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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