What We Do
We run our charity like a start-up with two main focuses: building products and conducting research.
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The Smile Network
Research shows that children losing a parent don’t just lose one person, they lose an entire network that in many cases powers the opportunities they have in life.
The Smile Network is a secure online community that provides a space for children and the people around them (parents friends, colleagues, family) to connect, share experiences, and find support.
This platform offers immediate and long-term benefits for children as they navigate life. Members of a child's network can assist with homework, transportation, and future university applications, job opportunities or travel plans.
These online and print resources help people understand how to handle grief at different ages and stages of a child's life.
Our research shows the community (family, faith leaders, sports coaches, friends etc) don’t have adequate knowledge and struggle to know what to do or say in the sad event a child loses a parent.
The grieving children themselves say they feel “like aliens or outcasts” without support. These guides will help everyone close the gap and feel supported and loved.
Our work is informed by research, to ensure we have science behind the action. Conducted on parallel tracks over the course of three years, our research includes:
Playbook Customer Research. Georgetown University is conducting research to help us determine how many playbooks we will need to develop, based on any number of factors like a child’s age, gender, etc.
Focus Groups. Georgetown was also retained to conduct focus groups over the next two years. This research will help us understand how best to support children and families, and where gaps may exist.
Academic research, being conducted by Dana-Farber / Harvard Medical School, is nearing completion.
Ethnographic and Clinical research has not yet been designed, and we are interested in soliciting proposals.
We are also looking to fund "big ideas" that help advance the science significantly