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March 22, 2018
Giving Back: A Haven – Liz Dreibelbis & Michelle Noble
Michelle Noble, Executive Director and Liz Dreibelbis, Clinical Director founded A Haven after being introduced by a mutual friend in 2015, who knew they both worked with grieving children.
“When we met, it was just like we both ‘got it,’” says Michelle. That meeting led to friendship, and eventually to becoming non-profit entrepreneurs. Their venture is A Haven, a resource center to help children grieve a death through a family-centered approach.
The number one determining factor for how a child grieves is how the adults in their life grieve, so A Haven uses a holistic approach, involving the entire family. “We found there wasn’t a resource like this anywhere in Chester County,” says Liz.
"We create a supportive space."
“We create a supportive space, where children and families can learn how to cope with what they’re feeling,” says Michelle. “Depending on their age, the needs of children and teens differ. Younger children may lack the ability to identify and express feelings and teens tend to look to peers for support.”
In addition to working with families dealing with loss, A Haven also offers support for those who work with children, training more than 150 teachers, social workers, nurses, clergy and others on how to talk to children about death and dying.
It’s emotionally tough work, and can take its toll. “We work with our families on making time for self-care,” says Liz. “But sometimes we need to be better at taking our own advice.” Michelle and Liz are both full of warmth and laughter, and look to each other, their faith, and calming rituals to keep pressing ahead. Check out ahaven.org to learn more.