about the founders

In 2008 my wife Denise seized her vision to create Hope Floats, born in part from the loss of our son, Michael. We created a non-profit foundation and bereavement center in a restorative, retreat setting where people can deal with their life struggles and improve their wellness. Having learned how such a loss can be devastating and isolating, we both wanted to offer support and resources for others going through similar crises.

Our mission, as conveyed in the name Hope Floats Healing and Wellness Center, remains focused on two core areas: providing free support groups, fee-based counseling, and healing workshops to help people grieve or face other struggles; and offering wellness classes and retreats with practitioners experienced in an array of mind-body-spirit healing arts.

We 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 3,000 individuals while growing organically. In 2014 we are affiliated with five experienced counselors and many practitioners licensed in a variety of wellness and healing practices. We are thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Cranberry Area Hospice of Plymouth, which provides incredible support groups and family programs. With help from many practitioners, Denise has also focused on facilitating special retreats for moms who have lost children. In addition, our monthly healing circles and frequent wellness workshops, including introductory wellness clinics, continue to grow in popularity. We are 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. We are proud of Hope Floats’ outreach, and it is our shared commitment and passion.

Portraiture_Denise_and_Ken_DSC_4300-TiWe are also thankful for the work of talented and thoughtful practitioners and counselors we are connected with — as well as our trained volunteer support group facilitators. They contribute so much to the lives of clients and our program participants, and the overwhelmingly thankful and positive feedback they and Denise receive reflects this.

Both of us are former educators — Denise taught first grade for 13 years and I taught high school English for seven years — and while we’ve left public school settings, in some ways we both continue to teach. We strive to continue applying those skills and life experience to support adults and adolescents around healing and wellness. As full-time 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. I support the center with operational and development planning and maintenance.

Accomplishments

*The American Red Cross Hero Award, Presented to Denise Brack, April 13, 2016

Linda Sheldon, Denise & Ken Brack

Linda Sheldon, Denise & Ken Brack

* 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.

Professional Affiliations:

* 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

Recognition:

*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.