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Local candlemaker paying it forward; helping grieving children

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Posted at 7:14 AM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 08:25:30-05

Social Worker Rusty Phillips knows all too well how childhood trauma can impact them into adulthood.

"Children take in and absorb everything in their environment, and so often times they're overlooked," Phillips said.

Three years ago, he took his side business, candle making, and decided to put those skills to good use. Philips reached out to Healing House, offered to take all of their leftover martini glasses from a Gala that could not happen due to the pandemic, and find another way to raise money for the nonprofit.

Child Grief Awareness Day

"Healing House serves as that place where children can come in, they have individual attention, group attention, and it's at no cost to the family or child. They give a service that is absolutely beneficial to a child's well-being."

Kim Thackston, development director of Healing House, said one in ten children will lose a parent or sibling before graduating high school.

"Louisiana is number six in the united states with childhood bereavement loss," Thackston said. "That's a lot of children in our community trying to deal with those big emotions that come with the tremendous loss."

Healing House is the only child grief support center within a 200-mile radius of Acadiana.

Thackston said it is the support from the community that keeps them going year after year, a chance to show there is hope after the loss of a loved one.

"Any child that can get to Healing House from our surrounding parishes we will accept them into the program. All of our services are completely free of charge," Thackston said.

All of the proceeds from the sale of the Martini candles will go straight to Healing House.