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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jeff's Place

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Personal Social Services

Mission: Jeff's Place Mission is to ensure that all children, teens and families experience a healthy grieving process in a supportive environment. Our vision is that no one grieves alone.

Results: To-Date we have served over 500 participants from over 38 towns and cities across MA.

Target demographics: grieving children and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 130 individuals

Geographic areas served: the Boston MetroWest community

Programs: free clinician-led, peer support groups; individual and family therapy; educational trainings and crisis management intervention

Community Stories

118 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jeff's Place was a wonderful resource to have available to me & my 2 boys. My wife died after a 2.5 year battle with cancer and our boys were 11 & 13 years old. They are very "strong & tough kids", both emotionally & physically. However, I knew that I would need help for both my sons & myself to assist in the grieving process.

My boys didn't really want to go to the meetings, probably because they didn't want to talk about their emotions and/or feelings. I do believe that it was a great help for all of us and led to many conversations that we've had about their mother and all of us as a family!

We stopped attending Jeff's Place meetings over a year ago! We have stayed in communication with Jeff's Place volunteers and try to support them when we can. My hope is that Jeff's Place continues working with families for as long as each individual family needs!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm extremely grateful to have such a wonderful place like Jeff's Place available to me, in my family's time of need! My wife died after a 2.5 year battle with cancer and we have 2 boys, who were 11 & 13 years old. They are probably the toughest 2 children that I've ever met, but they "act like boys" & I feared that they were suppressing their emotions. Also, I was afraid of how "alone" they would feel with very few of their peers having ever gone through anything like this.

While I can't say they were thrilled with the idea of going to Jeff's Place and discussing their feelings, it has helped them immensely! They get to go and relate to other kids that are going through similar things and they felt accepted, right away. For me, Jeff's place has been a wonderful experience! I've met so many genuinely caring people, who want nothing more than to assist people and help them to continue on with their lives and ease their grieving process any way they can. Also, I feel that it has taken some of the burden off of my shoulders and helped me to "get my boys to open up & express their feelings".

We did research & had attended other similar groups when my wife died, but Jeff's Place is far & away the best! We found the right place for us, thank you Jeff's Place!

Client Served

Rating: 5

In January, 2014 my husband died suddenly from a car accident. We have three children in all different stages of life. To say that it has been tremendously difficult would be an understatement. I found out about Jeff's place about a year prior to my husbands death while attending a PTG meeting. At the time, our lives were going according to plan, happily moving along from year to year. I remember sitting at the meeting listening to the representatives describe Jeff's place and thinking how wonderful that this place/support was available for children and families that suffer loss. Little did I know that we would need that support as well. I cannot fully express my gratitude for the staff, volunteers, and interns that provide a safe place for my children and myself to express and share (if we want to or not) our grief and feelings.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We feel very blessed to have Jeff's Place in our lives. The staff are so loving and caring and welcomed us with open arms and hearts. We're still grieving and everything is still so raw, but it really does help having a place to express our thoughts and emotions and talk about "our special person". Thank you Jeff's Place.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We found Jeff's Place after the sudden and unexpected death of my husband. It is an invaluable resource for myself and our children. Talking with people who have experienced a loss of this magnitude is healing for the soul. The staff, the volunteers and the interns are absolutely fantastic. We would recommend Jeff's Place without hesitation!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jeff's Place is a great place for kids who need support after a major loss. I attend meetings with the boy I am a guardian of and it is great for both him and I. The people are excellent, the group facilitators are top notch and Jeff's Place provides an outlet where kids who have experienced loss can go and not feel alone.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about this organization. It's a safe and supportive place for anyone struggling with a loss. It has had been transformative for my daughter and a place where she can feel that she is not alone.

1 Laura263

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jeff's Place is where my children can express their sadness and anger without judgement while also cherishing the memories of their father. I am able to meet with other parents and talk about the complicated nature of grieving the loss of my life partner while also needing to be emotionally strong enough to raise our daughters alone. Jeff's Place has been a vital resource for all three of us.
Everyone there is just amazing and we couldn't thank them enough for all that they do.

