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Listening Hearts

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Unknown

Mission: To provide a safe, sharing shelter for grieving moms.

Results: We continue to reach out to the grieving community with added programming. We have increased our outreach and our activities.

Target demographics: grieving mothers and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: grieving moms in Knoxville and surrounding areas .

Geographic areas served: Knoxville and surrounding areas

Programs: monthly gatherings and memorial events. We are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with a focus on compassion, hope, empathy, respect, encouragement and open communication.

Community Stories

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Jane104

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was raised to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself, especially painful ones. " Time will heal my wounds." So when I reached out to Listening Hearts, it was me that had to learn the process of grieving, and open up to the unspeakable pain. There were so many at different stages. I thought what madness for all of us to endure. But there was so much patience and compassion in the meetings that I felt safe to be there and experience the support they offered. I had always been some type of caregiver myself and they gave me what I could not give myself, unconditional love for where I was with no judgement. I was judging myself plenty, but they showed me that my crazy thoughts and feelings were normal. It definitely takes someone that has walked this walk to understand the complexity of what goes on in our bodies, minds, and spirit. While a counselor is good to seek out, a group like this is a blessing many times over. I think they helped me from having a nervous breakdown.

Comments ( 1 )

listeningheartsmoms Jane, We are so sorry that any mom must travel this journey. We wish there was no need for a group such as this, but we are glad you found us. Your willingness to share is a blessing to others. Thank you. Hugs.

Kimberly Rizzi B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We lost our oldest son unexpectedly on February 3, 2013, he was just 20 years old and had just turned 20 the end of December. You never expect that you will lose a child it's just not the natural order of the way that life is supposed to play out. Losing Colin was really hard on our family it left us as a family of 4 instead of a family of 5. It was incredibly difficult for our other son because the boys are just 1 day shy of 19 months apart and they were each other's best friend. It was very scary for our daughter she was just 13 and was afraid to sleep by herself because she was afraid of dying like her brother had. So she slept with us for several months. It was during that time while on Facebook that I found out about this group Listening Hearts. It was here in this group where I now found others who got it and understood my pain. I could go onto this page and I could vent about anything and there was always someone there who would respond to my post with empathy over my feelings. That first year is really rough trying to get through all the firsts without your child and for me it was so hard come December because we had our first Christmas without Colin then just 4 days later was his first birthday celebrated in heaven then you have New Years Eve which was really hard because I was leaving behind my son in 2013 which was where the last memories were with him and I was moving into 2014 with no new memories to be made with him and then came his 1 year angel day on February 3rd, but I had already been stressing about it since the first of the year. It was such a hard time from December through February but having this group to go to and talk with others about my feelings really helped me to know that what I was experiencing was normal. Especially having others who were further into their grief journey, they assured me that it would get better it would never be easy, I would never get over losing Colin but the pain lessen and not be as raw as it was at that time. They were right it has gotten easier some days are better then others the pain never goes away but I have learned to live with it even when I want fall apart and crumble I am still able to be strong for my family and that is because I have other parents that I have been able to draw strength from through this group, they have helped me to get through some tough patches in the past 5 years and I know that they will always be there when I need to vent with compassion and understanding and no judging.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 06/08/2018

We are so sorry you have this need, but glad you found us. It is an honor to have you share Colin with us. We all need one another and we appreciate the way you reach out to help others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our daughter, Heather Turner Lane, graduated from Carson Newman in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She did her student teaching at Seymour Primary. She had two interim positions at Seymour Schools after she graduated. She loved teaching and the kids so much; she wasn't really concerned about getting paid. The principal (I think it was Mr. Clark at the time) would have to remind her to come to the office and get her check.

Heather wasn't sure if she could have a baby because she was a very brittle diabetic, but at 29 weeks and 3 days into the pregnancy, Cynthia Lynn Lane was born on July 31, 2003 weighing in at 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Heather loved her baby girl more than life itself!

Heather was definitely planning on going back to teaching when Cynthia started school.

Heather was killed instantly in a car wreck on John Sevier Highway on July 14, 2004. We think she probably had a low blood sugar which caused the accident.

The good news in all this is that I know I will be with Heather again some day! But in the meantime, it sure is hard being away from her. My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 139:16, "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Everything that happens is all in God's control and I find a lot of comfort in that!

The Listening Hearts Moms have been a big part in helping me cope with my loss . Going to the meetings don't "fix" anything , but it sure is comforting to be with other Moms that understand! It's a safe place to share your feelings because no one will judge you for how you feel-----there's not a right or wrong way to grieve. You feel how you feel, but it's nice sometimes to say anything you want and it's OK!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter, Heather Turner Lane, was 30-years-old when she was killed in a car wreck on John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN on July 14, 2004. We think Heather had a low blood sugar from being a diabetic which caused her to become disoriented.

