Health & Exercise

$1M to Strengthen Local Youth Programs

Erin’s House for Grieving Children has received a grant of $1,000,000 (one-million dollars) from Lilly Endowment Inc. This three-year grant will help the organization to significantly expand programs and services while providing even more support to young people living with grief in Northeast Indiana.

The program is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana. The aim of the competitive initiative is to help youth-serving organizations working throughout Indiana improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical, and social well-being of young people, ages five through 18.

Erin’s House for Grieving Children is Northeast Indiana’s only youth grief center and the state of Indiana’s only “stand-alone” youth grief center. This grant will support the expansion of the Identity Outreach Program and the Classroom Companions Program within the Community Outreach efforts. This grant will also provide professional development training opportunities for Erin’s House staff.

“It is exciting to receive such a generous grant to support grieving children and teens in Northeast Indiana. This significant contribution will undoubtedly make a substantial difference in the lives of grieving children and families, as well as Erin’s House. This will ensure that Erin’s House has the resources and support for families, during this challenging time. The impact of this Lilly Endowment grant will be felt for years to come, and it is a testament to the importance of the work being done for grieving children and their families, ” said Debbie Meyer, Executive Director of Erin’s House for Grieving Children.

Erin’s House for Grieving Children is one of 187 organizations receiving grants through Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,” said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

Lilly Endowment launched Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana Initiative in 2022 with an invitational round of grants to nine national youth-serving organizations to help them expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters.

At Erin’s House, we know that grief can cause children and teens to feel isolated and different from their peers. We provide them with a safe space that promotes a sense of belonging and encourages healing.

For 30 years, Erin’s House for Grieving Children has delivered programs to help support grieving youth in the regional community. To date, the organization has served more than 30,000 individuals throughout northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. All Erin’s House services are offered at no cost to families. With an estimated 34,000 children expected to go through the death of someone significant in their life before the age of 25, there will always be an ongoing need in our community for the programs provided at Erin’s House. Together, we can build hope and heal hearts. Learn more at

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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