1 Ben_46

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I asked God to help my family after my oldest son Justin passed away he put Jenny and the Jeffs Place staff into our lives. We didn't know how to help our other two sons, 11 and 15, cope with the grief we were all experiencing. The group facilitators and other family's helped us find our way while making sense of it all. I can't express in words how important a roll this organization has played in so many lives at the most difficult time. The best part of all is they only want you to find peace in your life and be able to share with others how that worked for you. Amazing group of people!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization with a caring and committed staff.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer who sews Memory Bears for the bereaved children at Jeff's Place. While I do not meet the families in person, I do hear a bit about their stories (from the staff) so that I can attempt to capture the essence of their loved one in the stuffed bear I create from his/her clothing. It is not the norm in the United States in the 21st century for young families to lose a member. Finding peers who might understand one's ongoing grief can be challenging. Jeff's Place provides trained facilitators and peer groups for these children and their parents to share their grief and learn how to find a new normal. There is no timetable for grief. Jeff's Place helps bereaved families find ways to cope by surrounding them with others who are also learning to cope and helping them to provide understanding support for each other along the way.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I are so fortunate to have found Jeff's Place at our time of need. My ex-husband died unexpectedly and our 2 children (then age13 and 16) were grieving and I didn't know what to do. Jeff's Place welcomed us with open arms and the group meetings were so helpful to not only my children but to me also. My children learned they were not alone. Their were other kids grieving who understand their anger, their pain, all the emotions and fears they felt. The facilitators were amazing and so kind and worked with the kids through their pain and let them share all their fears, anger, emotions with no judgment but just a kind word. The adult group was immensely helpful to me. Seeing that I wasn't alone that other parents were experiencing the same difficulties with their children and being offered the support from other parents and the facilitators helped me to be stronger so that I could give my children the support they needed. We were with the program for approximately 2 years and gained so much I can never thank everyone enough at Jeff's Place for all they have done to help us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Board Member and Volunteer. Although I do not see the kids in their groups I watch them interact and tell their stories to the group. I am amazed at how they progress over the year and how poised they are when they tell their story. I have also seen the impact it has had on other volunteers who have had significant losses in their lives. The interaction with the participants help not only the kids in attendance but also helps all the volunteers that participate. It is a truly amazing organization that is serving such an important role in peoples lives. Unless you experience it or know someone who has you don't understand it and that is what Jeff's Place is all about. AMAZING !!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son and I attended Jeff's Place after his dad/my husband passed away. Every facet of the program helped us. From the family pizza dinners, to the parent group, to the teen group, to the annual holiday celebration, to the group leaders, to Jenny and her staff and all of the participants. I learned a tremendous amount from the parents and my son got to share his healing with peers. We learned that we are not alone, and in fact, we are all together in the grief process. Though we all grieve differently, we were all grieving and found some commonalities. I recommend Jeff's Place to any family who suffered a loss.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love this place! Jeff's place e ran a private group for my daughter and her friends who lost one of their friend's tragically. The staff at Jeff's place helped them through this difficult time and provided support to share their emotions.

1 Mary283

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son and I are so grateful for all the help and support we are getting from the wonderful people at Jeff's Place. The support and care we received from Jeff's Place got us through the difficult time.

1 Roxanne N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to find out about Jeff's Place shortly after my daughter's father died (a week before her 14th birthday). We attended meetings for two years, in which we were able to share our story, hear other's stories and support one another through these difficult times. I am immensely grateful for the camaraderie and support we received during our time there and would recommend this service to anyone in a similar situation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are so grateful to everyone at Jeff's Place for their care and support. From the dedication of the leaders and facilitators to the unconditional support of fellow "clients," our time at Jeff's Place was a gift that we didn't even know how much we needed. My son was fourteen years old when we started and he felt a sense of belonging right away, not an easy feat in the best of circumstances, with the caring leaders and other children. The parent groups I participated in helped me to cope with my myriad of feelings - I learned from everyone, often by just listening, despite how different many of us were. This experience brought us together and gently led us to a better place. I will be forever thankful to everyone at Jeff's Place.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jeff's Place helped us through an extremely difficult period in our lives. My daughter had just turned 7 when her father died of a brain tumor. She did not want to talk about it with any of her friends as she didn't want to be "different" from all of them who had healthy dads. Jeff's Place provided her with a safe place to share her feelings, since everyone there was "in the same boat". All the kids knew how hard it was to be missing a mother, father or other close relative. I observed as she went from being very shy to willing to share memories of her dad. Jenny Schrieber has assembled an amazing group of caring & supportive facilitators. I highly recommend Jeff's Place to all families with children grieving the loss of a loved one!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When we lost our son we knew we needed to meet others who could help us and understand us. The first place we reached out to couldn't take us for almost a year! Jeff's place welcomed us into the group within a couple months. We no longer attend the group since we have moved out of state but I miss the group terribly. What a wonderful place for a child to go to to feel that they are not alone with their grief amongst their peers, and where parents can meet others too ( even though this us a children's group!). The staff and Jenny are incredible.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization helps so many kids (and adults) feel like they are not alone. We understand them. We "get it " I hear from the clients all the time when we ask what Jeff's Place means to you. Working with this organization is a gift and a privilege.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate enough to volunteer at Jeff's Place for the last few years. Jeff's Place helps families and children find their "new normal" after a loss. After the sudden loss of my mother by suicide at the age of 11, I wish I had a place like Jeff's Place back then. Jeff's Place is filled with compassionate people who dedicate their time and their lives to simply helping others transition through a loss. I am so pleased to see how families find a place where people understand what they are going through and help them know there are others like them in the world. I have been blessed by seeing how many people begin the healing process and find a new strength in their lives. Jennifer Kaplan Schreiber and Melissa Panto Kennedy are two of the finest people I have ever met and they are the real deal. I would tell any family who has experienced a loss about Jef's Place.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen the power of Jeff's Place Children's Bereavement Center's model of providing support groups for grieving children at the same time as their parent is also finding support from their peers, a place of safety where a grieving spouse can find strength and guidance from others in the same situation. I am grateful that I can refer families to Jeff's Place, knowing that it is local, effective and that the organization provides their services at no charge to all grieving families.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

