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Nonprofit Overview

Target demographics: parents and grandparents after child loss.

Direct beneficiaries per year: so many grieving parents with our grief and healing retreats.

Geographic areas served: many locations mainly east coast

Programs: Our goal for 2014-2015 is to continue to assist parents who have lost a child to attend our retreats. We can’t do this alone and need sponsors to help us reach our goals. Will you help us meet our goal? Here is how your gift will impact our retreats: All donations go toward the retreat rental home, Candle lighting ceremony (each parent receives a candle with their child’s photo), a tribute video in memory of our children Gone to Soon, balloon releases, area excursions, workshop materials, handouts, food and much more.

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 judyfitts

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't know where I'd be today if had not got involved wirh this group even now as I'm coming up on my 2nd year they are all here for me I don't have money for a retreat but they are with on my journey with text phone calls cards this group is a god send thank you Shirley and Renee

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love the wing of hope retreats with out them and the workers I don't know where I would today thanks

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to my first retreat in Jan/feb 2017. It was their Pensacola all mom's retreat. I was nervous at first but right away they all became family. I lost my son to suicide over 10 yrs ago. I have been handling my grief alone. It was amazing how much love and support you find at the retreats. It was great to share in discussions and learn from other mom's that know the pain of losing a child. I would suggest going to one of the retreats to any one that is grieving the loss of a child.

2 Stephanie217

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Stephanie I lost my 18 year old daughter may,01 2014 as a passenger in a truck accident. I found these retreats in Facebook one night that I was looking to talk with other people that have lost a child or children. I had to find something to keep pushing me and giving me a reason to keep faith!! And I did I found wings of hope living forward they are my new family. I get to cry,laugh,share, and smile again when I am with my wings of hope family. I have been to 5 retreats and going to my 6th in may 2017.. without them I wouldn't be able to move forward and I am starting to!! I thank god I found this group and will recommend them to everyone. They are wonderful and loving and we all support each other all the time not just at retreats. I have made friends I will keep for life that totally understand me.. thank you Shirley and Renee for the wonderful things you do for all of us.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter Cierra passed on May,01 2014 as a passenger when a semi hit her side her last day of high school.. I went on a search for groups because I felt alone because I lost my mama the year before of cancer I came across wings of hope moving forward and went to my first retreat in smokey mountains it was the best decision I ever made!! This group is amazing and has helped so much with my grieving process and I have made a new family with all of them I love them dearly. They work so hard and give there heart with everything they do with these retreats!! We get so many gifts and have so many memories at these retreats without them I would probably be locked up in a hospital my daughter is my world and when she entered heaven I was lost!!! I want to thank wings of hope moving forward for the hope I have now to move forward for my 2 sons and not to give up!! Without all of you I will still be so lost!! Thank you for all the support and love you have shared with all of us.. Can't wait to see you in March at Holden beach retreat!!!

2 Robin119

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a retreat in May 2014 in Virginia Beach with these wonderful moms, I went there not knowing anyone and when I walked through the door I felt like I had known these ladies my whole life. I laughed so much- I forgot how that felt since the death of my son Greg in 2013, the bonds that were made , the love you feel and the understanding is so amazing! If you are struggling to find your new normal, these ladies sure can and will help, you can be you with no judgment, you can cry, laugh, scream, it is accepted, and being accepted means a lot!!!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group has shown me that I'm not alone, and they have become wonderful friends across the country. My youngest daughter, Bobbilyn's sunrise is 8/01/79. Her sunset is 7/11/06, three weeks shy of her 27th birthday, and 4 months after my dad's sunset. Bobbilyn was healthy and suddenly became sick. 2 1/2 weeks later she was gone from a heart virus called Myocarditis. It's been 10 years but hurts like it was minutes ago.
Our administrators work so hard for us, and themselves. I love them so much. They are going through their own grief along with us. Thank you to Shirley and Renee. ❤️

3 mamabang

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love wings of hope grieving parents and grandparents surviving together I don't know where I would be without these wonderful people the retreats have helped me so much in my grief journey ..

