Hope–it’s in our title and it’s what we deliver. It is not found in the Magic Kingdom or at the Top of the Rock, but it is what we most want our families to find on their Legacy Retreat®.
|These 38 families were part of something big, and new for IoH!|
For the first-ever IoH eLegacy Retreat, held April 24-27th, we were taken down to our very essence as a team–sharing our hope without all the bells and whistles of a traditional retreat agenda. Able to offer our experience and love, we served these families in the intentional, relational way that defines IoH. As one former family member served and longtime IoH supporter put it, “This eRetreat showed the DNA of IoH.”
Prior to the eRetreat kick-off, each family received a gift box thoughtfully packed with T-shirts, resource folders, activity sheets and more. After opening up the packages, families were ready for the first session–kids introduced themselves to each other immediately and one family member raved, “This call feels like a breath of fresh air!”
|In an activity designed to validate feelings, retreat participants illustrated what is in their hearts.|
Over the weekend, our newest IoH families worked through interactive Zoom sessions with IoH staff and coordinators. Just like on every IoH Legacy Retreat®, we had three goals: to help families make memories together, to create a community of support, and to offer tools that help families navigate the challenges of a parent’s terminal illness. Families often describe what IoH does as “life-changing,” and we saw those exact words pop up in chats and heard them over Zoom!
|Over 300 people joined our Closing Service!|
If we accomplished our three primary goals, how was the eRetreat different? This unique format encouraged meaningful intergenerational conversations, and teen participation in skill-building exercises was at an all-time high. In fact, many teens who attended the eRetreat have asked how they can volunteer themselves! Two calls featuring trivia and games for eRetreat-goers 20 and under were especially popular.
|Our teen call was a big success!|
A Legacy Retreat® just wouldn’t be a retreat without wrapping up all the love into a Closing Service, and this eRetreat was no exception. Without location restraints, we were able to invite all our past retreat families and volunteers–a silver lining worth celebrating.
|Families worked together to gain skills, opening up communication like never before.|
We hope to meet these 38 families in person soon, but until then, they have already experienced what IoH is all about. This may have been a virtual retreat, but there is nothing virtual about the love we have for our newest IoH family members!