We lost a dear friend to suicide 3 years ago. He left behind a wife and two children, ages 10 & 13. The two kids went to Jeffs Place for a couple of years. The changes in them were huge each time they went to group. The facilitators are amazing and everytime I work a pizza night, I am amazed at all the kids, always smiling and happy. Happy tobe able to let off steam and happy to be withtheir peers who understand what they are going through, they are so lucky to have a safe place to go!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband died unexpectedly cutting a tree in our backyard, 3 days before our son's 5th birthday (who started kindergarten a month later). I had no family in the country and my husband's family was in Maine (we live in Massachusetts). Jeff's Place gave my son (and myself) the emotional support that allowed us to process our grief and move forward by the fantastic volunteers that make it all happen. They changed our lives and we will always be thankful for them.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jeff's place has been invaluable to my son and myself in the long journey of grief. The resources for grieving children are scarce and hard to come by. Not only it has turned my son's attitude towards his father's death from anger and hate to love and compassion but the parent group has also helped me to parent him and grieve myself. We're on our second year and we've both made amazing progress. I wish there were more centers for people that live to far to attend. I never imagined how many families were in our situation until I found Jeff's place.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer cofacilitator for over a year. Each time I participate I am blown away by the dedication, professionalism and generosity of the group. It has been an honor to be a part of this organization. Helping people becomes a personal journey for each of us.
The grief work changes the lives of all of us, volunteers and families who come for comfort. It is powerful and necessary. Impressve and delicate. As I leave each time I do so in awe of the folks in my group, the children they support and my colleagues who care so much.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer the most amazing thing that happens is to witness the amount of compassion the children have for each other. Sometimes they can say what I am thinking but don't dare to ask or say. The kids learn so much from each other. The best part is one child will tell their story, you could hear a pin drop, because it can be so intense, then another child all of a sudden will burp and everyone cracks up!! The kids are rolling on the floor laughing and making burping sounds. Next thing you know it's someone else's turn, they begin to tell the story and the laughter breaks out again. Eventually all are heard, in a very safe and clearly comfortable, and comforting atmoshpere. All have a voice at Jeff's Place, even the youngest children are heard.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The thing I found most comforting about Jeff's Place was talking with peers who were dealing with the same unique challenge. After my wife died, I had a lot of thoughts and feelings that I thought we very strange. It was a good feeling to realize that I was having a common reaction to an uncommon experience. Jeff's Place gave me that.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Where do you go for help when your husband and father of two children dies very unexpectedly while on a family vacation? Thankfully, for me and my girls, that place was Jeff's Place. The range of emotions that are a 'normal' part of the grieving process are unimaginable. But in addition to that, the loss of a parent is also a very isolating experience for children at any age, but maybe even more complicated for teens or pre-teens. I remember my first phone conversation with Jenny from Jeff's Place -- an understanding voice and an invitation to attend the family meetings. I also remember her coming to our house to meet with us and how she describe the philosophy of Jeff's Place -- 'normalize' the grieving process. This may not make sense to those who haven't experienced such a profound loss, but it was very helpful for me to be mindful, that no matter how painful, we are capable of learning to live with our loss...not 'get over it'... but to LIVE with our loss. Many thanks to Jeff's Place for all the good work they have done & continue to do.

