Thursday, January 26, 2023

Grief center awarded $50,000 Dunning grant

New Hope Center for Grief Support received a grant of $50,000 from The Margaret Dunning Foundation. The grant, to be paid over two years. will be used to support New Hope's First Steps program for those in the early stages of grief following the loss of a loved one. 

“We couldn't accomplish all we want to do in our community without the generosity of The Margaret Dunning Foundation,” said New Hope Executive Director Jennifer Frush.

First Steps provides the first in-person contact for grievers offering them a safe place to share their story and understand more about grief, Frush explained. “The program provides an opportunity for grievers to connect with one of our facilitators that is close in age and has experienced a similar loss, learn about all New Hope's bereavement services; find their place at one of the New Hope workshops and get connected to one of New Hope's age- and loss-specific peer support groups,” she said.

Frush said that attendance at all New Hope core programs has more than doubled, seeing a 172 percent increase in the number of grievers from 2021 to 2022. Fifty percent of those grievers went on to seek support from other New Hope programs. 

“With the generous support of The Margaret Dunning Foundation, New Hope will be able to continue to support First Steps. This award will allow New Hope to continue to work to alleviate grief, trauma, and isolation within our community brought about by the death of a loved one,” Frush added.

The Margaret Dunning Foundation was founded by Ms. Dunning in 1997. She was born in 1910 in Redford Township and moved with her mother to Plymouth in the 1920s. During her lifetime, Ms. Dunning was a successful businesswoman, philanthropist, and civic booster. She was a major supporter of many Plymouth nonprofits, including the Plymouth District Library and the Plymouth Historical Society. In addition to her personal philanthropy, Ms. Dunning was a classic car enthusiast and was a regular participant in the Woodward Dream Cruise with her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster.

Ms. Dunning died in 2015 at the age of 104. Her estate provided additional funding for The Margaret Dunning Foundation, which continues to support her charitable interests and legacy. For more information: