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Jessicas House brings Christmas cheer to local children
Jessicas House
Five-year-old Kassie was one of 50 children from Jessica's House taken for a day of ice skating at Turlocks Fields of Ice. - photo by Photo Contributed

The holiday season can be difficult for many families struggling with the grief of losing a loved one. Fortunately, Jessica’s House – a branch of Emanuel Medical Center dedicated to providing grief support for children and teens – has made continual efforts to bring Christmas cheer to the children participating in the program.

Through the generosity of Kurt and Kelly McKenzie of McKenzie Enterprises, Jessica’s House took more than 50 children to Turlock’s Fields of Ice, a temporary ice rink owned by R.A.M. Farms, for an afternoon of ice skating with friends and family.

“It is so wonderful to see local businesses sharing Christmas cheer with these precious children,” said Emanuel Medical Center spokesperson Pennie Rorex.

Serving more than 90 children, Jessica’s House was also able to give each child served by the grief-support program a teddy bear for Christmas through the charitable donation of Skittone Sheller of Modesto.

“As the support groups approached their two-week holiday break, each group had a candlelight ceremony, at which they remembered their loved one who they had lost,” said Rorex. “Then, they were presented with a snuggly teddy bear to take home for the holidays.”

Providing a safe, caring place for children grieving a death, Jessica’s House offers peer support groups where children from kindergarten through high school are given the opportunity to meet with others who have also experienced the death of a loved one.

To learn more about Jessica’s House and its many support groups, call 250-5395 or email