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HAND’s 2017 Annual Letter

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention their child because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died-you’re not reminding them. They didn’t forget they died. What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and this is the greatest gift” – Elizabeth Edwards

Dear HAND Families-

Helping After Neonatal Death closed its 33rd 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

Sadly, we don’t live in a world in which infant loss doesn’t happen and grieving families are not in need. Everyday more and more families are in need of a helping hand to support them at this difficult time, though we don’t get the opportunity to help them all the ones we do are supported forever. HAND currently runs grief group support meetings in the Los Gatos area; and fields support calls on a daily basis from grieving parents, families, friends and health providers. We provide local hospitals with materials to assist grieving parents and run two annual events celebrating the lives of the babies we have lost. All of these services are provided by our selfless volunteers who need your help. Though a small and mighty group, we are always wanting to welcome new HAND volunteer!

Service of Remembrance, October 1, 2017

HAND families joined together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to celebrate the memories of all the precious babies gone to soon. Though difficult the service was touching allowing our HAND families to spend the afternoon reflecting upon their losses and gathering strength among those who understand the journey.

HAND HOLIDAY CRAFT NIGHT, December 7, 2017

We once again gathered in December for our Holiday Craft night. This is a wonderful family event allowing parents, grandparents, siblings and friends to create a memento in honor of their children.

“What HAND Means to Me”

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

“HAND has helped me with the loss of my granddaughter. I’ve been to a couple of meetings with my daughter and I feel all the love and support that she and I get from the other Moms who have experienced the sadness of loss. My daughter has also met a great group of moms who have formed a supportive network.”

“HAND is a support system that continually reminds me I am not alone in my journey and provides me hopes in getting through this difficult time.”

HAND and YOU

As we look to 2018 and all that we hope the New Year brings- HAND needs you. We have been unable to resume our support meetings in the Modesto and East Bay areas. We are looking for new meeting facilitators to help in those areas, as well as, an editor to help with revamping our publications. If you are interested in either of these roles please reach out to us at info@handonline.org. We would love the New Year to bring more volunteers to our HAND family.

Ways you can help support HAND’s mission:

Volunteer time to support families in need. As mentioned we have various positions available for those looking to donate their time. 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 it can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

I wish you all a safe and happy 2018!

Sincerely,

Kelly Symons | President, 2017-2018
Forever remembering Hadley Avery Symons


HAND’s 2016 Annual Letter

“You were carried for only a moment, but you are loved for a lifetime” – Unknown

Dear HAND Families-

Helping After Neonatal Death is closing its 32nd 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

Though we would like to believe in a world in which infant loss doesn’t happen and grieving families are not in need, that is not the case. Everyday more and more families are in need of a helping hand to support them at this difficult time. HAND currently runs grief group support meetings in the Los Gatos area; and fields support calls on a daily basis from grieving parents, families, friends and health providers. We provide local hospitals with materials to assist grieving parents and run two annual events celebrating the lives of the babies we have lost. All of these services are provided by our selfless volunteers who need your help. We were lucky enough to have 2 new volunteers join us in 2016, but we are always looking for ways to reach more families and provide more support for those who are grieving.

Service of Remembrance, October 2, 2016

HAND families joined together on a brisk Sunday afternoon to celebrate the memories of all the precious babies gone to soon. We moved SOR to a new location this year, and though we missed the beauty of Sanborn, this provided us with a great space to honor our loved ones. HAND families spent the afternoon reflecting upon their losses and gathering strength among those who understand the path we are walking.

HAND HOLIDAY CRAFT NIGHT, December 1, 2016

For the past few years we have held a Holiday Craft night, giving families another chance to come together. This is a wonderful family event allowing attendees to create a memento in honor of their children.

“What HAND Means to Me”

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

“HAND gives us an extended group that understands all we have been through and makes us feel we are not alone in our pain.”

“HAND is a support system for our whole family. The meetings allow us to share and remember our child.”

“HAND has given us the best support from day one. The phone volunteers and group meetings have provided light in a dark time.”

HAND and YOU

As the year closes and we look to 2017 you may be looking for a way to give back. HAND is always in need of new volunteers to help us continue to support those dealing with new and past losses. Sadly, this year we had to temporarily stop our support meetings in the Modesto and East Bay areas. We are looking for new meeting facilitators to help in those areas, as well as, some new phone volunteers. If you are interested in either of these roles please reach out to us at info@handonline.org. We would love the New Year to bring more volunteers to our HAND family.