1 Heather110

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband died in April 2009. He left 3 kids that were really grieving. We attended Jeff's Place for 2 seasons. It was the most wonderful experience for all of us. We felt like we found others going through the same things that most other people in our lives could not even comprehend. We graduated stronger and more resilient. Jeff's Place is an important part of the grieving process.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

Jeff's Place has offered my young children a safe place to connect with other kids who have lost a parent. It has also been a place for me, as a young widow, to find support from other parents who are grieving the lose of their spouse, while trying to raise their kids. It has been incredibly helpful to me over the course of several years.

There are other, similar, programs like Jeff's Place in Massachusetts, but the location and proximity for my family has been so important. In addition, Jeff's Place was able to create a new bereavement group for preschool aged children, to meet my family's specific needs.

When trying to recover from a tradegy, I've found I've had to simplify our lives, and take comfort in our family routines. But I have made going to our Jeff's Place meetings a priority, and I think it's helped my kids tremendouly.

2 Ben B.  JB17

Client Served

Rating: 5

January 4, 2012 my seventeen year old son, Justin, died from a heart atack he suffered while at home with us. In that tragic moment, as I performed CPR on my son and I knew I could not bring him back, all I could think of was, "how am I going to help my wife and other two children find peace and joy in thier life again?" The answer was JEFF'S PLACE!
There were so many suggestions shared with us from people who wanted to help but Jeff's place was the only place we found which allowed our whole family to heal together. The staff, volunteers, familys and especially the children have givin us the support we needed in all areas of our life. My family has been moved, touched and inspired by the many people who have shared so authentically about the challenges and fears of facing such an overwhelming, and unexpected event. I would move mountains to make a difference in even one familys experience dealing with such a loss. Jeff's place provides the oppurtunity to move those mountains, not only for the children, but all the families, stafff and volunteers who share thier love, caring and hope with those who have suffered in such an unimaginable way. Everyone should know about Jeff's palce and the real people who make it happen. Thank you!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

My mother died of cancer when I was a teenager (over 20 years ago). About four years ago, I heard the founder of Jeff's Place speaking about her organization and their mission to help children deal with loss. She discussed Jeff's Place use of peer groups to prevent any child from feeling they are grieving alone. Her talk about some of the unique challenges and issues of grieving children resonated with me and inspired me to learn more about the organization. When I followed-up, I only became more impressed and decided to become involved. I initially volunteered and was extremely impressed by the quality of the training as well as the single-minded focus on the needs of the children. The transformations I saw in the teen group were truly amazing, clearly demonstrating the value of the organization and also being very personally rewarding to see the positive impact the peer group was having on those in the group.

Rarely have a seen an organization with such committed leadership, unwavering focus on their goal, and clear and direct positive impact on those served. I think Jeff's Place is a truly remarkable organization which has an extremely positive impact on grieving children who participate and virtually everyone else who comes in contact with the program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am honored to be a volunteer facilitator and board member for Jeff's Place, a place where children and their families can come and grieve with others who have had significant loss. I am amazed at how eloquently spoken each child is when they speak of their loss. We hear time after time how it is difficult to speak about their loss with others who may not understand. At Jeff's Place, we know that with each phase of their life, season, holiday, anniversary that passes, different parts of the grief process appear and that talking and sharing with other families who understand will assist in the healing process. With time, sharing and healing, surely "hope grows" at Jeff's Place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a past volunteer and current Board Member. I lost my brother when I was 16 years old and he was almost 18 at the time. Jeff's Place offers a way for kids (and families) to address the challenges and emotions that I felt and I know these kids are going through. For the kids to know that everyone at Jeff's Place "get's it" is an amazing thing that helps the kids (and families) cope with their unique tragic loss.

