A fun and safe place for grieving children.


Volunteers: "You can and will make a difference"


For the past five years, Darlene and Ron Patishnock have been actively involved as volunteers for Comfort Zone at New Jersey and Massachusetts camps. Most recently the couple traveled to The Today Show plaza in New York City for Children’s Grief Awareness Day and held signs that were seen by millions on TV. They even had an interview on Sirius XM about Comfort Zone.


As 2014 draws to a close, Darlene and Ron shared why they give their time to volunteer at camps and events year after year.  


Why do you volunteer for Comfort Zone?


I saw the difference in a friend (we previously bonded over similar losses in our families) once she came back from volunteering at camp. She was revitalized and insisted that I give it a try. I always felt grief was a journey, it changes over time, changes how you react to situations; it is always there. We can deal with it, but sometimes it rears its ugly head, and we can’t always control when or where it floods back into our reality.


Once I went to a volunteer training session and camp, and heard my words in so many others, I knew it was the place for me. I had to help, because I didn’t get that help when I needed it, and I felt I could make a difference. And I do make a difference. The Comfort Zone community of staff, volunteers, campers and camper families is nothing short of amazing and filled with the most caring, giving, selfless people you will ever meet. Comfort Zone Camp is my reality, and really how I feel the world the rest of the world should be.



Results. After the initial training, meeting other volunteers and staff, and being asked to help by my wife, I found a genuine bubble of reality and caring that I never thought or dreamed could exist. My wife said I would be good at this and I have to say it is good for me too.



What keeps you both coming back?

The volunteering experience gives as much back as it asks of us. The opportunity to make a difference to someone who is suffering loss fuels our humanitarian side, and we experience a direct and almost immediate reward.


For someone wondering if they should volunteer for Comfort Zone, what’s the No. 1 thing you would tell them?

You can and will make a difference by just being there to support these youngsters. And if you find yourself doing more than that, the rewards are exponential.


You can join Darlene and Ron as volunteers in 2015! Check out our calendar for upcoming training sessions in your area. 

New weekend for North Carolina camp

Comfort Zone Camp's presence in North Carolina is expanding in 2015! 


A volunteer training session will be held the evenings of March 24 and 26. The exact location will be revealed in early 2015, but you can register for the training session now! Click here to sign up. 


Camp weekend is coming May 1-3 to Camp Kanata in Wake Forest. Click here for more information. 


A second camp program will be held later in the year and will be added to the calendar in early 2015! 

2014 Grief Relief 5K Highlights

The annual Grief Relief 5Ks in Massachusetts (4th year) and New Jersey (5th) year were a huge success with an increase in registrations and donations! The events combined to raise more than $60,000 for Comfort Zone! 


This year's events were captured by attendees through Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #CZCWalk. Click here to check out photos from both areas. 


Here are some moments captured by staff in New Jersey, where runners and walkers braved a cool, damp day: 



The weather was a bit nicer in Massachusetts: 

Healing Circle Leader Council becomes Clinical Advisory Council

This fall, the Healing Circle Leader Council changed its name to the Clinical Advisory Council to further demonstrate the work that they do for Comfort Zone.


The council’s mission is to support and contribute to the goals of Comfort Zone, specifically related to the development of Comfort Zone’s therapeutic programming.


The council is lead by Karen Reilly-Jones of Virginia, serving as President; Kristen Stefureac of North Carolina, serving as Vice President; and Jen Roman of Massachusetts, serving as Secretary. 


Current Members are: Rebecca Feld (Virginia), Michele Arnone (California),  Sue Montgomery (Massachusetts), and Michael Kocet (Massachusetts).


If you have been a Healing Circles Leader and are interested in hearing more about the Council, please contact Abby Moncrief ([email protected]).

October 2014 California Updates

A huge thanks goes out to Bob & Donna Delonti and Robert & Talitha Critelli for hosting a fundraising event this month at the Critelli's home. The event featured a lively silent auction and Vella Pizza, a unique, outdoor culinary experience of artisanal wood-fired pizza. The event has raised more than $9,000 so far. 


Additional shout-outs and thank yous go to: 


- Volunteer John Kennedy for helping out at the LMU event!


- Everyone who joined us at the 4th Annual Family Reunion! Check out this great community:



- Thanks to the New York Life Agents who volunteered their time at the Family Reunion!


- Lastly, thank you to BJ’s for donating Root Beer Floats and gift cards to the event!


Upcoming events:

Join Comfort Zone’s Volunteer Council at Knott’s Scary Farm on October 24th!  For more information click here!


October 2014 North Carolina Updates

The annual Charity Golf Classic was a huge success this year raising funds for upcoming Comfort Zone programs in North Carolina. This year once again featured Tarheel great James Worthy as a guest speaker! Thanks to everyone who came out to a rainy event on Sept. 8 at Brier Creek Country Club!




The next North Carolina camp program is coming in May 2015. Watch the calendar this month for registration information and volunteer training sessions. 

