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February 3, 2011

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February 3, 2011

I am a young widow with 3 young children. My husband died suddenly 16 months ago while I was pregnant. This group has been a support I could never have found otherwise. To be in contact with other widows your age and circumstance through the widow match program and FB, feel supported 24/7 and know there are others in your darkest hours has helped so much.
You also never feel judged and know that there is hope for a different future for yourself and kids when you see what other widows further in their grief journey have done.

The Great!

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

Knowing I have friends when I need them and no one will judge me no matter how much I talk and cry about my late husband.

Ways to make it better...

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

Have more activities in Canada

February 3, 2011

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February 3, 2011

My husband passed away in June of 2008. SSLF Widow Match program gave me the opportunity to connect with other Widows around my same age. I had an awesome experience at Camp Widow 2010. Spending a weekend with other's and sharing our journeys makes us feel like we're not alone. This support group is amazing !!! I plan on going again August 2011 and looking forward to seeing so many of my Widow Friends.

The Great!

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

The workshops at Camp Widow are awesome. They made me feel like I can do just about anything. Widows Rock !!!

Ways to make it better...

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

I suggest a year book with all the pictures that were taken at Camp Widow. What a wonderful keep sake that would be !!!

February 3, 2011

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February 3, 2011

I became a widow in 2008 when my husband of 1.5 years passed away from a rare cancer. I was 24 at the time, and had no clue who and how to connect with others who were in similar situations as I was. SSLF was a great organization to put me in touch with other widows, and has kept me involved since then. They do amazing work to keep widows working together.

The Great!

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

Over the holidays they provided amazing opportunities for widows to meet in person all over the country. It was so uplifting.

Ways to make it better...

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

I think they're doing a great job expanding their opportunities as is

February 3, 2011

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February 3, 2011

My mother was widowed twice before she was 53. I saw what she went through and I experienced some challenging times myself. If SSLF had been around to help her in the grieving process I think she be more at peace today. And so would all our family.

The Great!

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

my daily life.

Ways to make it better...

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

Increase the funding so that we could reach more people who are grieving and who feel alone.

February 3, 2011

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February 3, 2011

SSLF filled a much needed gap for individuals who suddenly find themselves named "widow" or "widower". They have taken a group of people, whom the general public would choose to denote as "depressing" and helped them to find a way to celebrate again. How? In their new found friendship with each other.

The only way through death and loss is "through" and SSLF makes the process healthier, less lonely and even adds joy to the mix.

The Great!

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

At Camp Widow, I saw so many women come alive...many who said that they had not laughed since their husband died some months ago. I witnessed women who had been supporting each other by email, meeting for the first with the words, "You saved my life." I met several men who lost their life partners who expressed how helpful it was to talk with others (male or female) who understood the loss of their beloved.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would have some method of gaining a connection to churches on behalf of widows. I sincerely believe that every single church in the U.S. and around the world should sponsor one widow's registration to Camp Widow. There is no healing like that which comes from talking with someone who has walked in your shoes.

February 3, 2011

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February 3, 2011

SSLF sets the gold standard for grief support organizations. It is run by-and for- those who have lost a spouse.

In my work as a grief support author, I regularly refer people to them for the kind of wisdom only gained by walking through the fire.

They are a tremendous
resource, with an annual conference, personal support and one of the most honest blogs you'll ever read.

The Great!

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

I have interviewed many people involved with SSLF, including its founder, Michele Neff Hernandez.

Ways to make it better...

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

The only change I would make to SSLF would be to find a way to make their events accessible to everyone. This is one cause you can feel GREAT about supporting. Send a donation today. You'll feel good, and it could make all the difference to someone just when they need it most.

June 3, 2010

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June 3, 2010

When my husband died in May 2008 at 28, I thought I was the only young widow out there. I desperately tried to find my age of women who were going through what I was going through. When I found what the 1st National Conference on Widowhood (Camp Widow) weekend consisted of, I knew I had to go, and it did change my life. I was able to meet other young widows and realize that I was normal. I have formed incredible friendships with these people. I know for me, when I was first widowed it was very hard to find a support system of other young widows. SSLF has filled this gap and I think it is so important for everyone who needs this organization to be able to find it, so much so that I have hosted Widows Rock the Holiday's parties in Seattle the last two years. Not all grieving has to include tears of sadness, (I learned that at Camp) When I returned for Camp Widow 2010, I saw many familiar faces and many new faces. I was able to relate to where they were because I was there the year before. I was able to see how far I had come on my journey, and that might not have been possible without Michele and SSLF. We all need to believe in hope and this foundation gives you that!

The Great!

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

the hope that I now have for the future.

Ways to make it better...

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

more funding so that everyone who needed this organization could find it and be able to attend Camp.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 24, 2010

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May 24, 2010

I was the co-chairman of the Global Panel at the 2009 SSLF National Women's Conference. It was a great experience which allowed me to help bring vital informaiton about the plight of widows in developing and war torn countries to widows in the U.S. As a part of my work I hosted a major political figure from Iraq, Rajaa Al Khuzai, who spoke about the plight of widows in Iraq. Michele and her organization did an amazing job of organizing this event, and they supported me and my co-chairperson in creating and presenting out panel. I'm going back this year to chair the global panel again.

The Great!

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

This organization is providing an invaluable service to widows and women in this country and around the world. Personally, they have made it possible for me to share my experience and knowledge with others in a way that I could not have on my own.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would broaden its international work, but that takes funding.

More feedback...

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

Meeting wonderful people with similar experiences, and similar goals, and having the opportunity to share in their work.

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

People at every level of the organization

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

change the world

Ways to make it better...

At times the roles of everyone involved in the Global Panel and the financial responsibilities were confusing but it all worked out and was fine.

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

Fund raising

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

We need more people like Michele and more organizations like SSLF.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 21, 2010

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May 21, 2010

This organization has helped me, as a widow, know that I am not alone. Not at all. Being widowed at a young age is horrific and very lonely. But Soaring Sprits and Camp Widow has given me other people to connect with, people who "get it" because we're all on the same "road". That's not something you can usually experience in your own community so it's fantastic to have this opportunity on line. Camp Widow was a wonderful weekend where we could all be ourselves and find the support and friendship we need. Soaring Spirits is a wonderful organization that offers support where no one else does.

The Great!

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

By attending Camp Widow and by writing on its blog.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 20, 2010

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May 20, 2010

As a 9-11 widow, I knew a large part of my healing was having the company of other 9-11 widows, but for most widows and widowers, they are alone. Soaring Spirits wants to change this by helping Widows and Widowers get the support they need at their darkest hour. I attended Camp Widow last summer, albeit with some skepticism. I was trying to move forward and worried that it was going to be depressing. It was quite the opposite. What I found was an inspiring group of men and women sharing, learning and supporting each other through the painful loss of a spouse. Yes, there were tears but more often there was laughter. Soaring Spirits offers the balm of shared experience, letting widows around the country and even around the world, know they are not alone.

The Great!

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

the friendships and support I've received through this remarkable organization.

More feedback...

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

meeting other widows, networking with other people who have lost.

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

Friendly, hardworking, dedicated.

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

Change the world. It could network with widows from other countries and expand its mission to help women in their darkest hours.

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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