When someone is grieving many people are at a loss for words – how can they be most helpful to the person or family that is grieving? What do they say? How should they act? We have used this blog as a space to share the stories of people who are grieving, ideas for coping with grief – quite simply the blog is one way that we spread our vision of ‘a world where it is okay to grieve’. Grief is a multifaceted response to loss and therefore requires support from many places. The support of friends, family, and community makes a tremendous impact on a person’s grief journey. At Kate’s Club we do this through outings, clubhouse days, park bench, KC Connects and Camp Good Mourning. It takes the help of volunteers, staff and our sponsors.
In our community one such sponsor has been Morris, Manning & Martin. Today, in their own words, we share why they selected Kate’s Club as their charity of choice for 2014.
At Morris, Manning & Martin, we firmly believe that giving back within the communities that we work and live is a duty of every business. While we give time, effort and monetary support to numerous charitable organizations throughout the year, we annually pick one primary charity we partner with to support financially, with pro bono services, administratively, and with volunteer efforts.
In 2014, we selected Kate’s Club and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results of our relationship. Our partnership is about more than the immediate pride in giving back. When we contribute time, money and effort, our goal is to see that our partnership provides tangible, everyday benefits to the community; Kate’s Club gives us the opportunities we like to get involved and really see the difference. We are able to speak directly with the children who are benefitting and know that what Kate’s Club is doing, with assistance from Morris, Manning & Martin, really makes a significant and positive difference in their lives.
Most recently, we hosted a fund-raiser for Kate’s Club that drew in hundreds of our clients, friends and colleagues. Again, with Kate’s Club help, the results were phenomenal. The attendees were able to enjoy themselves and create stronger bonds with MMM, but more importantly they learned about Kate’s Club and its critically important mission.
Kate’s Club has been an excellent partner for MMM. We are very proud to be able to support it.
We are grateful to MMM for their willingness to be an advocate and supporter of grieving families when they need it the most.
Three and a half years ago this blog was launched as a platform to further the Kate’s Club vision of creating a world where it is okay to grieve. Through our clubhouse programs, KC Connects, our blog and various social media platforms YOU have helped us build a network of people committed to facing grief together – thank you! Jordan is just one kid in the Kate’s Club family who is not just surviving, but thriving thanks to this network.
But there are more Jordans out there – for all of the Jordans we have yet to reach we ask that you join our #bluenovember campaign. National Childhood Griefawareness Day is November 21st and we are dedicating the entire month to draw attention to the needs of thousands of grieving children. (Yes, we know it is only September, but with so much too look forward to in November we could not wait to share some of the plans.)
How can you be an advocate, friend and supporter as part of #bluenovember?
- Have your workplace, school or personal network wear blue or host a fundraiser in November
- Conduct one of the grief activity programs we will be sharing on the blog in your community
- Share your story on the Face Grief Together blog launching in September
- Attend this year’s Memory Walk on November 15 at Coan Park
- Help Kate’s Club continue to provide free programs for our families with a donation
If you would like more information on how you can participate or volunteer, please reach out to Rachel@katesclub.com. And, be sure to follow us on social media for important campaign announcements as we prepare for #bluenovember!
Camp Good Mourning 2014 was another wonderful (and record breaking!) program for Kate’s Club! We will be posting more pictures and feature some blog posts from Camp. We had 18o Kate’s Club members attend Camp Good Mourning this year and they were supported by 80 buddies!
We can not say thank you enough to our amazing buddies for their incredible work that allows Camp Good Mourning to not only happen but to be a meaningful experience. We also want to thank New York Life for, once again, providing volunteers for our camp wide festival held on Saturday. Autotrader also provided a number of volunteers and, again this year, helped to stream line our check-in and drop off process. KPMG provided volunteers to work with the kids during drop off and also traveled to Camp Good Mourning to assist with unloading buses and then, again, on Sunday provided extra hands for loading the buses for our return trip.
We’re happy to see every single one of our buddies and campers. We are always especially happy to welcome back former Kate’s Club members as junior buddies. It puts into perspective for us how far we have come as an organization! We are already planning and looking forward to next year!
Before Mitch Albom was the best-selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie, he was an award winning sports writer. Then one evening he saw an interview with a favorite college professor that sent his life in a different direction. He called Morrie Schwartz after the interview, began to visit with him regularly and that is when Tuesdays with Morrie was born. What was initially a very small run of books by the publisher became a movement as people passed the book onto friends. Many would say that Mitch always writes books about dying, but they are really lessons about how to live from those who are dying. (View his segment on CBS Sunday Morning here.)
Death and the grief that is attached to it can be paralyzing for those left behind. One of the most difficult things about death is learning how to live without the person – and giving yourself the permission to really live. That is so much of what Kate’s Club is about… helping the kids find a way not just to live, but to thrive. As we focus on creating a world where it is okay to grieve, we thought we would share some of the lessons about living to help those who are trying to find their way back.
“Love always wins.”
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even
when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re
chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote
yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote
yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
“ . . . if you really want it, then you’ll make your dream happen.”
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come
“Sometimes you can’t believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel.”
“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
“ . . . love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”
“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.”
“As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we
can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the
memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched
and nurtured while you were here.”
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
“ . . . there is no such thing as ‘too late’ in life.”
This week the National Alliance for Grieving Children will hold its annual symposium in Atlanta. Kate’s Club is honored to be a part of this alliance along with our partner organizations across the country. We join with them in the belief that no child should grieve alone. A huge part of that is creating a national conversation not just about grieving, but living and thriving in the midst of it.
Over the course of the week, we will share what is going at the symposium along with stories of those who are making a conscious effort for grief and life to be a part of our dialogue. CBS Sunday Morning did just this during their April 27 episode. On one of the segments, Bill Geist shared the range of emotions felt by his family when his newest grandchild arrived and his mother-in-law died on the same day. View this segment here.
Death and life are inevitably linked and there are lessons learned about living in both as the Geists learned that day.
Thursday we’ll share Mitch Albom’s message about honoring those we have lost and lessons for living that he learned from people who were dying.