June 28, 2004 the picture below was taken on the day we had a Turner family reunion. Two weeks later, Heather died.

July 4, 2004 was the last holiday we celebrated at Heather and Greg's house with Heather's Dad, Heather's brother (Eric), Heather's husband (Greg), Heather's daughter (Cynthia), Heather's sister-in-law (Hannah), Heather's niece (Elys) and me. We had such a good day just eating, swimming and being together. Heather was experiencing kidney failure due to her diabetes. I can still picture Heather's brother, Eric, tenderly putting Heather's feet up on a foot stool to help with the swelling. (Heather was in the process to have a kidney then pancreas transplant. Eric wanted to be tested first to see if he was a match.)

Heather had a daughter, Cynthia Lynn Lane. Cynthia's 1st birthday was July 31, 2004. Heather had taken Cynthia on July 5, 2004 for her 1-year-old birthday picture (below). Heather had the birthday invitations filled out and addressed. Heather told me what kind of cake she wanted~~~a cake that looked like the invitations. Heather told me what she wanted to have at the party~~~a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. We had Cynthia's 1st birthday party just like her Mommy would have done it! Heather was an amazing Mommy and loved Cynthia with her whole being! Cynthia is a carbon copy of her Mom and we are so proud of the young woman she is. Cynthia will be 14-years-old this Monday.

Listening Hearts has helped in so many ways to make this journey bearable. The pain will never stop because the love will never stop. And that's OK, because I don't want the love to go away. There is something therapeutic about being with other Moms who have lost a child. It doesn't matter if it's because of a car accident, illness, suicide or murder; we all have the same feelings. Listening Hearts gives lots of encouragement and lots of hugs. And it's OK if you cry.

Last but not least, God has helped me survive and thrive! Some days I can only survive and other days I thrive. But no matter what God is always there!

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 07/29/2017

Thank you for sharing your touching story of the love your carry for your beautiful daughter, Heather. We appreciate how out of that love you pay it forward to other grieving mothers.

Jennifer480

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great group that has had the most unthinkable happen to them, losing a child. No mother should bury their child, but for some unknown reason, it happens. This group leans on one another for comfort during their journey. You find support, caring and love from this group. Never judging, only caring and understanding.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great group of great women. Really helps each other out and gives you people to talk to about what you're going through that knows what you're going through. Just a great group!

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 07/04/2017

Jennifer, We are sorry any mother needs a group such as this, but we are blessed to have one another. Thank you for all that you do for others. Hugs.

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Pamela Masterson O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Pamela Ooten. I joined Listening Heart's in August of 2016.
You see my precious son Hop John was murdered and died in my arms on August 1, 2016. My son was my life, my heart, my baby boy, my prince, and my world. He left behind 2 of the most amazing little boys in whole world. My husband and I are raising them. My whole world fell apart on that horrible day when my son took his last breath and his beautiful heart stopped. This is a journey that I don't wish on any momma or daddy. I have a case in court due to the death of my handsome blue eyed baby boy. My son had a heart of gold, he was willing to give the shirt off his back to help someone, he never met a stranger. He had such a huge impact on a lot of people. He loved to help anybody that he met. He was an amazing artist, his oldest son Kevin, has taken on his daddy's skills at drawing. Here's a picture of my son.

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listeningheartsmoms 05/20/2018

Thank you for sharing your handsome son, Hop, with us. He will never be forgotten because he lives on in you, his 2 sons and all who knew him.

Janet G.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent group of caring, friendly people who never push, but guide.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 05/20/2018

Janet, We thank you for your kind and encouraging words. We all need one another.

Rene S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I lost my daughter 28 days after Brittanys 28th birthday. By this time people went on with their lives and when Brittanys 29th birthday came a simple gesture of a birthday card for my daughters birthday absolutely is the most beautiful acknowledge of being a mother to my daughter. Until you lose a child small things to acknowledge that your child existed and you are there mother is heartfelt

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listeningheartsmoms 05/20/2018

We are so sorry that your beautiful and precious daughter, Brittany, went before you. Thank you for the warm words of support.

Kathy P.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Listening hearts is a great organization for mothers that have lost their children. They contacted me right after my daughter passed away and have remained in contact ever since. They always reach out with a card during difficult times such as my daughters birthday or Mother’s Day just to let me know that they're thinking about me. The rest of the world may forget our loss but listening hearts does not.

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listeningheartsmoms 05/20/2018

Kathy, We are sorry you need a group such as ours, but glad to have each other. Thank you for the warm words.

Lsk9275906

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful group of moms that care so much for each other.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 05/20/2018

Thank you for giving back to the other moms.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a fantastic group. I feel comfort and strength from each Mom that attends our meetings. Loosing a child is something that can not be explained in words, but our actions of love for one another gives great support.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 07/26/2017

We appreciate moms like you who reach back to another mom just beginning her journey. We could not do this without volunteers like you.

