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EmpowerHer hosts Colorado LUMINARIA fundraiser to help children who have lost parents

EmpowerHer held their annual fundraiser in Denver to help girls who've lost their parents.
Posted at 10:27 PM, May 19, 2024

DENVER — A nonprofit is providing support for young girls who have lost a parent. EmpowerHer is an international nonprofit that pairs the children with mentors who have experienced a similar loss.

The group provides in-person events that remind the children and young adults that they are not alone in grief, in addition to one-on-one mentoring with positive role models to show children that loss is survivable.

"Going through my whole life, I didn't know who she was," said Kristin Regan, an EmpowerHer mentor who lost her mother at age three. "I didn't have that motherly unconditional love.”

Regan is a recent mentor, joining EmpowerHer in late 2022. For the past few months Regan has worked with a young girl named Monroe, who lost her mother when she was just four-years-old.

“It gives me a chance to heal someone else,which is healing in and of itself," said Regan.

EmpowerHer hosts Colorado LUMINARIA fundraiser to help children who have lost parents

EmpowerHer programs are community-based, volunteer-driven and free to families.

Saturday night, EmpowerHER hosted it's annual LUMINARIA event in Denver to raise money to make sure the programs continue being offered to families at no cost.

LUMINARIA is a display of personalized bags in memory of lost loved ones. Each bag is purchased by donors from around the globe and features the name of their lost loved one on the front. Hundreds of volunteers and donors come together to create each public display in cities across the country.

LUMINARIA raises operating funds and spreads awareness to families that will benefit from the programs.

"We're also trying to reach the boys and male mentors," said Alison Thomas, EmpowerHer's mentor program overseer.

Thomas joined EmpowerHer in 2020 and has seen the program expand. EmpowerHer is now in eight cities across the world, including London. The nonprofit serves around 30 girls in Colorado and more than 500 nationwide.

"There are kids that have parental loss across this country," said Thomas. "We need to find them and help them.”

Last year, the nonprofit's LUMINARIA raised around $15,000, this year their goal is $20,000.