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June 30, 2010

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June 30, 2010

HAND provides unconditional support for grieving parents and those who are pregnant again after a loss. They offer phone support, grief meetings, subsequent pregnancy groups, and an extensive lending library. They also provide training for medical staff, childbirth educators and others in the community on how to help families experiencing a loss. They even have a funeral/burial fund to assist families who cannot afford to bury their babies. It is a safe place to share all the overwhelming emotions that come with a loss of this nature. HAND volunteers help you to move forward even when you think it impossible to do so.

The Great!

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

seeing so many bereaved parents find a safe place to share their emotions, learn to understand and cope with the grief process, and then turn around and give back to others in a way that lends value to their experience and honors their baby's short life.

Ways to make it better...

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

find a long-term location where they can hold their meetings and have the library accessible to attendees. And help them connect with doctors who are new to the area and are unfamiliar with HAND's services.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the privilege of sharing the most poignant of life's experiences with so many amazing, brave and loving parents, and seeing them find healing in HAND's supportive environment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

undoubtedly among the most caring, committed,compassionate and dedicated individuals that one could ever hope to meet.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

establish an underlying infrastructure to support the administrative and operational aspects of the organization so that volunteers could concentrate on providing services. Form a coalition with other non-profits to leverage HAND's good fortune.

Ways to make it better...

HAND could find a centralized stable location where they could hold meetings and store supplies so volunteers could readily access them.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Continuing to offer their wide range of services despite the current economic conditions and having to compete with the numerous other wonderful causes when available resources are dwindling.

One thing I'd also say is that...

peer support is of enormous value when normal people find themselves experiencing an abnormal situation like the loss of a child. Reaching out for help can be daunting, but HAND's volunteers will be there whenever someone needs them.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2002

June 29, 2010

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June 29, 2010

HAND of the Peninsula in California is a wonderful and much needed organization. It helped me and my husband cope after losing precious twin babies who were born premature. We were able to share our story, our grief, our feelings with other parents who had been through (or who were going through) this same tragedy. I don't know what I would have done without the help and support of this group. The volunteers were outstanding.

The Great!

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

The organization helped me grieve and heal from the loss of my twin daughters.

Ways to make it better...

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

Do more outreach to area hospitals so staff and personnel would know to contact a HAND member when a patient loses a baby. Knowing this organization exists is paramount for helping parents cope with such an extreme loss.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Getting to know other parents who have had a similar experience of loss, for they are the only people to truly understand my loss.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding parents who helped me cope through a very difficult period of my life.

Ways to make it better...

The group therapy meetings were offered more frequently.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding to keep the organization running properly. It would help with more frequent news letters to members, more outreach to parents in need. It also needs strong leadership and new people to take on the responsibilities of running the organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 26, 2010

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June 26, 2010

I came to HAND in 1995, after my first child was stillborn due to an umbilical cord accident. The loss was totally devastating, and at times, I didn't think I could possibly recover. HAND was there for me through many months of grieving, as well as four subsequent pregnancies, two of which ended in miscarriage. The peer support I received through HAND was so helpful to me, I wanted to help others in the same way. I have been volunteering as a meeting facilitator and Board member for the past 11 years. I am honored to be involved with this wonderful organization, which is run entirely by volunteers, funded entirely by donations, and provides ALL of its services free of charge.

The Great!

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

The organization's longevity. HAND has been helping bereaved parents for nearly 30 years. HAND is all about peer support—parents helping parents. The understanding and support that comes from others who have had a similar experience is invaluable.

Ways to make it better...

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

Encourage parents who have been served to volunteer. HAND needs more people to facilitate meetings, provide phone support, conduct inservice trainings, and provide other core services. Get involved!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it helped me at the lowest point in my life. I have made many DEAR friends through my involvement with HAND.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, compassionate and generous. I was very nervous making that initial phone call and coming to my first meeting, and later, joining the Board, but everyone has been so welcoming. It's a pleasure working with these amazing people!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide more services to more people. Serve a broader area. Many counties have no support groups for parents experiencing perinatal loss.

Ways to make it better...

I hadn't needed HAND's services at all, but since I did, I am grateful for the help I received. In the beginning, more frequent meetings would have been helpful.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

having enough volunteers to provide all of HAND's services.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you Emily Corpos and Celia Hartnett for founding this wonderful organization!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 25, 2010

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June 25, 2010

HAND of the Peninsula helped me tremendously after the death of my infant son who was born prematurely. The bi-weekly peer support group sessions helped me process my grief and move forward in my life. The other parents who had been through a similar loss became a great source for emotional support. HAND's lending library had many helpful books on the subject of infant loss. HAND also helped me deal with the emotional rollercoaster during my subsequent pregnancies. HAND is a terrific organization of parents helping parents.

The Great!

