Stepping Stones of Hope, Phoenix, serves Valleywide
Amanda Weaver, Nominator
Ready to smash the head of lettuce to smithereens, the eight year old stepped to the plate. Dr Charles Finch (Chip to his friends) made the pitch and the lettuce went flying, taking some of the boy’s sorrow and anger right along with it. The game is called Fruit Ball, and it’s a type of softball that offers children a chance to release feelings in a safe environment.
It’s just one of the many activities at Camp Paz, the Stepping Stones of Hope camp for children who have experienced a death in their life.
Early in his career, Chip realized there was nothing available in Phoenix as ongoing grief support for kids. He started Camp Paz as a two weekend a year program and over the years the program has expanded into Stepping Stones of Hope a non-profit organization offering weekend camps, day camps, summer family camp and ongoing six week support groups.
“I see these kids come to camp shy, scared and holding back, then leave at the end of the weekend with a sense of fulfillment and a healthier self esteem because they know they are not alone and it’s OK to feel the way they do when someone in their life has died.”