Jens K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've seen great progress in my kids ability to deal with their loss. Everyone there is great and extremely helpful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer faciIitator at Jeff's Place, now going on my 3rd year. I lost my mother to suicide at the age of 11. Unfortunately, we did not have access to a center like Jeff's Place. We tried our best as a family to cope with the pain of a major loss and the stigma/shame of suicide. Our lives, to say the least, were never going to be normal again. Because we did not have a Jeff's Place back then, I watched our family struggle. I was very fortunate to meet Jennifer Kaplan Schreiber and Melissa Kennedy Panto who through their vision help families transition through the grieving process and find their "new normal". I am amazed to see how families, with the support of Jeff's place, are able to unpack their bags of grief and express themselves in healthy healing ways. Jeff's Place provides a unique environment for all family types to have someone simply come beside them and simply show them the way toward and through the bereavement process. Each and every person, whether it is a family grieving or a volunteer helping, receives tremendous benefits from each other, from someone who "just gets it". I whole heartedly endorse Jeff's Place and I am blessed to be able to serve families who attend.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing experience - to be part of people's healing. It is such a gift. I have never seen so much love and support in one place. The kids feel like someone finally "gets it" and they know they can trust us. There is nothing better then watching a family grow and (re)connect and heal. I love my nights at Jeff's Place. Hope (definitely) grows here.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thirty years ago when my son died there were no organizations like Jeff's Place. I tried to get my other children into therapy, but they refused to go. They said the therapist did not know how they felt, nobody did. They each had close friends they could talk to, but for only so long. Their friends could only listen for a short time, it was time to get on with life. My friends and my therapist also thought they were helping by telling me I had to let go and begin to live again. Not so easy!!
Jeff's place offers these families a place to be with people who understand their feelings. Watching the children and the adults bond and support each other is so beautiful, I often wonder how much easier my families recovery would have been if something like Jeff's Place was available to us.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 16 year old son and I attend this group twice a month. My son has really learned how to express his emotion and to talk about his feelings. This has carried over in other parts of his life as well. My son feels safe with the teens and has met some life long Friends. The facilitators are friendly, caring and demonstrate compassion.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In April 2011 my husband was murdered. At the time my daughter was 14 years old. Before her dad was killed, she was a happy outgoing child. Following the death of her dad she became angry and withdrawn. She refused to talk about her dad and how his death was affecting her. I tried to get her to speak to a counselor but she refused. She would state that counselors do not understand how she is feeling. It took me a year but I found Jeff's Place. Jeff's Place has allowed my daughter to speak and express her feelings about her loss. Jeff's Place has also been a great source of support for me as a parent. Since attending group meetings at Jeff's Place my daughter has begun to associate again with her classmates. She no longer has anger fueled outbursts. I have even received positive feedback from teachers at her school who have noticed a more happy smiling student who is beginning to show improvement in her school work.
Jeff's Place has also brought me comfort. I participate in the parents group and have found great support from other parents who have found themselves in this very difficult part of their lives. The life of a widow/widower and the life of single parenting.
Being a client of Jeff's Place I have also been able to watch the changes in the children of the other families in our group. Where once these children were shy and quiet they are now smiling and engaging in activities with each other.
Without Jeff's Place I do not know how my daughter and I would have been able to cope with the tragic death of her dad and my husband.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of being a part of Jeff's Place from 2010-2012. I think something that I find particularly helpful about Jeff's Place is the fact that it offers services for the entire family. It is clear that participating in the program not only helps individuals on their journey through loss, but also provides the opportunity to bring families closer together, giving them permission to talk about their experiences with one another based on their shared participation in the program. It was an extremely positive experience for me, personally, to be a part of Jeff's Place, and I have nothing but admiration and respect for the families that participate, as well as for the volunteers and clinicians who run the program.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a comedian who had the pleasure of doing a fundraiser for this organization. The people involved with this organization are amazing. By meeting with them and finding out about the event I was blown away at the positive influence they have on the people in this program. My hart goes out to anyone who needs this program but my heart also feels so much better that there are the people in this program to help.
I can't say enough about this place, as a comedian I am constently doing fundraisers for programs but this one has made a lasting impression on me for life
Brad

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My personal experience at Jeff's Place is in the role of Facilitator in the group of children grades one through three. I am in my second year of volunteering.
My interaction with the young children is assisting with art projects allowing our group to discuss emotions and feelings. The children express how they feel through various art mediums such as painting, clay, decorating memory boxes as the children work through their personal grief process. Stories are read about how children are feeling during a significant death loss in their family and discussions follow the stories to share experiences and emotions. Children learn how different families react and cope with the process of grief. The experience is not the same for all families.
Children feel safe at Jeff's Place as they know anything that is said during group sessions is confidential. The children learn to trust each other by listening and respecting each child as they begin to share a feeling or experience. The children interact with each other in group during carefully selected activities and projects by the professional Program Coordinator at Jeff's Place who is trained in Art Therapy. Group activities are created or chosen by the Program Coordinator to be age appropriate and to be entertaining as well as engaging all participants to share and promote discussion within the group.
My volunteer experience at Jeff's Place has been extremely rewarding for me as I help the young children learn to express their feelings and learn coping strategies for issues they struggle with in their everyday life. These support group sessions were not available to me when I was a young child who experienced the significant death loss of my father. Now I understand how important it is to have a children's bereavement program available for all and why the services provided at Jeff's Place is so important for the emotional needs of young children and their families.