Introducing Project Hope Bear

Having worked with hundreds of children whose young lives have been touched by violence and/or lost a loved one – and drawing on the painful memories of her own experience with Childhood Domestic Violence as well as the loss of her two beloved sisters later in life – Dr. Linda Olson has begun laying the groundwork for a community dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these vulnerable boys and girls.

Through a crowdfunding campaign to be launched later this month, Dr. Olson’s goal is to create a community that will come together to bring the “Project Hope Bear” to children throughout the US.

This community will collectively:

  • Provide comfort to children who have lost a loved one to violence or witnessed violence
  • Raise awareness about the widespread threat of Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) to children in the US and throughout the world
  • Provide a free “Project Hope Bear” to all children who have lost a loved one to violence or have witnessed violence, to help with the grieving process and reduce loneliness and isolation.

  • Take action to let these children know that we, too, grieve the loss of their parent or loved one, letting these boys and girls know that they are not alone.

  • Help children and families communicate their feelings around trauma, grief and loss.

“I’m so excited about the ‘Project Hope Bear’ community,” Dr. Olson says, “because I know, with absolute certainty, that this will make a difference in the lives of so many children!”

For Dr. Linda Olson, it has been a long – and often painful – journey, but her excitement and optimism as she prepares to launch the “Project Hope Bear” is inescapable. “For a little girl, who grew up never knowing what to do, or how to make a difference, finding that I can help others rise above the pain and suffering that they’ve experienced due to CDV is an amazing feeling! This has been transformative for me. I’m so excited! I now know the answers, and I know what’s going to help people. I really feel like I’m being led to do this work! I’m healing myself and I’m healing others!”

In closing, she quotes the religious philosopher and writer Richard Rohr, who once said, “If we don’t transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it onto others.” Dr. Olson concludes, “I’m determined that I am not going to repeat it. I am going to do whatever it takes to break this cycle in my family – and in our culture.”

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