Ways you can help support HAND’s mission:

Volunteer time to support families in need. As mentioned we have various positions available for those looking to donate their time. 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 it can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Kelly Symons | President, 2016
Forever remembering Hadley Avery Symons


HAND’s 2015 Annual Letter

“Those we love don’t go away, they walk besides us everyday” – Author Unknown

Dear HAND Families-

Helping After Neonatal Death is closing its 31st 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

Though we would like to believe in a world in which infant loss doesn’t happen and grieving families are not in need, that is not the case. Everyday more and more families are in need of a helping hand to support them at this difficult time. HAND runs grief group support meetings in 3 different areas; and fields support calls on a daily basis from grieving parents, families, friends and health providers. We provide local hospitals with materials to assist grieving parents and run two annual events celebrating the lives of the babies we have lost. All of these services are provided by our selfless volunteers who need your help. We were lucky enough to have 3 new volunteers join us in 2015, but we are always looking for ways to reach more families and provide more support for those who are grieving. We would love the New Year to bring more volunteers to our HAND family. We currently have three open Board positions (with various time level commitments) and two field level positions working directly with families.

Service of Remembrance, October 11, 2015

HAND families joined together on a sunny Sunday afternoon to celebrate the memories of all the precious babies gone to soon. The families spent time together reading poems, listening to music and reciting the names of all HAND babies. It was a time for all to connect with peers and make mementos in honor of their children. This day allows us time to reflect upon our losses and to gather strength among those who understand what we have all been through.

“What HAND Means to Me”

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

“HAND was a source of immense light, generosity and solace at a time of tremendous darkness for my husband and I. HAND connects us to other parents who just understand. We are always grateful HAND has given us a place where we can talk openly about our beloved babies.”

“HAND helped us grieve and showed us that our grieving process was different from other losses. The meetings helped us to understand what we were feeling and taught us how to cope with our frustrations and each other.”

“HAND: A place to grieve, remember and love our loved ones with those who truly understand.”

“HAND helped me know I was not alone in the loneliest of times. The support of friends I met through HAND has helped me through the grieving process.”

HAND and YOU

As the year closes and we look to 2016 many may be looking for a way to give back. HAND is always in need of new volunteers to help us support the families who may experience a loss in 2016 and to continue to provide support to those dealing with past losses.

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

Volunteer time to support families in need. We have various positions available for those looking to donate their time. 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 it can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Kelly Symons | President, 2015
Forever remembering Hadley Avery Symons


HAND’s 2014 Annual Letter

“To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself” – Dr. Burton Grebin

Dear HAND Families-

Helping After Neonatal Death is closing its 30th 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 Northern California and the Central Valley. HAND relies entirely on your support, so grieving parents can receive our services for free.

Grieving Parents Need Our Help

Unfortunately, infant loss continues to happen every day and more and more families are in need of a helping hand to support them at this time. HAND runs grief group support meetings in 3 different areas; and fields support calls on a daily basis from grieving parents, families, friends and health providers. We provide local hospitals with materials to assist grieving parents and run two annual events celebrating the lives of the babies we have lost. All of these services are provided by our selfless volunteers who need your help. We are always looking for ways to reach more families and provide more support for those who are grieving. We would love the New Year to bring more volunteers to our HAND family.

Service of Remembrance, October 12, 2014

HAND families once again gathered on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon to celebrate the memories of all the precious babies gone to soon. The day was spent reading poems, listening to music and reciting the names of all HAND babies. Families spent time connecting with peers and making mementos in honor of their children. It was a time to reflect upon losses and to gather strength among those who understand what we have all been through.

Shirley Choy-Marshall

Volunteers are the backbone of the HAND community and no other was more dedicated to our group than Shirley. Shirley loss lost her battle with breast cancer on May 9th. We at HAND mourn the loss of Shirley and are doing what we can to honor her legacy. She always put others first and helped countless families begin to heal after their losses. After attending many grief meetings herself, she joined HAND’s board and also ran our subsequent pregnancy meetings. She made our group stronger and we will miss her presence.

“What HAND Means to Me”

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

HAND has given us a place to grieve. Because the world outside doesn’t understand, HAND gives us the opportunity to meet others who do. This is a place where we know we are not alone and that there are others who are just like us. We are very grateful for the services HAND offers.

HAND has been a wonderful support in helping me not only get through the grief of losing my daughter, but also giving me meaningful ways to celebrate her life.

HAND: A place to process the hardest thing; to cry, to share, to grieve, to meet wonderful people who share a terrible bond.

HAND means kindness to me. Ever since participating in HAND Services Of Remembrance, we are greeted with warmth and gentleness. THANK YOU for being there for us.

HAND and YOU

What can you do to make a difference in the life of someone dealing with the loss of their little one(s)? I came to HAND to honor the memory of my daughter in 2010. I never knew how much I myself would be helped by helping others. Though my grief is no longer new it will never go away. Being a part of HAND and helping those on their journey heals me a little more each year.

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

Volunteer time to support 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 it can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Kelly Symons | President, 2014
Forever remembering Hadley Avery Symons