DENVER — For those who are coping with the loss of a parent, it can be difficult to get through Mother's Day.
One group is helping provide support to children who share this painful bond and remind them that they’re not alone.
EmpowerHer is an international nonprofit with a mission to empower, support and connect children and young adults who have experienced the loss of a parent. The group provides in-person events that remind participants they are not alone in grief, in addition to one-on-one mentoring with positive role models to show children that loss is survivable.
"Some years are easier than others and other years are just harder," Carol Porter, who lost her mother to brain cancer when she was 7 years old, said.
She's not the only one.
"I was 6 years old. I really didn't know anybody who had had the same parent loss," Mackenzie Magner said. "Growing up, it was, it felt lonely at times, it was uncomfortable to talk about."
That shared experience inspired Porter and Magner to become mentors with the program.
EmpowerHer programs are community-based, volunteer-driven and free to families.
This year, EmpowerHER hosted it's second 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, luminaria bags in memory of lost loved ones. Each luminaria bag is purchased by donors from around the globe for a suggested $25 donation. 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.
Porter and Magner said being able to provide support to young girls who share their painful bond means the world.
"It's kind of a comforting feeling that I normally wouldn't have had in the past on Mother's Day," Magner said.
"I'm a mother now. I have a 5-year-old son. For me, it's just really special to be able to build those relationships with kids and help them know that loss is survivable," Carol said.
If you'd like to donate to the program,click here.
You can also text "empower29" to 243725 to make a donation.