The J.O.S.H. Foundation
Joining Others Seeking Healing
The J.O.S.H. Foundation was created to serve those members of our community who have suffered the loss of a child with support, encouragement, healing, understanding, and comfort every day, one person at a time. We are committed to healing those touched by the loss of a child through remembrance initiatives and support services, honoring the memories we will always cherish.
Founded by Cindy Hughes, the J.O.S.H. Foundation began in memory of her 21 year-old son Joshua Hughes, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 2003. The pain experienced by Cindy and her family was indescribable. It is like no other, and can truly only be understood by those who have also lost a child, of any age, for any reason.
A Message From Josh's Mom, Cindy Hughes
My name is Cindy Hughes and I am the founder & president of The J.O.S.H. Foundation which stands for Joining Others Seeking Healing. My other title is bereaved Mom. There are no words to describe what those words mean and the emotions and tears they can cause in a moment for no explainable reason. You become a member of a group no one wants to belong to, a lifetime membership with other parents who have suffered the worst imaginable loss of all: the loss of their child. No matter the age or the circumstances, we are all tied together by that bond.
Everyone grieves differently and we should all be able to grieve at our own pace, without judgement or influence by others. Finding a way to enable you to get through the days, weeks and years to come is a journey that can be as different & unique as each of our children were.
After the loss of my 21 year old son, Josh Hughes, I found myself needing to find something to help me get through each day to make sure he was never forgotten, always remembered. To find a way to honor & keep his memory alive. During many late & long nights of researching grief support groups & children's memorials I found author Richard Paul Evans' The Christmas Box book & statues (also known as Angel of Hope). These worldwide memorials are dedicated to children of any age who have passed under any circumstances. There were no Angels in our state and finding a way to have our own Angel erected in Maryland became the first project of The J.O.S.H. Foundation, the foundation I created in his memory & honor.
I found my focus at this point was not just to make sure my son was remembered & honored, but that all the children- unborn, infant, toddler, school age, adult from all over our community, county and state - all of them would be remembered. To make sure the parents, siblings, family members, friends would have a peaceful place where they could go to think, remember and share memories, to gather & join other parents, families & friends at the yearly candlelight vigil held nationwide to honor all our children taken too soon, to have a memorial tile placed for their child. To share the lives of these children with fellow parents because sadly, only those who share this common bond of being a bereaved Mom & Dad know & understand this pain & heartache. The loss of a child is like no other loss, unimaginable & life changing. I have found I am not able to even closely describe my emotions to anyone else, personal & private thoughts that reach into my soul.
Our Angel of Hope has been erected and we now join 140 Angels across the world on December 6th for the annual candlelight vigil. We also offer a yearly scholarship to area seniors who have suffered the loss of an immediate family member or loved one. Memorial tiles are available for purchase to be placed on our memorial wall at the Angel of Hope statue & memorial garden located at the South Carroll Senior & Community Center at 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Eldersburg, Maryland, 21784.
It is my deepest hope to do whatever we possibly can to prevent even 1 more family joining this group no one wants to join: that of a bereaved parent. We want to help in whatever way we can to prevent the loss of young lives. For this reason we reach out and offer our assistance to groups dealing with issues that can possibly lead to the unnecessary & preventable death of children/ young adults. Some of these groups are: Rising Above Addiction, Out of the Darkness-Suicide Prevention, Madd, Infant & Pregnancy Loss.
I will always be Josh's Mom and he will always be my son, in life and in death. Together with The J.O.S.H. Foundation and the other bereaved parents, families & friends in our state, my wish is that we can work together to honor & remember the children we have lost & help stop the loss of other lives.