ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Known around Abilene for helping bridge the medical financial gap for families, the Joseph Thomas Foundation has just expanded its outreach to grieving families. With personal experience, Executive Director of the organization, Meagan Kirk said she wanted to help create something to help with mental health concerns.

In 2019, Kirk was forced to go through a parent’s worst nightmare; losing her son. Knowing firsthand how grief impacts families, she told KTAB/KRBC the pain she went through gave her the idea to help families in other ways.

“So, just a way to give back to them. Something to say, ‘here, take this, and you don’t have to look at it now, you don’t have to look at it in six months, but when you are ready you can look at it, and now that we have prayed for you,'” Kirk explained.

Within the Joseph Thomas Foundation, on South 14th Street in Abilene, Kirk and her staff have created a rest and self-care area for parents or caregivers dealing with grief. There, they can relax. The foundation explained that the space is open to all going through a hard time – even if it isn’t quite grief.

“Sometimes, we just need a little push. Just someone to remind us that you are seen, and you are heard, and we will be there to hold your hand,” Kirk added. “Even if you just need to come in to cry and pray and scream, we are here to do that too.”

Kirk created self-care packages for parents to take home – to have resources at home when the Joseph Thomas foundation is closed. The rest area also has a children play area next to it so, your kids can play while you relax.