One in five children will experience the death of someone close to them before they graduate high school.

A nonprofit organization is creating a safe space and highlighting the special needs of grieving children.

Every third Thursday in November, the Highmark Caring Place observes Children’s Grief Awareness Day. It’s an international day of recognition to wear blue and honor kids and teens who are grieving the death of a friend or loved one.

Children’s Grief Awareness Day is held around the holiday season because it’s usually a difficult time for many people.

“The thing with grief is that we feel very alone and we feel very isolated, so knowing that there are other people around who get it, who are there to support you or have been through something very similar as you, it’s really important for kids to have that. For us to be able to support that and have the community wear blue just to show their support and show that they are not alone, it’s so important,” said Conor Dawley, outreach education coordinator at Highmark Caring Place.

Friday night, the Erie Otters will host Children’s Grief Awareness night where the team will be wearing blue warm-up jerseys that will be auctioned off at the end of the night.

All proceeds will go towards the Highmark Caring Place.