As a nonprofit volunteer hospice and grief counseling center since 1978, Camarillo Hospice serves anyone dealing with a life-limiting illness or grief after a loved one has died.
“Once counseling has been started, there is no endpoint in mind, as long as progress is being made,” said Sandy Nirenberg, president and CEO. “Other issues come up during counseling. Goals are always being re-established and our clients, hopefully, are always moving forward.”
As a volunteer hospice, Camarillo Hospice offers counseling through counseling interns who have completed their master’s degree in counseling and are working on accumulating 3,000 hours of counseling experience before they take the state licensing exam.
“Our interns typically will become marriage and family therapist(MFT) counselors,” Nirenberg said. The counseling director supervising the interns is Carole Wadsworth, M.A.,LMFT.
“A licensed clinical social worker(LCSW) also works at Camarillo Hospice,” Nirenberg said. “We contract with a few licensed therapists.”
Besides individual grief counseling services, the nonprofit also offer various ongoing grief groups. The groups include two on general bereavement; survivors of suicide; adult loss of parent; parent loss of child; bilingual groups in Oxnard; a group for young widows and widowers still raising children; the Good Grief Club for ages 6-14; and young adult groups for ages 14-20.
Both the Good Grief Club and young adult groups meet during the school year. “Grief groups meet in three local schools: Camarillo High, and Rio Mesa High and Pacifica High in Oxnard,” Nirenberg said. “We have also had interest in beginning to offer pet loss grief group as needed.”
A variety of fundraising events support the organization, including a farmers market from 8a.m. to noon every Saturday at 2220 Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo-in the parking lot of a former courthouse.
Every springs, a Garden Tour features five home gardens, a boutique, plant demonstrations, live music and refreshments for a $20 donations.
Coming up Sept. 6, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, is the Chili Cook-Off and Music Festival at the Camarillo Ranch, 201 Camarillo Ranch Road, off Mission Oaks Boulevard.
The donation will be $15 for adults, $10 for children 6-12 and active military, and free for children up to age 6.
“We are always hoping and praying for donations to continue to be able to offer free services,” Nirenberg said. Camarillo Hospice receives individual and corporate donations, and grants from foundations.
“I am proud to have been the CEO since October of 2002. Before that, I started as a volunteer in 1995; and then I started on the board of directors,” Nirenberg said. “I continue to be proud every day of the work that we do and the services that we provide people in need and free of charge.”
“We are always increasing the numbers of people that we serve every year, and manage to fund our programs each year,” she said. “Thus, I am increasingly proud of this organization”
Camarillo Hospice mascot Doggy Bella, a Labrador retriever, adds comfort and gets smiles in return from clients before their appointments.
For information about Camarillo Hospice, to donate, or volunteer or receive counseling, go to www.camarillohospice.org or call (805) 389-8870
Carol Leish, of Oxnard, is a writer and motivational speaker about disability awareness.
July 19, 2015 Ventura Star