers, Camp Erin provides a unique opportunity for youth facing similar life circumstances to increase levels of hope, enhance self‐esteem, and learn they are not alone.
 
The Dick and Jody Vilardo foundation supported Camp Erin 2017 by providing almost $5,000 in funding for meals, art and crafts and a drum circle experience! In the past 4 years we have given over $40,000 to help make camp possible. Katy Vilardo has been lucky enough to volunteer each year and finds the experience to be life changing. We have been excited to bring Jody's love of gardening to Camp Erin, with Katy leading the families in a flower planting activity to celebrate our growth through grief. See Caring Matters pictures below and link on left for 2018 video) . We can't wait to help support Camp in May 2022!

About Good Grief Clubs...

About Good Grief Clubs...

 

A Good Grief Club is a 7- week school or community-based support group for students who are grieving.  Caring Matters partners with the Montgomery County School System (Maryland) to provide these groups to any Montgomery County elementary, middle school, or high school student who has experienced the death of a significant person in his/her life either recently, or years ago. These support groups are co-facilitated by a trained Caring Matters volunteer and a school counselor or partner organization representative, typically the school guidance counselor. Curriculum includes: 

  • Experiential Activities

  • Expressive Arts 

  • Guided Conversation

The Dick and Jody Vilardo Foundation has also allocated funding between Good Grief Clubs and Family Nights. Katy Vilardo is a certified Caring Matters Good Grief Club volunteer, having run several groups throughout Montgomery County Schools. At the 2018 Memorial Golf Tournament, our Friends of Jody came together to collect items volunteers use to facilitate Good Grief Clubs to include beanie babies, picture frames, Jenga blocks, and many other art supplies. 

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About Family Nights...

 

Having lost Dick and Jody on Mother's Day 2015, The Vilardo Foundation recognizes all too well how difficult Holiday's can be when grieving the loss of a loved one. These "special days" can be especially challenging for grieving children. Caring Matters Family Nights are a chance for families to come together, share a meal, and participate in art activities and conversations to help them plan for an upcoming holiday, while honoring the absence of their loved one.  The workshops help families:

• Express their grief and remember their loved one who died

• Honor their loved one while bringing their family closer together 

• Learn coping strategies for handling holidays and special days 

• Share dinner with other families who are also grieving

 

These Family Nights are facilitated by trained volunteers and recommended for families with children ages 5-18. Space is limited and registration is required.

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Has your family experienced a loss?  Click button below  to email Caring Matters and register for an upcoming Family Night: 

Caring Matters Upcoming Family Nights 2018/2019:

  • Pre-Winter Holidays December 6, 2018

  • Pre-Valentine’s Day February 7, 2019

  • Pre-Spring Holidays  April 4, 2019

  • Post Mother’s Day/Pre-Father’s Day, May 16, 2019