Four-Legged Grief Counselors Help Kids Cope At Tomorrow’s Rainbow

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COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami) – Logan Whitaker is a painter with a purpose. His older brother, Luke, is one as well as he shows off his creation, the word ‘Mom” painted big and bright.

Logan and Luke met CBS4’s Anchor Rick Folbaum at Tomorrow’s Rainbow, a small non-profit organization which provides free support to children grieving the death of a loved one with the help of miniature horses and other small farm animals to comfort the children.

Logan and Luke come every two weeks. “We love coming,” said Luke.

“Because I want to see the horsies,” said Logan. And because, “It helps us grieve,” said Luke. “It helps us. My mother passed away,” he explained to Rick.

Luke and Logan’s mother, Rebecca, died suddenly last year of a massive heart attack. Their dad moved the family to South Florida where other family lives. Their aunt found Tomorrow’s Rainbow and it’s really helping.

“This place helps me feel better because other kids have a mom who passed away, and we’re not alone,” said Logan. Luke agreed. “It helps you feel like you’re not alone.”

Abby Mosher founded Tomorrow’s Rainbow in 2003 after the death of her husband.  She struggled to help her son and found there were no grief centers in her community, so she opened one using therapy animals to help the kids open up.

It’s really hard for the children to tell their story in the first person. So when they’re grooming their horse, I can ask them, ‘How’s Boo doing?’ And they can say, ‘He misses his mom’, or ‘He got into a fight with his dad,’ or ‘He had a fight at school.’” Abby explained the kids are really talking about themselves.

Tomorrow’s Rainbow gets all of its funding from private and corporate donations. There are over 200 active volunteers that help 500 kids and families each year, free of charge.

Every year, Tomorrow’s Rainbow hosts an event called “Hope Floats.” The idea is to decorate paper boats and dedicate them to lost loved ones. And just as the children are not alone in their grief, the boats form a flotilla, sailing down Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal in a powerful show of love, loss and hope.  Hope for Luke, Logan and all of those who are working through grief.

Click here for more information about Tomorrow’s Rainbow.

More from Rick Folbaum
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