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Support While Social Distancing

Dear HAND families — 

Our thoughts are always with you and the entire HAND community, even more so as we navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic together.

As mentioned in our previous message, HAND has temporarily suspended all meetings at the Mission Oaks Los Gatos location in response to Santa Clara County Public Health Department guidance “prohibiting all non essential gatherings of any number of individuals” in our region.

As nearby hospitals flex to care for unprecedented numbers of patients, we’re sadly aware that among those patients are bereaved parents, families, and health care providers coping with the recent loss of a baby. It’s also important to recognize that in times of stress and isolation, it’s very common for prior traumas to resurface.

While social distancing measures are in place, HAND continues its mission to support those grieving the loss of a baby before, during, or after birth. HAND is now providing the following services:

  • Phone support. We have increased the number of volunteers who are available to provide phone support during this time. Call us at 1 (888) 908-4263 and leave a message on our confidential voicemail system. A volunteer (also a bereaved parent) will call you back, usually within few days.
  • Printed materials. Request a “grief packet” or other support materials to be mailed to you. To request materials call 1 (888) 908-4263 or email us at info@handonline.org.
  • Website and social media. Follow our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) in addition to searching our website (handonline.org) for useful information, such as recommended books and other websites.

If you find yourself in need of support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. The health and well-being of our families, volunteers, and community is always our top priority.

Be safe and well.

–Kelly Symons
HAND President


Our response to COVID-19

Dear HAND families — 

The health and well-being of our families, volunteers, and community is always our top priority. Amidst the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we sincerely hope that you’re all staying safe, healthy, and reliably informed.

In observance of the latest guidance (March 16, 2020) from Santa Clara County Public Health Department “prohibiting all non essential gatherings of any number of individuals” in our region, HAND is suspending all meetings at the Mission Oaks Los Gatos location, effective immediately.

We will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly should these restrictions change. In the meantime, we are committed to providing support in the following ways:

  • Phone support. We have increased the number of volunteers who are available to provide phone support during this time. You can call HAND at 1 (888) 908-4263 and leave a message on our confidential voicemail system. A volunteer (who also a bereaved parent) will call you back, usually within few days.
  • Printed materials. You can also request a “grief packet” or other support materials to be mailed to you. To request materials call 1 (888) 908-4263 or email us at info@handonline.org.
  • Website and social media. You can follow us on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) in addition to searching our website (handonline.org) for useful information, such as recommended books and other websites.

The measures taken in response to this pandemic and in the interest of public health, though unprecedented, are necessary and we are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of this virus.

If you are in need of support during this time, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our volunteers are deeply honored to be entrusted with the memories your precious children and we all share similar experiences of heartbreak and loss.

Our goal at HAND remains the same: to provide hope and support for bereaved parents, families, and care providers coping with the loss of a baby before, during or after birth. We intend to carry on this mission to the best of our ability.

Stay safe and be gentle with yourselves.

–Kelly Symons
HAND President


Reflecting on 2019: A letter from HAND President, Kelly Symons

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

  

Helping After Neonatal Death

2019 Annual Letter

Dear HAND Families –

Helping After Neonatal Death is closing its 36th year providing grief support and services to families who have lost a child before, during, or shortly after birth.

HAND is run exclusively by volunteers – all bereaved parents – in the Bay Area. We all strive to provide families with a safe place to land.

Your feedback matters

Whether you’ve attended a meeting or annual event, received printed materials or phone support provided by HAND, your feedback is extremely valuable.

By responding to this short survey, you enable us to learn from your experience, to improve our services and better support bereaved families in the Bay Area.

Do you have 10 minutes to help us?

Take our survey

Our community events

Service of Remembrance – October 6, 2019

Celebrating the memory of the children we have lost is both beautiful and difficult at the same time. Every October we gather to honor the memory of our children. HAND families spend time connecting with old and new friends; and providing comfort to one another.

Holiday Craft Night – December 5, 2019

The holidays tend to be a difficult time for families who have experienced the loss of a child. Every December HAND provides a night for all to gather, to provide joy at this trying time. Families come to mingle, share stories and create a holiday memento of their child.

“What HAND Means to Me”

We asked parents what HAND means to them. Here are some highlights:

“HAND has given me a place to go where I feel understood and can share freely.”

“HAND understands me and allows me to grieve on my own terms.”

“HAND provides a comforting refuge during a dark storm and continues to comfort through the years of learning a new normal.”

