2022 Summer Fund Appeal
The need in our country for grief support for children and families continues to grow. Our 2022 summer fund appeal provides financial resources to support thousands of bereaved children and families in our Bay Area community. Your donation makes a healing difference.
Support for Bereaved Youth and Families
As we enter the summer months, a time often filled with family vacations and experience camps, I am reflecting on how, with your generosity, Kara offers healing services to youth and families who have experienced a death. Your financial gifts empower Kara to provide regular grief support groups for parents, teens, and children; the Journeys Program, a holistic grief support program at numerous schools on the Peninsula; and Camp Kara, a bereavement camp for children ages 6 - 17.
Shanida, a Youth and Family Program participant, shares below how Kara provides caring space, important connections, and supportive tools to bereaved families as they move toward renewed hope and meaning.
Shanida remembers the period after her husband, Andrei, died as being very dark. “For a long time, I couldn’t sleep and at times I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The only thing I wanted to do was hold my boys close to me.” She found it challenging to figure out how to support their sons. “Brandon was open to talking to me about his feelings. Aidan rarely cried or talked about his feelings. But he would come to me with vague complaints of a headache or stomach ache. I would sit with him quietly and rub his back, like when he was little and not feeling well, and after a while, the ache seemed to go away.“
At first, Shanida didn’t think she needed a grief support group. “I remember thinking: ‘I have good friends and supportive family, I have people to talk to.’” Then she received an email from a widowed parent at their school who told her about Kara, the support groups, and Camp Kara. “I remember thinking ‘Wow, she gets it.’” She had no idea how impactful it was to meet with other widowed parents who had the same concerns, questions, and doubts that she had. And while the boys were hesitant initially, by the end of the first meeting, they came running with big smiles, asking to come back the following week. She particularly appreciated the group facilitators, noting that they “created a safe space for me to ask questions, share my worries, vent when I needed to, or let me reminisce… I honestly felt that they cared for me and my sons.”
“I recognize that we are blessed to be surrounded by so many family and friends, but we needed Kara to help us find others experiencing similar pain and struggles. Knowing we were not alone in our grief gave us strength.” Shanida particularly appreciated that her sons could attend camp, which she believes not only helped them cope with their grief, but also helped the boys develop coping skills and a resilience that will help them throughout their lives. “We miss Andrei, we always will. In those early, dark days, I was plagued with unrelenting questions. How will we survive? Will my boys be okay? But today I have faith that we will all be okay.”
I recognize that we are blessed to be surrounded by so many family and friends, but we needed Kara to help us find others experiencing similar pain and struggles.
The need in our country for grief support for children and families continues to grow. The Covid Collaborative reports that 1 in 450 children in the United States have experienced the death of a parent or caregiver due to COVID-19. Here in the Bay Area it is estimated that over 68,000 youth are currently bereaved due to the death of a parent or sibling. Kara is dedicated to supporting these families and children in need.
Your previous gifts have supported Kara’s groups, the Journeys Program, Camp Kara, and many other services, allowing us to employ our innovative peer-based grief support model. By making a mid-year donation today, you can help provide empathy and compassion to bereaved youth and families throughout the Bay Area.
We are deeply grateful for your kindness and generosity.
Jim Santucci, CPA
My grief counselor from Kara was exactly what i needed at the time i needed it. I had lost my only son, and she had as well, in the same way, there was nothing i could tell her that surprised her, all the terrible thoughts i was having , I felt so hopeless, but she showed me that such a loss is survivable, and that life still will have meaning and gladness, at some point.
In the Irish language, the word for friend is Cara (but is pronounced like Kara). So when I think of Kara, friendship and love is what comes to mind...Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for all you have done for my family.
I can't imagine not having this experience. I feel it helped heal and transform my grief into a greater intention to honor all of my ongoing life through this beautiful wide awake lens of living and being present to the moment and meaning of life.
Kara helped connect me to a friend and someone to talk to. It was very hard when everyone close was going through difficult times and family lives so far away. Kara services connected me with a friend and a source or hope and comfort when I felt like I had no one.
I literally don’t know how I would have gotten through this past year without my group and my individual peer counselor. Having someone or a group of people who understood, on a weekly basis was invaluable.
My counselor accompanied me on the toughest journey I have ever had to take and without that support I know it would've been much tougher and taken me much longer to reach this point. I am so impressed by the support services offered by Kara. Thank you!
Kara is the only place I know where a grieving person can receive the kind of understanding and guidance, directly from a skilled person who has most likely had a similar experience in their own lives, on how to deal with the pain and suffering of a loss.
The agency is run professionally. The staff and facilitators are mature and experienced. There was no mandatory fee for services, but I was filled with gratitude and was more than willing to make a donation.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit Kara is eligible to accept bequests. Please consider including Kara in your will or trust. Our federal identification number is 94-2431483. Contact us at 650-321-5272.