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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