One of the first questions I am often asked about Kara and our services is how people find out about us. The short answer is that usually it is from someone who has been a recipient of our services.
Kara is often the catalyst to begin their healing and through their journey they often become the biggest proponents of our services. In turn they are better equipped to support others in their circles and community who are grieving, and many become part of our long line of compassionate volunteers. This ‘pass it on’ or ‘pay it forward’ perspective has always been a foundational value of Kara and inspires our everyday work. I encourage you to share with your friends the different services we have to offer for those who are grieving. For many, attending a ‘drop-in group‘ is a nice way to start exploring their own grief support needs. We offer these groups on different days throughout the month in both English and Spanish and they are facilitated by our staff and volunteers.
Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge and recognize publicly one of our amazing volunteers, Mary Lemmon. This year marks Mary’s 30th year as a Kara volunteer! During her time with Kara, she has supported thousands of grieving individuals and currently serves as a facilitator for our Drop-In groups and also supports our Community Crisis Response efforts. We are deeply grateful for her compassionate heart and wonderful example of service to others. Thank You Mary!
On April 28th at our spring fundraiser, we celebrated the theme of Both Sides Now with award-winning author and inspirational speaker, Nancy Sharp. The afternoon began with a carnival-style array of games, a photo booth, a roving magician, and a mystery wine pull, with live music provided by the classic hits band Unhinged.
Lead singer Susan Goforth-Mauthes surprised Nancy by performing a cappella a beautiful Joni Mitchell rendition of “Both Sides Now”, as a tribute to Nancy’s memoir of the same title and as a special dedication to Susan’s son, Mattie. Each attendee also received a copy of Both Sides Now. From the eight jumbo raffle packages to the spirited live and fund-a-need auctions, the evening was filled with exciting entertainment that thrilled our 216 guests and deepened relationships within the Kara community.
It was a privilege to hear Nancy Sharp share her story of spousal loss, of rebuilding her life and finding a renewed sense of hope as she moved through her grief journey. As a young widowed mother of twins, Nancy overcame her feeling of “being stuck” to make a bold move from New York City to Denver, where she pursued a different career and developed new relationships. Nancy spoke about the importance of living within the gray areas of life, where one can explore a full range of creative possibilities and pathways, rather than being limited by binary or “black and white” thinking. On Sunday following the Both Sides Now event, 24 participants in Kara’s Youth & Family program had the opportunity to participate with Nancy in a meaningful hands-on Resiliency Workshop.
Through the generosity of all who supported our event, over $133,000 was raised to empower Kara’s healing services; ensuring care, compassion, connection, and community are available for the bereaved. It was truly a ‘funstastic’ fundraiser and weekend! A huge thank you for all who participated!
Our next All Volunteer In-Service training will feature Roy Remer, who currently serves as the Zen Hospice Project’s Director of Education and Training. His interactive presentation on Loss as a Rite of Passage will reflect upon loss as an initiatory process towards transformation. View our announcement flyer for more information.
This training is open to all Kara Volunteers, their friends and colleagues and Kara Community Partners. Please note the location at Lucie Stern Community Center. To find out more, please call 650-321-5272.
The group is designed for men who have recently had a significant person in their life die and provides a safe and a supportive environment to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process.
Your Support is Appreciated! Our deepest appreciation goes out this month to the following local organizations that help to ensure the success of our mission of serving the bereaved in our community!