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

I came to HAND in 2001 after the loss of my infant son. I attended their peer support groups about 1-2/month for the first year after his death. Since that time I have become a volunteer with the organization.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 25, 2010

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June 25, 2010

I had a miscarriage in 1997. I was devastated. I learned of this group and attended support meetings, received literature began to feel that I would be normal again. Everyone I interacted with was caring, supportive, nuturing and helpful. All volunteers. Wonderful.

The Great!

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

Seeing women, couples, families going thru grief and despair find solace and support. All at no cost.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful. Caring, helpful, nuturing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help many more women, couples, families dealing with grief after neo-natal death. A very common occurance but not spoken about much.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 25, 2010

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June 25, 2010

I began attending HAND meetings after my son died at one week old. I felt like there couldn't possibly be anyone who knew the kind of pain I was experiencing. My first meeting was scary but it opened my eyes to other people who could relate to my pain. It provided us with people who were in the same place that we were and with whom we continue to be friends with 5 years later. The facilitators were parents like me who had come through the pain I was in at the time. They are not professional therapists but they provide a safe place and can speak from experience, which you would rarely find in therapy.

The Great!

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

being able to see how far I had come. With each meeting I felt stronger and found myself offering support to other people around me. It was the only place that I could really see my progress. I don't know what I would have done without HAND of the Pen.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 24, 2010

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June 24, 2010

I lost my first and second babies to early miscarriage. I found HAND just in time, right after my second loss. I had no idea how I was going to make it through this traumatic event for the second time, but HAND offered me a loving environment filled with people who had similar experiences, who knew the pain, the emotions, the thought processes. The volunteer leaders and other attendees offered me support and gave me a chance to let out my feelings and emotions. I do not know how I would have been able to integrate myself back in to real life without HAND.

The Great!

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

being able to function normally in society, gaining employment, and knowing I have my HAND support whenever I need it.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 23, 2010

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June 23, 2010

What gives HOP credibility making it a place of hope is that it is run and supported financially exclusively by parents who have lost a baby. Newcomers see other grieving parents, like myself, not only coping with life after loss, trusting the universe and having a subsequent baby, but also offering support and reassurance. I learned my feelings were real, normal and changed with time. Somehow the hurt became tolerable, was woven into the background of my life and joy was possible again. I've served in every capacity as, sadly, our services are still much in demand. Because we are parent-run, it is difficult to expand services beyond the core group of volunteers. Many are young families and do not have the energy or time to volunteer although many come back when their children have grown.

Photos

The Great!

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

it is natural to feel like a failure when our baby dies. That was 22 years ago and I have gone on to reassure newly bereaved parents that they did nothing wrong. It was a relief to forget about my pain and support others. That is the most healing.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 23, 2010

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June 23, 2010

I was a parent that lost my first born son in a full term delivery accident 21 years ago. I was brought to HAND of the Peninsula by a friend. I participated as a grieving parent for 12 years. I would get calls to meet families in the hospital, funeral homes that had lost a child. I participated on the Board and participated in 1989 in going to Washington DC looking for Federal aid in support for Grieving Families. The work that I participated in helped me feel that the support I gave would be helpful to families that needed someone to watch over them. In great despair and grief someone not emotional attached but there to protect and aid the families in the most difficult time in their lives. The loss of a child is life long. Subsequent Children do not replace the child lost. Women grieve for their entire lives, but they do survive and move on and with help and different suggestions on how to cope and grieve and acknowledge the loss helps us live and find happiness again. We do find happiness again.

Photos

The Great!

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

I have seen the peer support be a solid foundation for the loss of a child. I have seen the support during subsequent pregnancies be helpful and an aid in overcoming the fears and anxiety of the next child. I believe that it is a tool in the grief process

Ways to make it better...

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

Find more funding to support the services that the organization that are offered.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the support and dedication of the members.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

parents that have lost, that had experiences that were similar and gave me hop for overcoming the hardships.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Give support to so many people that are grieving. People who speak different languages and in low incomes could receive more help.

Ways to make it better...

I had not lost my son.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding and volunteers

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am grateful to the founders of the organization. I am blessed with knowing the families that I met through the organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2004

June 22, 2010

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June 22, 2010

When I lost my first pregnancy after years of trying to conceive, I was distraught. I found the much needed support I was seeking at the HAND of the Peninsula meetings. If I had not received the support from the other HAND parents I don't believe I would have gotten through the most difficult parts of grieving as well as I did. I was so appreciative of the support I received that I have done an "inservice" where I spoke with crisis hotline volunteers to better help them serve callers going through something similar and I am now a facilitator for the support meetings. HAND is a lifeline for sure.

The Great!

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

that the support meetings, newsletter, lending library and website helped me when I thought I was beyond help, lost in a sea of grief.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Deliver brochures to several hospital labor and delivery, nicu, chaplain and emergency room personnel exchanging contact information.