about the founders
In 2008 Denise and Ken Brack created Hope Floats, born in part from the loss of their son, Michael, in 2002. Denise envisioned starting a bereavement center as a resource for other grieving families in a restorative, retreat setting. Having learned how such a loss can be devastating and isolating, the Bracks wanted to offer support for others going through similar crises.
Their nonprofit’s mission, as conveyed in the name Hope Floats Healing and Wellness Center, has two complementary goals: providing free support groups, along with fee-based counseling and healing workshops to help people grieve; and offering wellness classes and retreats with practitioners experienced in an array of mind-body-spirit healing arts.
The Bracks continue to be lifted up by people who find help and revitalize themselves at Hope Floats. The center has given emotional, therapeutic and wellness supports to some 4,000 individuals while growing organically to help families and adults from southeastern Massachusetts and greater Boston.
In 2018 the center is affiliated with six experienced counselors and many practitioners licensed in a variety of wellness and healing practices. Hope Floats continues to collaborate with Cranberry Area Hospice of Plymouth to provide support groups and family programs. With help from practitioners, Denise has also focused on facilitating special day retreats such as for moms who have lost children. In addition, monthly healing circles and wellness workshops continue to grow in popularity. Hope Floats is also active in and connected to a larger community of bereavement centers and practitioners through leading centers in Massachusetts and the National Alliance for Grieving Children.
The Bracks are thankful for the contributions of the talented, thoughtful practitioners and counselors Hope Floats is connected with—as well as its trained volunteer support group facilitators. They give so much to the lives of program participants and clients, and the overwhelmingly thankful and positive feedback they and Denise receive reflects this.
Both Denise and Ken are former educators—she taught first grade for 13 years and he taught high school English for seven years—and while they’ve left public school settings, in some ways we both continue to teach. Both strive to continue applying those skills and life experience to support adults, children, and adolescents around healing and wellness. As full-time executive director of Hope Floats, Denise is the primary contact and daily manager. She spearheads our growth keeping a close eye and ear on which services and programs are most beneficial or useful to our guests and clients. Ken, who is also a nonfiction author, supports the center with operational and development planning and maintenance.
We are proud of Hope Floats’ outreach, and it is our shared commitment and passion.
*The American Red Cross Hero Award, Presented to Denise Brack, April 13, 2016
* Hope Floats Healing & Wellness Center, Inc. incorporated as a 501(c) (3) with approval by the IRS in January, 2008.
* Construction of our wellness barn in the summer of 2009 which includes the director’s office and individual treatment rooms. Opening of our first adult support group in 2009.
* First Fragile Footprints summer day camp in collaboration with Cranberry Area Hospice in August, 2010 – adult and teen support groups, music, arts therapy, and lots of fun.
* Military Families Support Retreat – a day-long respite for spouses and significant others of active-duty service members that includes introductory healing treatments, yoga and more. December, 2010 and 2011.
* 1st Annual Hope Floats Memory Walk fundraiser was held on May 3, 2014. Roughly 200 people came out to walk in memory of their loved ones and to support Hope Floats. Part of year-long development campaign called “Partners in Hope” building community support to sustain and grow our programs.
* Since 2009, more than 3,000 families and individuals across the South Shore, Cape Cod, and greater Boston have joined our support groups, workshops, and wellness classes.
* Member, National Alliance for Grieving Children, 2011-present
* Collaboration with Cranberry Area Hospice & Palliative Care, (Jordan Hospital, and as of 2014, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth,) Plymouth, Ma., 2009-present
*Harvard Pilgrim Health Care for awarding Hope Floats with your 2016 Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant
* In-Kind Donations Recognition from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, 2014
* Outstanding Community Service — South Shore Community Action Council, Inc., Lela Ray President’s Award, 2011
* Healthy Living Magazine Recognition Award, 2010
Our logo was created by Amanda Brack. She drew this beautiful picture of the girl on the swing with the three dragonflies for her mom for Mother’s Day a few years after the loss of her brother Mike. The dragonfly has very special meaning to our family.
– Ken Brack
Hope Floats Healing and Wellness Center is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status offering educational, support and wellness services.