October 2014 New Jersey Updates


THANK YOU to everyone who braved the rain on Saturday, Oct. 11 to run, walk, volunteer and support the 5th Annual Grief Relief 5K! This year's event raised more than $26,000 for Comfort Zone's programs. Click here to check out the community's tweets and photos on Instagram!


Additional shout-outs and thank yous go to:


- Volunteer Kelly Roskilly for putting on a jewelry fundraiser for Comfort Zone. Kelly was also able to get 3 porta-johns and trays of cookies donated for the 5K.


- The Diaz and Negrin family for donating much needed camp supplies.


- New York Life – Volunteers for Good for donating over 120 blankets to our campers for our September and October programs.


- Camper and volunteer Keith Latteri for getting us the news spot on News 4 to promote the 5K. Click here to check it out!


- Volunteer Bob Quinn for getting a gift card donated by KPMG to purchase snacks for the 5K.

October 2014 Virginia Updates

Join the party by the James River on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Comfort Zone's annual Fall Bash! Online ticket sales end at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. 


Shout-outs and thank yous in Virginia go out to: 

- Pure Barre Short Pump, who raised more than $3,600 for Comfort Zone with several events throughout September. 


- Runners and adventurists who braved the Wild Woodlake Mudder to benefit Comfort Zone!


- New members of the volunteer community! More than 60 people joined a volunteer training at VCU in September. Check them out: 



Check out Comfort Zone's Facebook page for more updates from Virginia and around the country!

October 2014 Massachusetts Updates

Don't forget that the 4th annual Grief Relief 5K is Saturday, Oct. 18. Sign up now for this awesome family-friendly community event!        


October shout-outs in Massachusetts go out to:

- Lee Gullens for her family foundation fundraiser! Click here to check out all the photos on Facebook. 


-  The anonymous donor for the Grief Relief 5K challenge match grant -- $5,000 for first-time runners/walkers and donors. (Did we mention to sign up now!)


- Camper Luke J. for giving Comfort Zone a $200 present for his birthday!



- And, lastly, Fox 25 for the segment about the Grief Relief 5K! Click here to check it out. 


Visit the Massachusetts Comfort Zone Facebook page for the latest updates! 

Camper Family Gives Back

For the third straight year the Virginia camper family Kelly, Alex and Haley held a blood drive and collected funds to give back to Comfort Zone in memory of their husband and father Ron!


Our thanks goes out to the family for dropping by the Richmond office earlier this summer to drop off the donations and show us their shirts and other materials to promote this fantastic event!



If you or your family is interested in creating a fundraiser to support Comfort Zone, visit our In the Zone page for more details. 


Family Fundraising from the Malloys

A huge thanks goes out to the Malloy family of Amenia, New York, who held their 5th Annual Hunter Pace and Trail Ride Event at Wethersfield Farm in memory of their son and brother Kevin Malloy. 


This year, the community event raised $14,500 for Comfort Zone! Check out some of the highlights from the event: 




Go Blue for Comfort Zone Camp

Children's Grief Awareness Day is coming Nov. 20 -- this is a day to wear blue and help make others aware about children's grief and Comfort Zone. 


To help you prepare for that day with blue attire, Comfort Zone is offering two new blue items. 


The first is the relaunch of a shirt campaign from earlier this year in a new color! You can purchase a short sleeve, long sleeve or sweatshirt with a design marking Comfort Zone's 15 years of providing programs to grieving children and teens. This design is similar to this year's camp pin. 


This new color shirt also has "Grieve. Heal. Grow." on the back with Comfort Zone's website. 


Click here to purchase the shirt from BonfireFunds.com. A portion of each item sold goes directly to Comfort Zone. 



The second item is a pre-order for Grieve. Heal. Grow. blue wristbands. These are available in 3 sizes and are available in quantities of 2, 5 or 25. Click here to make your purchase! 

Selfies for Good

On your mark, get set, take a selfie between 9 a.m. and noon ET Wednesday, Sept. 17! You could help Comfort Zone Camp win $1,000 as part of the Amazing Raise's Selfies for Good prize.


Here's how:
1. Print out this sign (also posted below).
2. Take a photo with you and the sign.
3. Post it to Instagram or Twitter. For Comfort Zone to be eligible for this prize, you MUST include a tag to Comfort Zone (@comfortzonecamp) AND use the hashtag #AmzgRz 


For example: Your tweet or Instagram post can say: "I'm supporting @comfortzonecamp during the #AmzgRz!"


Please note: If you do not have an Instagram or Twitter account, or your account settings are private, you can still participate! Simply follow rules #1 and #2 above, then email the photo to [email protected] by 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 17.



You can post more than once per account, but your images must contain a different people to be counted. The organization with the most selfies between 9 a.m. and noon ET Wednesday, Sept. 17 will receive $1,000 as part of The Community Foundation's Amazing Raise, a 36-hour fundraising event.


