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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

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