Greensboro Kids Path Therapy Garden gives kids a place to cope with grief, illness

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Children experiencing grief or coping with their own serious illness can turn to the Kids Path program at Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro for help.

Laura Fuller is a Kids Path counselor. Sometimes she is able to talk to young patients in her office.

Other times, they go outside to the therapy garden to talk.

"We do a lot of play therapy with younger kids," Fuller said. "This creates for them a place to be free and play in ways that are meaningful to them."

Counselors like Fuller can pick up clues from their play. That's why she is so grateful to have the garden.

"To see them let that out in a way that is helpful and start to feel better. It's rewarding," Fuller said.

But in order to keep the garden healthy and the play spaces clear, Horticultural Therapist Sally Cobb said they depend on an army of volunteers.

"We have Scouts, Eagle Scouts, Girl Scouts, churches, and synagogues. We couldn't function without volunteers," Cobb said.

Girl Scout troops have rebuilt sand play boxes where children can use toy figures to explain their thoughts and emotions.

Cobb also explained that groups will thin out some of the growth so counselors and patients can have an easier time walking through the garden.

Maintaining the therapy space means a lot of Cobb. She has seen several powerful moments take place in the garden.

"I think my favorite comment was from a child that came here for counseling and she told her mother that this garden is magical," Cobb said. "I get chill bumps when I think about how it made her feel."

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