I’m writing to update you on the impact of our work supporting grieving children and families.
Last week, I received a call from Deborah, whose best friend is in the final stages of Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA). She has three kids and lives in suburban Virginia. She asked for help understanding what she should tell her own children, and what kind of resources there may be for her friend’s husband. I directed her to our Basics of Grief, where she could find advice on how to talk to her children about illness and death, and what they understand about it at various developmental ages.
We are in a position to help thanks to the investments you are making in our work. Four months ago, we launched our first series of Grief Guides, produced and vetted by experts. These guides help people understand how to address grief and loss, what to say and do, and what not to say and do. To date, we have 12 downloadable guides populated on our website, with another six now in production. More than 600 people have downloaded these guides.
Concurrently, with the Beta version of our Smile Network complete, we are testing it, allowing us to get a real-time look into the value of its features and the network itself. As an organization dedicated to continuous learning, we want to ensure our programs reflect the needs of those we serve. If not, we will adjust and move on.
While we continue to build out our programs and measure our progress against specific metrics, we have not lost sight of the fact that each number represents a child and caregiver enduring one of the most difficult experiences they will ever face. Because grief isn’t linear, we are preparing to meet children and caregivers where they are, at any stage of their grief journey, to provide the support they need.
We feel a deep sense of gratitude for being in a position to help people like Deborah. Our work sends a clear message that nobody is alone in their grief and that, together, we are building a community of hope and healing.
That’s the ultimate impact of your investment in us, and we want you to know how grateful we are.
If you know anyone who needs help, please contact us, and if you have any interest in volunteering for our cause, just let me know.
Inspired and grateful,
Elizabeth's Smile Group President
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