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JanM

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ALLIANCE OF HOPE FOR SUICIDE SURVIVORS
November 7, 2012

Suicide traumatizes those left behind, and the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors provides a safe, nonjudgmental atmosphere for them to heal, often the only such place in areas where support resources are limited or stigma creates impenetrable boundaries of isolation. The clinically moderated forum, blog, and Web site are lifelines, often called "sacred spaces" where healing can and does take place though that may seem impossible to survivors at first.

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
Volunteer

ALLIANCE OF HOPE FOR SUICIDE SURVIVORS
July 10, 2012

I lost my dear husband of 33 years to suicide in 2007. When he ended his life, he ended the only life I had known as an adult. I felt so alone. When I found the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors, I found other people like me, people in pain offering hope to each other. Hope was all we had, but it was what we needed. Now, five years later, I volunteer as a forum moderator. Every day I try to hand out hope to people who are hurting because I remember what that pain feels like and how alone I felt. And I see how strong this Alliance has made me now. When I read posts, I often send replies for hours because, well, who do you leave out? The mom who suddenly found out that the son she loves killed himself? The young person whose friends don't understand why she can't just "get over" her mother's death. The man who lost his only sibling? The fiance whose future is ended before it's begun? The widow my age who writes my own story when she tells about her tragedy? The rest of the world doesn't know how many nights we suffer. They don't see the tears we feel we must hide from them just to make it until the end of the day. They are not aware that we were once like them and that they might one day be one of us. If that happens, I pray the Alliance will still be there. Hope is a fragile commodity but, without it, where would any of us be?

The Great!

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

my own life. My children and I have grown stronger and gone beyond just surviving. We have a new life now, one that would have been impossible without the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors.

Ways to make it better...

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

request funding and put what this organization has accomplished before those who could help spread the word about the life-saving work the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors does every day.

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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

I have made many friends from all over the world, and I have learned how to express compassion, to ease pain, and to be there for others.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It changed my life and continues to change my life every day. I am humbled by the words of others who offer me an invitation into their very soul and the deepest part of their suffering. I mourn with them and rejoice in their smallest victories. This is the way human beings should help each other.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I respond to forum posts from people suffering from traumatic loss.

ALLIANCE OF HOPE FOR SUICIDE SURVIVORS
June 22, 2011

When my husband's personality changed, after 28 years of marriage, I didn't know what was happening. For over five years after that, we tried to get help from doctors of every kind, from professionals in seven counties in two states. Even after I learned that my precious soul mate, a man who had been only gentle and kind, was struggling with mental illness and alcohol addiction, none of the reading and research I did or the courses I took or the support groups I joined prepared me for losing him to suicide. When it happened, in 2007, I was utterly alone in my shock and grief. Though I was surrounded by loving family members and counseled by a professional in private sessions, no one could really help me. No one, that is, until I found an online group called The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors. I had tried other groups. My local Survivors of Suicide group disbanded after a year, and other online groups did not offer what I needed. The Alliance of Hope was different. I joined in September of 2008, about nine months after the group was founded. What impressed me then was not only that the founder and moderator had professional training and clinical experience in counseling people in traumatic grief but also that she had lost a loved one to suicide. She knew my darkness. No matter the day or the hour, I could turn to the forum and read what this quickly growing number of fellow sufferers were posting. I could see I was no longer alone. In reading about their pain, and in sharing my own, I began to heal, but the journey we are all on is not an easy one. Few people understand what it is even like or that it is a journey measured in years, not months or days. We are forever changed, in fact, and do not have the luxury of going back to lives that have been irrevocably demolished. The guilt, confusion, misinformation, heartache, questions, and the enormity of being left without a life and disconnected from even the physical world for a time is overwhelming to new survivors. The pain cannot be imagined. How was I to go on? What was to become of my children? When would the nightmares end? I received help with all of these issues and so many more from the leadership and members. This is a group no one wants to need, but the statistics on suicide are staggering. People from all over the world are members of The Alliance of Hope because suicide crosses all geographic, national, racial, ethnic, economic, political and social boundaries. No one is immune.

The Great!

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

I've seen the change within myself that occurred because of working within this group. I watched myself transition from being a raw new survivor to a more experienced and compassionate friend to those whose loss was more recent than my own. I've gained personal strength and the ability to go back out into the world and take on new challenges. I've come to new understandings that helped not only me but also my daughters know that what happened to my husband was not something shameful.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would like to see real-time conferences and more programs that are only visions now. This group has the ability to change lives and do so on an amazingly large scale. I would like to see more funding available for the various projects and ideas the leadership has the potential to develop.

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

How did you find this group?

Internet search about suicide

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I feel stronger and more able to handle the debilitating ups and downs of life after suicide. The most profound change is that I now view myself as not just a survivor but also someone who can have a real life again, a joyful life, while preserving and honoring the memories of my old life. The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors has helped me do that.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Client Served & As I saw this group grow, I became a message board steward and then a moderator, helping to answer the many cries for help, welcoming new members, participating in fund-raising efforts and conference calls, all as a volunteer. I also contribute to the gr.