Posted by Klaus Hachfeld on Jul 30, 2020

Children who have lost a parent, sibling or grandparent can be traumatized for many years despite loving attention from relatives, teachers and friends. The Rotary Club of Sturbridge has worked the last two years with Comfort Zone Camp (CZC), a 20-year-old, non-profit bereavement organization led largely by parents who have lived through this experience.

CZC organizes person-to-person and virtual camps free to the children, where professional counselors provide life-changing improvements for the kids and guidance for their parents. Recently, Sturbridge club program speakers Sherri Pelski and Anne-Marie Worthy, representing CZC, were linked via Zoom, and attendance was made available to all Rotarians in District 7910.

We discussed the potential for Rotarians to get directly involved as program volunteers at a camp, and for clubs to consider supporting CZC in a similar way to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Rotarians can also help find children who would benefit - for example by speaking with school counselors, nurses, etc. and then considering whether to financially support one or more children for a one-time camp visit.   

The Sturbridge club is willing to coordinate District 7910 actions and provide further information. We know that in 20 years 21,000 children have attended CZC camps in multiple states: 698 in Massachusetts, of which 151 were from towns with Rotary clubs in District 7910!  That was before COVID-19, so the need continues and could grow.  

Clearly, this is a sensitive issue, so privacy needs to be respected. But know that we will not be the first to succeed in making the magic happen for kids and parents. So, this is a call to please consider joining this effort. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Rotary Club of Sturbridge Rotary continues supporting for traumatized children. You, too, can help!

Rotarian Outreach

Rotarian Volunteering

Rotarian Sponsorship

For more information, contact Sturbridge Rotarian Klaus Hachfeld at, Sturbridge resident Sherri Pelski at, or CZC Director of Development Anne-Marie Worthy at


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