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ReneauH

Client Served

Rating: 5

Listening Hearts founder Debra Reagan reached out to me through my son's obituary in 2008. My Carson was only 17 when he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident, and well, it's truly every parent's nightmare to lose their child. I'm really not sure how I would have coped without this group, I went pretty early on. I was fortunate to have a large support group of friends and family but they just weren't equipped to deal with the grief of child loss. Listening Hearts group helped me to not feel so alone in this horrific journey and it was a wonderful place to share my feelings without judgement and only hugs and support. No need to explain the feelings here; only love and hugs and understanding. Equally important was getting to know other moms, some who were further along in their journey, and seeing them still breathing and living. I needed to see that; once you lose hope, you've really lost. This group gave me hope that I would be able to come out on "the other side". Changed, but alive.

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listeningheartsmoms 05/19/2018

Thank you, Reneau, for sharing your warm words of support.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

After I lost my 17 year old son, I found this group, or I should say, this group found me, specifically Debra Reagan, through my son's obituary. I'm unsure how I could've made it through those early months, and beyond, without the support, love and friendship I found in this group. For a mother to lose her child has to be the most devastating thing that can happen. Friends were there for me, but honestly, finding a group of moms who travel this same journey helped me understand that so many of my feelings and thoughts were "normal" that I don't think my other friends were or are comfortable with. I am now five years into this journey and still find support as I need it in this group. I have made friends for life here.

At times I haven't been up to attending and I love that it's ok to feel that way and not judged. It's a group I am free to be me. It is a rollercoaster this journey and so glad to have my Listening Hearts moms there for me whether it's a meeting, on Facebook or in a phone call or email.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 08/28/2014

Reneau, I remember the expression of pain in your eyes when you first walked through the door. I am so thankful that something lead me to reach out to you through the obituary. I feel Carson is with you always and he will never be forgotten. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Part of my support network in surviving the loss of my son seven years ago.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known the founder of this group Debra, since it began, via website connections as I live outside the USA. We both lost our sons in similar circumstances.
I have watched it grow over the past 9 years or so, and while I am unable to be physically involved I find great comfort in seeing the amazing work they do among bereaved mothers and families. I love to see stories and pictures of their gatherings on their Facebook site. I also love the stories written by mothers giving inspiration to the newly bereaved who have embarked on this awful journey that none of us ever thought we would be on.
No-one wants to join this group but sadly there is always a need. Keep up the great work.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 07/31/2017

Thank you for the warm share of words and beautiful photo. It is hard to imagine walking this path without loving and caring mothers like yourself. Hugs!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for the sweet women I have met through Listening Hearts. By a miracle, their invitation to come to a meeting arrived at a moment when I was so crazy with grief that I would have tried anything. What a gift it has been to me in such a dark time! Every mom is free to be...happy, sad, crying, mad...just herself. And the women of Listening Hearts have helped teach me so much about what my new self will be--one that learns to carry great sadness and great love in the same heart

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listeningheartsmoms 07/27/2017

We are sorry that any mom must walk this journey, but glad you found us. We are honored to have you share your precious child with us. Your kind words bless our hearts.

Janice48

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group has been a blessing to me . I remember and sometimes reflect on how it came about me being in the group!. I love ❤️ the group

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 07/23/2017

Thank you, Janice. You are a blessing to other moms. Byron will not be forgotten.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, My name is Janice Clay I lost my son in 2006 from a car accident. I remember when I first found out about the group I was at my son grave site and someone let an invite to a Mothers Luncheon and I'm thinking who left this should I not. Well I went and it was good for me. I really enjoy meeting with the ladies it has been really good for me. But 'm sorry we had to meet under these condition !! Listening Hearts

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Listening Hearts is a place for bereaved moms to find hope, understanding, comfort and love. It's a safe place for the wounded and broken hearted. I can share a particular subject regarding my child or dealing with family issues and it seems I always find a mom who has dealt with the same subject, willing to share her wisdom.We heal together and share our children in a beautiful, inspiring, way.

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listeningheartsmoms 07/22/2017

Thank you for your heart warming words of support.

1 Jane104

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a client and volunteer for Listening Hearts for 8 years. I learned early on from the group, the chaos that my mind was experiencing, was normal. I felt so crazy. Now I am honored to help and provide hope to other mother's that have lost their children. The experience has helped me to grow as a person. I really don't know how I would have held it together without this group. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me.