“HAND gave me a safe space to begin to process, express, and honor the loss of my son. It was like learning a new language, and meeting others who spoke the same.”

HAND and YOU

As we close 2019 we’re so very thankful for our volunteers and the time they give to help grieving families.

There’s a place for you at HAND. Our board is always looking for new faces with unique experiences and perspectives. Most volunteer positions require minimal time. We currently have openings for meeting facilitators, phone volunteers, and a general outreach committee.

If you are looking for a way to give back in 2020, we would love for you to join us.

Be a volunteer

Support Our Mission

We rely entirely on your support so grieving parents can receive our services for free.

Though we would desire to live in a world without neonatal loss, we don’t.

Here’s how you can help us.

Volunteer time to support to families in need. There are small and big ways to help others, please contact info@handonline.org or 888-908-4263 if interested.

Talking about HAND to others can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

Provide a financial contribution to make it possible to offer HAND’s services and materials at no charge to newly bereaved families.

Make a donation

I wish you all a safe and happy 2020.

Sincerely,
Kelly Symons,
HAND President, 2019
Forever Remembering Hadley Avery Symons

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) is a California not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation, founded in 1983 to help parents, their families, and their healthcare providers cope with the loss of a baby before, during, or after birth. HAND relies primarily on your donations to fund our programs to support parents and families.


Service of Remembrance 2019

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) invites you to come together with other families and celebrate the memories of your precious babies. The service will have music, poetry readings, and a potluck meal afterward where you can reconnect with old friends or make new ones with families who have experienced the loss of a baby. Families and friends are welcome to attend this memorial celebration.

HAND will provide beverages. Please bring a potluck dish to share.

We realize that after the loss of a child it can be painful to see other children. Please remember that the children present at the service have suffered the loss of a brother or sister or may be subsequent children. Parents who have children in attendance are very sensitive to the fact that there are newly-bereaved families present. We all attend the service for the same reason: to honor these special family members who have died.

For more event information email Kelly Symons at info@handonline.org

Sunday, October 6, 2019 ~ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Quinlan Community Center – Cupertino Room
10185 N. Stelling Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014

If you wish to be included in the printed program, please RSVP or donate by September 6, 2019.

Click here to RSVP
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation

HAND gratefully accepts donations from parents, friends, and family members in memory of a beloved child. To be included in the event program, please note the child’s name and “2019 SOR” in the description or comments.

You can use your credit card to make a secure donation via PayPal. A PayPal account is not required to donate, but if you have an account, sign in to donate via PayPal.


There are also other ways to donate to HAND.

Directions to Quinlan Community Center – Cupertino Room

Directions from East Bay or South Bay
Take I-880 South toward San Jose. Merge onto I-280 North
toward San Francisco. Take the De Anza Boulevard exit, turn
left onto N. De Anza Blvd. Turn right onto Stevens Creek Blvd.
Turn right onto N. Stelling Rd. 10185 N. Stelling Rd. is on
the left

Directions from the Peninsula
Take 101/Bayshore Freeway heading South toward San Jose.
Merge onto CA-85 toward Cupertino/Santa Cruz. Take the
Stevens Creek Boulevard exit. Turn left onto Stevens Creek
Blvd., turn left onto Stelling Rd. 10185 N. Stelling Rd. is on
the left

HAND’S Annual Service of Remembrance

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and each year HAND holds a Service of Remembrance in Northern California to provide families in the community with an opportunity to honor and celebrate their baby’s life.

The service usually consists of music, parent poetry, a reading of our children’s names and keepsakes for families. Afterwards, there is a potluck which gives parents the chance to talk and spend time with other families who have experienced a similar loss.


HAND’s 2018 Annual Letter

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison

⇓ Download HAND’s 2018 Annual Letter

Dear HAND Families-

Helping After Neonatal Death is closing its 35th year providing grief support services to families who have lost a child before, during, or shortly after birth. HAND is run exclusively by volunteers – all bereaved parents – in the Bay Area. HAND relies entirely on your support so grieving parents can receive our services for free.

Grieving Parents Need Our Help

According to a 2013 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 600,000 annual miscarriages, 26,000 annual still births, and 18,000 infants who die before their first birthday. HAND alone received over 100 calls for help this year.

Service of Remembrance, October 7, 2018

HAND families gathered again on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at The Quinlan Center in Cupertino, to celebrate the memories of our precious babies. This gathering allows families to honor their child(ren) and to reconnect with old friends or make new ones with families who have experienced the loss of a baby.

