December 2016 E-News

Kara candlelight service
Annual Candlelight Service of Remembrance
November 15, 2016
2016 Year-End Appeal – Give Today!
December 9, 2016


Welcome December! We’re kicking off this month with our 22nd annual Candlelight Service of Remembrance taking place tonight, Thursday December 1st at 7:00pm at the Stanford Memorial Church. A big thank you goes to the Stanford Office for Religious Life for co-hosting this special event with us, all the performers and speakers for the evening, and of course to our community who will join us in honoring our loved ones.

Continue reading for updates on our upcoming Caregivers Forum (12/8), sign ups for our Information evenings for those interested in becoming peer-support volunteers, and exciting news and dates for the 2017 Camp Erin! Also, read on to stay up to date with our 40th Anniversary Celebration and fundraiser with special guest speaker, Sheryl Sandberg. As we close in on 2017, we want to thank you for another year filled with comfort, care, and amazing compassion for the bereaved in our community. We are truly grateful for all you do.

Keep Well,
Jim Santucci, CPA
Executive Director

Kara Spotlight: Year-End Fund Appeal

img_0054For our Kara Spotlight this month, we highlight our year-end fund appeal that went out late November. In it, we highlight a recent conversation with Adrian, who participated in Kara’s Youth and Family peer-support groups with his son, Antonio, after the untimely death of Adrian’s wife, Claudia. He spoke eloquently about his experience with Kara from what it was like to start the group through what he learned about himself during his time with the group.

year-end-fund-appealWe are incredibly humbled by Adrian’s  words and genuine want to help other bereaved individuals by sharing his story. We hope you’ll also be inspired by he and Antonio’s experience and invest generously in our important work of serving the grieving. Our peer support model not only provides compassion and care to individuals we serve (without charging a fee), but helps to build a more connected and resilient community. We are able to do so because for 40 years we have been blessed with supporters who really ‘get’ our mission and understand the healing power of peer-based grief support.

This holiday season, by donating to Kara, you can be the difference in making human connection possible for those in grief. Thank you and we appreciate your support!




40th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser

Kara officially turns 40 on December 21st, and to commemorate four decades of service to the community, we are excited to announce our 40th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser. Mark your calendars and plan on joining us for a memorable and inspiring evening including featured guest speaker, Sheryl Sandberg.

Friday Evening, April 21, 2017
Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel

Early ticket sales will open after the new year.  Be sure to check back for more information on this milestone event! You can also stay up to date on our Facebook’s Event Page.


Still Time to Register for our Upcoming Caregivers Forum: “Why Are We Doing This? Helplessness in the Face of Suffering”
December 8, 7:00 pm at Kara


male-caregiverIn Kara’s upcoming Caregivers Forum led by Robert Cusick, we’ll collectively focus attention on how to reframe and work with the debilitating effects of feeling helpless in the face of suffering. Having reframed our experience, we’ll explore how we can deliberately shift away from a ‘reactive’ level of over-or under-engagement (hyper-or hypo-engagement) with our loved ones or patients towards a more measured ‘response’ that is balanced, constructive, compassionate and sustainable. Whether you are a professional caregiver, a family member or friend attending to a loved one, or have served as a caregiver (in any capacity) and have an ongoing interest or experience to share, please join us. Light refreshments will be provided.

All are welcome. If you are currently providing care to a friend or family member or are a professional caregiver or have served as a caregiver (in any capacity) and have an ongoing interest or experience to share, please join us. Register today.


Interested in Becoming a Peer-Support Volunteer?


talking2Our services are provided primarily by trained volunteers who have experience in healing from their own personal loss. With the aid of professional staff and ongoing training, Kara’s peer support volunteers provide crucial service to those grieving in our community.

If you are interested in joining the team of over 150 volunteers who serve Kara’s mission annually, we offer two Information Nights:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – 7:00 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – 7:00 PM

All candidates are required to attend an initial Information session and then submit an application to be considered for enrollment. To learn more about our peer support services or to sign up to receive email updates for Volunteer Training, please visit our site.


Camp Erin 2017: Applications Open In January!
camp-erin-2015-girl-with-noodles_celogoCamp Erin is a free, weekend grief camp designed for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend. Our 2 days and 2 nights at camp are filled with traditional fun camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support—facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. Camp Erin 2017 dates just released:

Friday, July 28  through Sunday, July 30, 2017

Applications for Camp Erin 2017 will open January 16th! To learn more about this special weekend, please visit our site.



Inner Resources for Stress 8-week Class Starts January 2017!

Self-compassionStarting in January, join Kara and the Inner Resources for Stress program from Palo Alto University in an 8-week course on ways to enhance your ability to cope with stress. Participants will attend weekly group sessions that focus on meditation, mind-body awareness practices, and stress reduction techniques. This is a non-religious course, involving sitting, breathing, and noticing thoughts and body. No yoga or rigorous exercise is required. No previous experience is required, and meditation beginners are welcome. There is a one-time fee of $25 for class materials.

Class will be held on the porch at Kara. The first class starts Tuesday, January 17, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm and will run for eight weeks. For more information or to register, email Nicole or Gaby at IR@paloalto.edu.



Donate As You Shop!

Shopping online this holiday season? If so, using certain online merchants will enable you to support Kara and check things off your gift lists all at the same time! AmazonSmile and iGive are just two online retailers to do so.


When you make a purchase through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to Kara. You’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Kara! You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.


You can shop online at over 300 merchants and have a donation made to Kara if you shop via the iGive web site. First, you visit iGive.com to register. Then when you are ready to shop, you follow the link from the iGive site to the desired merchant – Barnes and Noble, Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, Land’s End, SmarterKids, Dell Computer, and many more. If you make a purchase, the merchant pays a commission to Kara. iGive takes care of the details, all you need to do is shop!

escripKara also participates in eScrip. Each time you use your credit card at a participating merchant, such as Safeway, Draeger’s Market and Eddie Bauer, a portion of your purchase is automatically donated to Kara. To sign up for eScrip, you can visit eScrip.com or call them at 1-800-592-0942. You will need your credit and debit card numbers, as well as Kara’s eScrip ID #139241707 in order to register. Click HERE to find a list of currently participating merchants at eScrip.com.


Mention Kara when shopping at Kepler’s bookstore in Menlo Park. They will record your sales transaction and then make a donation back to Kara.



We are GRATEFUL for YOU!


A special thank you this month goes out to the Sand Hill Foundation, Los Altos Rotary Endowment Fund, and Boston Private Bank. Their partnerships and generous gifts make a real difference in the lives of children, families, and adults in our community working with their grief. WE THANK YOU!