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listeningheartsmoms 07/04/2017

We all need one another in this horrible journey we travel. Thank you for all that you have done in the past and continue to do for other moms on this journey. Hugs.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was raised to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself, especially painful ones. " Time will heal my wounds." So when I reached out to Listening Hearts, it was me that had to learn the process of grieving, and open up to the unspeakable pain. There were so many at different stages. I thought what madness for all of us to endure. But there was so much patience and compassion in the meetings that I felt safe to be there and experience the support they offered. I had always been some type of caregiver myself and they gave me what I could not give myself, unconditional love for where I was with no judgement. I was judging myself plenty, but they showed me that my crazy thoughts and feelings were normal. It definitely takes someone that has walked this walk to understand the complexity of what goes on in our bodies, minds, and spirit. While a counselor is good to seek out, a group like this is a blessing many times over. I think they helped me from having a nervous breakdown.

Comments ( 1 )

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listeningheartsmoms 02/28/2017

Jane, We are so sorry that any mom must travel this journey. We wish there was no need for a group such as this, but we are glad you found us. Your willingness to share is a blessing to others. Thank you. Hugs.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

My 13 year old son Tanner Jameson passe away from cardiac arrest in Maryville tn my life changed forever.. I became part of this group in which I could express how I felt in the grief journey and no one judged or critized me. Everyone just listened and you knew they cared because the one thing we all do have in common is that we all where grieving the loss of our child . It didn't matter how or age of there passing cause the pain of losing a child is the same .. we all grieve and handle the pain different ways for me I passed three state laws that are named after my child . I could speak freely with out people wanting to know more or say they knew me and my story all I got was loving response and and being able to say how the pain of loosing my child feels like yesterday . Thus group no matter what always recognized his anniversary and his birthday. I knew I could go to the site and some one was always there in seconds when you needed to talk ... This group is a safe haven for us moms and for most the only people who understand where we are and where we are going in the grieving process. .

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listeningheartsmoms 07/04/2017

We are sorry that we never got the opportunity to know your precious son, Tanner. We are honored that you share his memory with us. Thank you for the work you do to help others. Hugs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is hard to rate comfort, in the face of so much pain, but I give Listening Hearts 5 Stars just for that. I belong to a local grief support group but Shave a hard time expressing myself to them sometimes, or to anyone at times, and Listening Hearts has given me a safe place to be honest and emotional without fear of embarrassment or hurting anyone's feelings. I am so glad someone added me to, or suggested this group. The name really says it all.

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listeningheartsmoms 07/04/2017

We want to thank you for taking the time to provide this touching review. Thank you for reaching out to help yourself and others. Hugs

majikwon

Client Served

Rating: 5

Another year has passed. Sometimes I feel like times go by so fast, then other times when I feel the loss of my daughter it is slow. It doesn't feel like my daughter would have been 26 years old her upcoming birthday. Time is slow when it comes to trying to mend my heart. I have meet so many grieving Moms. How I wish we did not have to meet at all. That life would not take our children before us. Life is definitely not fair to us. The moms I talk to have the same hole in their heart as I do mine. We have something in common that is unimaginable to others. Listening hearts is the perfect name for this organization as these Mom's open their hearts to the newer Mom's and make them feel like they are not along. Which is what they have done for me. I'm forever grateful.

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listeningheartsmoms 04/17/2017

Thank you for your kind words of support. We wish no mother had to walk this journey, but we feel blessed to have one another for support. Much love to you.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recieved an email from the nonprofit link so it is time for me to write my review this year.
As I'm going into my 3rd year of the death of my daughter, Lisa, I have adjusted quite a bit. I remember going to my very first Greiving Mothers Meeting, I was so nervous. I didn't want to talk. I did end up saying a few words about Lisa but not to many. I was thankful there were only about 5 moms there because by nature I'm shy till I get to know you. I have met so many wonderful people. They would do almost anything for me as long as they could, and I for them. There is a special bond we have created between us, but I wish it was for another reason

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listeningheartsmoms 06/22/2016

We are so sorry any mom needs a group such as ours, but we feel blessed to find each other. Lisa will never be forgotten.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful support group. The women who join are in the darkest days any human must suffer. When I joined nearly 2 years ago, I did not know how I was going to survive the loss of my daughter. The kind and loving support of Debra and the other members has helped me understand that this too shall pass. Even though I have yet to feel the flesh of their loving arms around me, I feel their love hug my heart. For those of us who are shut in and unable to travel, this group is a life preserver, literally.

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listeningheartsmoms 06/27/2016

Suzi Lynne, Thank you for such a warm and supportive message. Your precious daughter, Lynn, will not be forgotten. We hope to give you that "in person" hug soon.

Judy163

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Listening hearts is just what this means! We all have stories!! We all have grief!! So thankful for this group that we can share our stories in memory of our loved ones!!

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listeningheartsmoms 06/26/2016

Judy, Thank you for sharing your story with us. We are honored when a bereaved mom shares her precious child with us.