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31 Reviews
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February 14, 2011

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February 14, 2011

I am a Guidance Counselor at a local Catholic elementary School. I have referred students and their families to Amanda the Panda's support groups and camps. It is very reassuring to know that Amanda the Panda provides such a valuable service to our community and is so dedicated to helping families and students in their grieving process. Amanda the Panda offers a unique opportunity to heal--we are grateful for them!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had students attend the support groups Amanda the Panda offers. The groups are helpful and offer a caring and supportive opportunity to help children and families through the grieving process.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think what they are doing now is fantastic!

February 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 14, 2011

I am a Guidance Counselor at a local Catholic elementary School. I have referred students and their families to Amanda the Panda's support groups and camps. It is very reassuring to know that Amanda the Panda provides such a valuable service to our community and is so dedicated to helping families and students in their grieving process. Amanda the Panda offers a unique opportunity to heal--we are grateful for them!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had students attend the support groups Amanda the Panda offers. The groups are helpful and offer a caring and supportive opportunity to help children and families through the grieving process.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think what they are doing now is fantastic!

February 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 14, 2011

My daughter and I attended camp after my husband (her father) passed away. The camp was a great experience for her, and it has had a lasting impact on her. She still talks about it a year later (which is pretty special for an 8-year-old!). Not only did the camp help her, but I was supprised at how much the adult camp helped me. I was very comforted when I realized that even though everyone around our circle got there because of different circumstances, the emotions and thoughts that we were dealing with were surprisingly similar. I would recommend this organization to anyone who has had a loved one pass away. They are awesome!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter and I felt very comforted in the fact that we are not the only ones going through loss. It was also helpful to realize that it is ok to be sad but that it is also ok to start being happy again.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it national!

February 13, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 13, 2011

I have been a volunteer with Amanda the Panda for almost 5 years now and it is an organization that changes lives. I realized how important it is to have a group like this in your community. I have a 9 year old daughter and cannot imagine losing her...god forbid something tragic should ever happen to myself or my family it is a blessing to know there is Amanda the Panda. We all will experience a death in our lives at one point and we all must find a way to live a new normal after that death. Amanda the Panda shows you and helps you to cope and how to find your new normal and to celebrate the loved one you lost.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing how children change after they leave camp. These children come to us sad and lost but leave laughing and with smiles on their faces. Only at camp are they able to meet others that have expierenced what they have.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing! ATP does a wonderful job helping those cope with a death in their lives.

February 13, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 13, 2011

Nearly 25 years ago, my husband lost a dear friend in a duck hunting accident. Jim Ketelson was alone one very cold November morning, and no one knows exactly how his accident happened. His car and boat were found near his hunting site, however, Jim's body was not recovered for another four months. Jim left behind a wife and two young daughters.
We stayed in close contact with Jim's widow, Kathe, and could only imagine the challenge to explain this accident to young girls - eight and five years old -- the same age that our girls were at that time, too.
What I'll always remember is Kathe telling us about this wonderful camp that was available to children in Iowa who had lost a parent. Kathe's children were elated when their dad's body was found in February, several months after his accident. In a young child's mind, they would wonder if 'dad just walked away.' So, to find his body, and then experience healing while attending a camp - designed to help them with their feelings, was life altering for this young family.
My husband and I have decided that Amanda the Panda is an extremely worthwhile organization and we proudly give donations to this program each year. I only wish there was a similar program available to families in South Dakota.

Linda Dunleavy
3701 E. Freda Circle
Sioux Falls, SD 57103

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

To see the help it offered our friend's children.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

extend the services to South Dakota

February 13, 2011

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February 13, 2011

My family would be so lost without this organization. After the loss of their father and my husband they have become part of our family. The Christmas box was the best thing ever for our first Christmas without him. Wonderful organization

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my personal life and family.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

they have lots of volunteers but giving them more staff jobs would be awesome.

February 12, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011

Death was always a topic I never wanted to talk about. To be honest, it was something that scared me a bit because as someone who is left behind to grieve... it really hurts. Amanda the Panda is an organization that walks you through the pain step by step. The staff and all the volunteers take the time to help you get back up, hold your hand and let you know that you will make it! You can do it! The camps provide an atmosphere of friendship, encouragement and love in a time when you feel down and could really use it. Their support groups are staffed with an amazing group of dedicated volunteers that work with you in your most trying times. I have seen the staff go out of their way to meet the needs of the support group and camp participants. The Amanda the Panda crew though few in number is strong and powerful in will and heart and can accomplish anything they set out to do because they truly care about those they serve. I feel truly blessed to have volunteered my time for such an outstanding organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I can see changes in my everyday life. I can talk more openly about death to people. I feel more confident in everyday operations of a nonprofit organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This organization could use more staff. They always have their hands full and with groups becoming larger they could use more space... but that is great!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I grew by leaps and bounds within the area of marketing and grief work

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt like I was reaching out to people who really needed my skills.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

I had never heard of Amanda the Panda when my 40 year old husband passed away 9 years ago. I was suddenly a widow raising 3 children. My family benefited in many ways from this organization. I attending the parent support group. It was a safe place for me to talk about my grief and make friends with others that were grieving. My daughter attended the children's support group. We both attended camp and family events through out the year. My daughter looks back at those experiences with fond memories. My daughter felt comfort spending time with other children who had experienced the death of a close family member. She once said, "they are like us." My daughter also appreciated being able to talk to a doctor about my husband's death. He was able to explain things that she hadn't felt comfortable asking me. Celebrating the first Christmas without my husband was especially difficult, but the care package gave us something to look forward to each day in December. My children still remember some of the special gifts they received in that care box. I received my first Amaryllis bulb in that box and have continued to plant a bulb each winter since then. Just like that dead bulb bloomed, Amanda the Panda helped me get through the depth of my grief to bloom again.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

2003 after my husband passed away suddenly. The school counselor sent information home with my children. Interestingly enough, the counselor's wife had passed away at a young age and he had personally benefited from Amanda the Panda.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ask more people to donate to this worth cause.

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

It was gratifying to help wrap gifts for children who are hurting during the holidays! Now I've signed up to train as a regular volunteer!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Joy it brought me to help others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None!

February 7, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 7, 2011

As a year long full time AmeriCorps volunteer for Amanda the Panda from 2009-2010, I got an inside look at this wonderful organization. Amanda the Panda really does fulfill its mission to bring hope and healing to grieving families. The people who are touched by Amanda the Panda stay in touch, often becoming volunteers to help show the grieving that it can get better. Sometimes, years later, we get letters from people who came to camp as kids. One woman expressed how going to camp as a teenager after her father's death helped her reconcile with her husband's death, years later. It was evident in the many handwritten, emailed, and personally delivered thank yous and we couldn't have done it without yous that, every year, many lives are changed for the better, thanks to Amanda the Panda.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in how they supported me after I experienced, for the first time, the death of one of my best friends. I was comforted to know that I was not alone in my grief, that it was okay to be so upset over the loss of a friend, and that there were many ways to remember him. I had been communicating with his family after the death, and through Amanda the Panda I was able to give them information about how to plant a tree in his memory.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would get them the money to add on two more staff people. The work they do is amazing, and with a bigger staff they could reach out to even more people!

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