January 2017 E-News

2017 Volunteer Training – Opportunity to Serve
December 26, 2016
February 2017 E-News
February 7, 2017


2017Welcome and we hope everyone had a meaningful holiday season and start to 2017! As we kick-off this milestone year, we can’t help but be so incredibly grateful for all of our staff, volunteers, partners and supporters who have enabled 40 years of Care, Compassion, Connection and Community. This theme for our anniversary year will echo throughout all we do!

We have some great plans for the coming months including our 2017 Volunteer Training in March (more on that below), our Spanish Volunteer Training in April, Kara’s 40th Anniversary Fundraiser & Celebration featuring guest speaker, Sheryl Sandberg, on Friday April 21st (see more on that below), a Volunteer Reunion BBQ in early June (3rd or 10th) for all volunteers current and past, our Walk’n’Run to Remember in early October, and a trio of Volunteer In-Service Training meetings with accomplished guest presenters. Continue reading to learn about more offerings coming up.

As we embark on this new year, we want to thank you for all you do to support Kara. We are deeply appreciative of our Kara ‘family!’

Keep Well,
Jim Santucci, CPA
Executive Director

Kara Spotlight: 2017 Volunteer Training

2015-youth-and-family-program-grads-cropped-jpegFor our Kara Spotlight this month, we highlight our 2017 Volunteer Training! Kara’s 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.  Here’s your chance to join our incredible team of over 150 volunteers who serve Kara’s mission annually and bring care, compassion and connection to the bereaved. Individuals with experience of suicide loss, sibling loss, diverse backgrounds, bilingual speakers, and men are especially needed.

Volunteers are required to:

  • Attend ONE informational meeting and ALL of the primary training dates;
  • Upon acceptance into the volunteer corps, commit to at least one year of service, and;
  • Attend regular In-Service Training sessions throughout the year

camp-erin-boy-middle-talkingInformational Meetings (One Required)
The following Informational Meetings  held at the Kara office will provide details about Kara programs and the training. Click on the links to sign up and attend either:

Volunteer Application
All potential volunteers must complete an online application by end of day January 29, 2017. To learn more about volunteering at Kara, see the full list of training dates, or start your application, click here.


40th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser

 Have you marked your calendars for our 40th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser? Join us for a memorable and inspiring evening including featured guest speaker, Sheryl Sandberg.  The night will include a seated dinner, live auction, fund-a-need auction, special raffles, fun games, and an awesome band for dancing and celebrating.
Ticket sales for tables and individual seats will begin the second week of January. There are also a variety of event sponsorships available. These event sponsorship’s provide important underwriting for the event and include seats/tables, value added benefits, and recognition opportunities. For sponsorship opportunities, please email Sarah Dover, Development Specialist, at sarah@kara-grief.org. You can also stay up to date with the event on our Facebook Event Page. We can’t wait to share this special night with you!



There’s still space in our Inner Resources for Stress class!

self-compassion-500x334Starting 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.

Class starts Tuesday, January 17, 2017 and will be held in the Kara porch from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. The class requires a $25 fee for all materials. For more information or to register, email Nicole or Gaby at IR@paloalto.edu.



Drop-In Groups at Kara

Ongoing drop-in groups are for adults who are grieving any type of death of someone in their lives. No appointment or interview is needed. We offer these at both our Palo Alto and San Mateo offices.

Palo Alto:

  • 1st and 3rd Wednesdays
    Evenings (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
  • 2nd and 4th Tuesdays
    Afternoons (1:00 – 2:30 pm)iop
  • Men’s Group: 4th Tuesday
    Evenings (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
  • En Español
    1st and 3rd Tuesdays
    Mornings (10:30 am – Noon)

San Mateo:

  • Thursdays from October 13, 2016 – Jan. 19, 2017
    Afternoons (12:00 – 1:30 pm)
  • En Español
    2nd and 4th Wednesdays
    Mornings (10:00 am – 12:30 pm)

For more information, visit our calendar or call us at 650-321-5272.


Kara in the Community: Woodside Elementary Students interested in Grief Work

studentsTwo summers ago we assisted the Woodside Elementary School community in the wake of a community crisis. A beloved member of their community died by suicide and it brought to light the topic of mental health and crisis. Since serving their school district and meeting with parents in the community, the school has continued the conversation of mental health. Keeping compassion in their hearts and bringing awareness to mind, the staff and teachers have created space for topics such as depression and anxiety, as well as coping strategies, to be discussed with students.

They reached out to Kara to ask for help on behalf of three 8th grade students conducting a project that looks at issues facing a community. They asked to visit Kara and on November 17th the came to our office for a tour and panel discussion. The student’s questions were engaging and their enthusiasm for understanding the impact mental health has on a community was enlightening.

Following their visit, one student had this to say about Kara:


“Thank you so much for showing us around your facility. I can really tell that you are making a difference. All the information we got from you will help us with our exit project. I hope that we can some day make as big of a difference are you are.”



We are GRATEFUL for YOU!

thankyoulanguagesA very special thank you this month goes out to all who supported Kara through our Year-End Fund Appeal. Over 400 donors shared their care, compassion, and commitment for the work we do by making a donation during November and December. Your partnerships and generous gifts make a real difference in the lives of children, families, and adults in our community working with their grief and we couldn’t continue this work without you. THANK YOU!