Serendipity and the Story of Giving Back


Sometimes things happen at just the right moment. For some of us that can be easily overlooked but for others the timing could not be more important. In 2004, Dr. Yolanda Watson Spiva and her daughter, Gabrielle, had just returned to Atlanta from living in Washington, D.C. for a brief time.  Dr. Spiva had suffered the loss of her husband only a few short years before. Gabrielle was a child like many others except for one key thing: she had no dad. It’s always challenging for a young child to feel different and even more difficult if they feel like they have no one outside their family they can turn to for answers. Gabrielle needed to know how to answer everyone’s questions when they asked about her father. She knew other children whose parents were divorced, but none who had lost a parent. The search for answers led the family to Kate’s Club, then only in its first year of existence.

Dr. Spiva and Gabrielle found an immediate personal connection with Kate Atwood and that connection has continued to grow ever since. Finding others who they felt safe around and could organically tell their story to led Dr. Spiva and Gabrielle to feel so strongly about Kate’s Club that they have helped others new to loss.  Dr. Spiva helped guide other parents through their grief journeys, often gathering with them while waiting to pick up their children from Kate’s Club. Gabrielle has continued to be involved with Kate’s Club and was recently made a Junior Buddy, enjoying her time spent with the “very little ones” of Kate’s Club the most. Dr. Spiva appreciates how Kate’s Club showed empathy and compassion towards Gabrielle, and instilled in both of them a desire to give back the same to others in the community.  Dr. Spiva says “You gain more when you are giving back to someone else.” Through her continued efforts with Kate’s Club and in the community, Dr. Spiva is likely to experience even more serendipitous moments in the future.