HOUSTON – The holiday season can be a difficult time for families coping with the loss of loved ones, as their absence can be felt even more strongly, perhaps around the dinner table.
"As a society, it's hard for us to talk about death," said Mary Beth Staine, the executive director of Bo’s Place. "We avoid it. And ... our mission is at Bo's Place is ... to help people be more comfortable with that conversation."
Bo’s Place is a nonprofit bereavement center that offers resources such as support groups, activities and events for Houston-area families.
During the holidays, group dinners at Bo’s Place become especially important, and a group of female volunteers from the Junior League of Houston puts its special touch on these gatherings.
"For our volunteers, sometimes coming here is the very best part of their week,” said Megan Ryan, a Junior League member who coordinates a team of women that volunteers at Bo’s Place.
The women help prepare and serve meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as coordinate after-dinner activities for the families at Bo’s Place.
"It's good to be there and support people, so that they know they're not alone, and brighten their day -- even if it's just for a meal,” Junior League volunteer Bobbi Ingram said.
Their effort at Bo’s Place is just one of 40 community projects that the Junior League supports.
Ryan, who has been a Junior League member for nearly a decade, knew she wanted to champion a project at Bo’s Place when she visited, and was impressed with the staff and volunteers' warmth and compassion.
"I look forward to it, and it really puts a lot in perspective about life,” Ryan said.
The women help prepare a Thanksgiving dinner at The Junior League’s kitchen, deliver the meal to Bo’s Place, and serve up warm dinners to families attending group sessions.
To learn more about Bo’s Place, visit its website.
For more information on The Junior League, click here.