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been to 3 retreats so far and I look forward to going to more it has helped me so much I lost my 21 year old son in may 2010 to be honest I don't know where I would be without wings of hope this origination has dine so much for me I have been sponsored and was able to go for free the ladies who run this go above and beyond to help grieving parents learn the tools on how to cope with child loss and do all kinds of activities we have had candle lightnings get togethers done messages in a bottle and threw them in the ocean in Virginia Beach I could go on and on thank you wings of hope for everything I wish I could give a million stars .. always your friend Deb mama bang Schwartz

3 Constance P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I can't put into words how truly important this organization is to support bereaved parents. Thank God & all those whom are left here on this earth to help gain insight on our broken paths as grieving parents we feel we walk alone. Thank you!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wings of Hope has proven over and over to be a wonderful organization for bereaved parents. This organization truly allows you to be free in your grief without judgment. You are able to connect with people time and time again and develop amazing friendships with people who understand the tragedy of loosing a child. This group has the most loving, compassionate, empathetic men and women you could ever meet. Each and every person I met has been a true inspiration and has left a deep impression on my heart.

3 Theresa67

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son Cpl Brandon S Bowles came home safely from war, not once, but TWICE, I thought he would make it through anything! Sadly, while driving home for spring break from college, he overcorrected a curvy country road, went of the other side and perished!
A year and a half later, I found out that an online group I was recently a member of, got together for retreats a few times a year. At that point, all I could think about was joining my son, I just wanted to stay in bed till I died!
My husband and I took our income tax that year and paid for a retreat. They were out of sponsorship funding at that time.
At the retreat, I learned that most of my thoughts and feelings were shared by other parents there. We not only grieved together, but we laughed too! We are in a setting that requires us to be with each other, talking, therapy groups led by one of the founders Shirley who is a licensed grief counselor. As well as discussions led by our spiritual guru (lol) Renee. We do many group activities, an excursion or two, usually in a beautiful mansion on the beach!
I feel like I woke up and was thawing, I was learning to live again, to find purpose out off my terrible sadness!
Now, almost 3 years later, I'm doing fundraising here in Kentucky, to help send parents to these amazing retreats with Wings of Hope Living Forward. Their purpose to me is about saving lives! They saved mine!

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

After the death of my only son, I was so lost in grief and the pain had become unbearable! Counseling helped very little, as I later understood that unless you've lost a child...then how can you truly empathize and understand the pain and daily struggles just to get out of bed!
By chance I found this group online that offered support through sharing our pain, experiences, strength and hope! The group was so loving and supportive, and so many parents were on there reaching out to each other...because it was okay to bare your soul on there, without judgement, ridicule or being abandoned...as many of us were experiencing with even our closest family and friends!
Wings oh Hope Living Forward took our great longing to be heard and understood, and created events where parents could all come together and meet!
My first retreat was amazing! I made lifelong friends of all walks of life, but we shared the same pain of grief and daily struggles to learn how to live without our precious child!
We all stay in a huge mansion style place, where many of us even share sleeping quarters... We bond, share meals, laugh and cry together, we hug, love and support each other! There is a licensed Grief Counselor present the entire week long retreat, and she is one of the founders and is amazing!
I am so grateful for this group of parents, together, we save lives, and learn how to live again, while keeping our Childs spirit alive!
Most respectfully,
Theresa Bowles-Schweizer

2 Melanie54

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wings of Hope has softened my grief journey so very much. Luckily, I found this group shortly after losing my youngest son in 2009. I attended the first retreat Wings of Hope offered. I was met by other parents who had also experienced the pain of losing a child. We laughed, we cried, we talked about our Angels without hesitation. I have life longs friends from that first retreat. When one of us falter there is always another Angel mom or dad to help us find our way & carry on. Together we have honored our children by standing strong for each other & any newly bereaved parent who comes our way!

Melanie Marshall - forever Jess & JJ's mom !!