For additional information, visit www.theamazingraise.org


Full prize details:
September 17th, 9 am – 12 pm
Sponsored by The Spark Mill.
Awarded to the organization that receives the most “selfies for good” during this time. This will be measured by the number of original images posted to Instagram or Twitter. In the post, an individual or group must 1) fill in and display this sign sign, 2) tag the organization they support (example: @giverichmond) and 3) use the hashtag #AmzgRz. Each original image must contain a different person in order to be counted in your organization's total number of selfies.


Please note: Photos may be shared on the Comfort Zone website, emails and other social media accounts, as well as Community Foundation sites.

September 2014 New Jersey Updates

Here's a look at what's been happening lately in New Jersy!


Get Ready for the 5K!

Sign up for the 5th Annual Grief Relief Team and start raising funds and awareness for Comfort Zone! Register online by September 12 to receive an event T-shirt. 


Shout-outs Go To

  • Volunteers Joe M. and Rob P. for traveling to Missouri to support the National Fallen Firefighters program.
  • All the members of our community that joined us at the 2nd Annual Family Reunion! Click here to check out photos on Facebook.
  • Campers and camper families that came to the New York Yankees game donated by French’s Mustard in July (photo below).



September 2014 Massachusetts Updates

Here are a few things happening in Massachusetts!


Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who helped with a successful one-day camp in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital in July!



Walk. Run. Change a Life.

The 4th annual Grief Relief 5K is coming Saturday, Oct. 18. Sign up here. Once you've joined, invite your friends and family to join your team and help raise funds and awareness for Comfort Zone. 


A shout-out goes to Mary Barber for helping with coordinating this year's event!


Shout-outs Go To ...

  • Tia Christopher for setting up the dinner get-together at UNO’s restaurant in July at the Woburn Mall UNO’s. This led to a donation from UNO's of  $692.81. It was the innovative brilliance of Tia Christopher, who thought to have her employer order in lunch. Every department jumped onto the idea!
  • Lily Daigle and Kirstie MacEwen for their internships this summer. They were a tremendous help, truly fantastic helping out in the office, getting ready for camp, at camp, and at the volunteer trainings!
  • Jamie Holber, Cameron Kubera (camper/volunteer) and Alexis Csicek (camper/volunteer) for all of their help in the office during the summer. They are high school students who volunteered!
  • Camper Tina Caruso who did her own supplies drive! 

September 2014 California Updates

Here's a look at what's been happening in California!


Thank you!

Franklin and Kim (below) on the California Volunteer Council represented Comfort Zone at the Toberman Back 2 School Fest in early August.



Welcome New Staff

Welcome Billie Dawn Greenblatt at Program Coordinator and Lauren Hogan as Intake Coordinator!


Get Back in the Bubble

Join the 4th Annual Family Reunion in Torrance, CA on Saturday, September 27!  While this is a free event, please RSVP by clicking HERE.


Spread the word to your family and friends about the next volunteer training session on Saturday, Oct. 4. Sign up here. Be sure to update your volunteer availability for the Oct. 17 camp weekend. 

Make an investment

Pop Quiz: How much does it cost to fully serve a child at Comfort Zone Camp?


A. $500


B. $1200


C. $4500


The answer? It costs $1,200 to fully serve a child at Comfort Zone Camp. At this point, you might be scratching your head and thinking to yourself, “But, I thought it only cost $500 to send a child to camp!” Well, that’s true, too. Let us explain.


Out of $1,200, the physical three-day camp experience, which includes food and lodging at a beautiful rural camp property, costs an average of $500. However, the camp weekend experience is only a small piece of the puzzle that allows children to be so successful in Comfort Zone programs. The remaining $700 covers many weeks of Comfort Zone staff performing clinical intakes and assessments for each individual child, training Big Buddies, consulting with professional grief therapists, carefully matching campers to their Big Buddies, Healing Circles and Healing Circle Leaders, and preparing the therapists and curriculum for camp weekend.


In fact, Comfort Zone’s weekend program contains so much individual attention, clinical preparation and direct clinical supervision of campers, if families went to the private market and tried to secure all of the services Comfort Zone provides, it would cost an average of $4,500 per child.


The cost in private market: $4,500

The cost to fully serve a child at Comfort Zone: $1,200

  • $500 Weekend Camp Experience
  • $700 Clinical services, preparation and facilitation


The cost to every single family and child who comes to Comfort Zone programs: $0


We’d like to thank our community for making that last point possible, and to let you know that if you’re ready to help us invest in the life of a child for the first time, the second time, or even the 10th time, you’re just one click away.

September 2014 Virginia Updates

Welcome to Comfort Zone's updated blog, which will feature highlights each month from around the country. Check out what's happening in Virginia!



Get your tickets!

The annual Fall Bash is coming Saturday, October 18 at Rocketts Landing by the James River in Richmond. 



Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who donated camp items at the new Walmart near Glenside and Broad streets! From pens to poster boards to games, we're ready for upcoming fall camps!



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