In the Spring of 2007 my dear friend, John Carmon asked me if I would be interested in serving on the Mary’s Place Board of Directors. Having never served on a Board, at first I was hesitant. John, however, was persistent stating “I know you Rob …and serving on the Mary’s Place Board will be nothing short of a life changing event for you.” John’s words could not have been more prophetic as my service on the board has enriched my life beyond anything I could have ever imagined. From the first picnic and butterfly release of remembrance to the last gala and more recently, the wine tasting fund raiser event, I have never cried more tears of joy. I am a witness to the dedication, determination and the countless selfless acts of giving that the staff, volunteers, and my fellow board members bring to the mission of Mary’s Place. Be they toddlers, tweens, teens or adults, I am a witness, as well, to indomitable strength, courage and resilience of those who have suffered the grievous loss of loved ones. My hope for all of you who read these testimonials is that you will moved to come and stand alongside all of us in support of the awesome works of kindness and compassion that is Mary’s Place.
My experience has been so enriching to see how families coming to Mary's Place are handled with sensitivity and compassion. The board regularly hears from parents who share their personal story and subsequent experiences about how Mary's Place helped their children and themselves adjust to the death of a spouse, parent, sibling or grandparent through adult groups as well as children's groups from tots to teens. My observation is not one of overwhelming sadness but love, courage, laughter, sharing and individual growth as the children learn that they are not alone and can honestly express themselves while being understood by those in similar circumstances.