Holiday Craft Night, December 6, 2018

We hosted a family craft night in December. The holidays can pose a harder time for those who are grieving. Our annual craft night gives families a time during the holiday season to join together and comfort one another.

“What HAND Means to Me”

We asked parents what HAND means to them, and here are some highlights:

“My baby’s death is still really fresh and the only support I have had is a phone call with a HAND volunteer. She was very helpful. I am still struggling, but I hope to use HAND more in the future to help me through my pain.”

“HAND is an awesome group of people who share a common life experience- being there to help, support and love.”

“HAND has been a great support and resource. It has been helpful to meet families with similar experience and to have a place to talk about our daughter.”

HAND and YOU

As we close 2018 we give thanks to our wonderful volunteers. If you are looking for a way to give back to HAND we are always in need of volunteers. We have not been able to resume our support groups in the Central Valley or East Bay as we had hoped to in 2018. We are also always in need of phone volunteer to field calls from bereaved families. Please reach out to us at info@handonline.org.

These are some of the ways you can help support HAND’s mission:

Volunteer time to support to families in need. There are small and big ways to help others, please contact us at info@handonline.org or 888-908-4263 if interested.

Provide a financial contribution to make it possible to offer HAND’s services and materials at no charge to newly-bereaved families.

Talk about HAND to others can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

YES, I want to continue to support HAND’s important work!

I wish you all a safe and happy 2019.

Sincerely,

Kelly Symons, HAND President, 2018
Forever Remembering Hadley Avery Symons

⇓ Download HAND’s 2018 Annual Letter


HAND Holiday Craft Night 2018

Please join us on Thursday, December 6th for our annual HAND Holiday Craft Night!

Click here to RSVP

When

Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM PST

Where

Mission Oaks Community Hospital (cafeteria)
15891 Los Gatos-Almaden Road
Los Gatos, CA 95032

HAND will provide craft materials for you to make a holiday keepsake or ornament to remember your angel child(ren) during the holidays.

Coffee and beverages will be provided by HAND, and guests are welcome to bring a dessert or appetizer to share.


Service of Remembrance 2018

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) invites you to come together with other families and celebrate the memories of your precious babies. The service will have music, poetry readings, and a potluck meal afterward where you can reconnect with old friends or make new ones with families who have experienced the loss of a baby. Families and friends are welcome to attend this memorial celebration.

HAND will provide beverages. Please bring a potluck dish to share.

We realize that after the loss of a child it can be painful to see other children. Please remember that the children present at the service have suffered the loss of a brother or sister or may be subsequent children. Parents who have children in attendance are very sensitive to the fact that there are newly-bereaved families present. We all attend the service for the same reason: to honor these special family members who have died.

For more event information email Kelly Symons at info@handonline.org

Sunday, October 7, 2018 ~ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Quinlan Community Center – Cupertino Room
10185 N. Stelling Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014

Click here to RSVP

Please RSVP by September 4, 2018 to be included in our event program.

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation

HAND gratefully accepts donations from parents, friends, and family members in memory of a beloved child. To be included in the event program, please note the child’s name and “2018 Service of Remembrance” in the description or comments.

You can use your credit card to make a secure donation via PayPal. A PayPal account is not required to donate, but if you have an account, sign in to donate via PayPal.


There are also other ways to donate to HAND.

Directions to Quinlan Community Center – Cupertino Room

Directions from East Bay or South Bay
Take I-880 South toward San Jose. Merge onto I-280 North
toward San Francisco. Take the De Anza Boulevard exit, turn
left onto N. De Anza Blvd. Turn right onto Stevens Creek Blvd.
Turn right onto N. Stelling Rd. 10185 N. Stelling Rd. is on
the left

Directions from the Peninsula
Take 101/Bayshore Freeway heading South toward San Jose.
Merge onto CA-85 toward Cupertino/Santa Cruz. Take the
Stevens Creek Boulevard exit. Turn left onto Stevens Creek
Blvd., turn left onto Stelling Rd. 10185 N. Stelling Rd. is on
the left

HAND’S Annual Service of Remembrance

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and each year HAND holds a Service of Remembrance in Northern California to provide families in the community with an opportunity to honor and celebrate their baby’s life.

The Service usually consists of music, parent poetry, a reading of our children’s names and keepsakes for families. Afterwards, there is a potluck which gives parents the chance to talk and spend time with other families who have experienced a similar loss.