As we look forward to the holiday season, all of us involved with the Foundation are proud of the contribution we’ve made to the community over the past six (yes-six) years. 2016 was especially rewarding and each of you shares in our success. Highlights include:

One-to-One Counseling: The Barr-Harris/Lauri Bauer Children’s Grief Centers continue to grow their patient load. This year almost 1,600 one to one professional patient therapy sessions were held and the average fee per session collected by Barr-Harris was $15.00 with many families being seen pro bono. Our reach keeps expanding through word of mouth and we saw children from over 25 different suburbs. We now receive referrals from social workers, pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, Police Departments and even homeless shelters. We saw children ranging in age from two through twenty-two with referral reasons including abuse, abandonment, domestic violence, divorce, deportation and death. There is tremendous need in the community for these services and there is no question your contributions are making a huge difference to hundreds of families in need.

School Outreach: Our School Outreach Program continues to expand as we funded workshops, in-services, presentations and consultations to almost four dozen local schools. We have also developed a grief identification form to help teachers identify grieving children. As a result of specific tragedies, we funded the continuation of eight-week grief support groups at eight schools.

Specialized Camp Programs: We continue to support specialized grief camps for children: HANDS TOGETHER/HEART TO ART at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, CAMP KANGAROO, and CAMP ERIN. These camps all host programs for grieving children and allow them to share that grief with other children in similar circumstances under the supervision of trained professionals. These camps provide a powerful and positive experience for children and this will continue to be an important piece of our giving.

Annual Sudden Loss Conference: The Jewish Healing Network of Chicago once again presented our annual Conference on Help, Healing and Hope after Loss. The conference featured Dr. Therese Rando, the Director of The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Loss and was attended by over 300 people including clinicians as well as members of the community grappling with recent losses. A clinician summed up the conference with this evaluation, “I felt this was one of the best bereavement seminars I’ve attended. I feel more equipped to provide better group work.”

Group Support: Our program, “Hand in Hand: A Spousal loss grief support group for those 55 or younger,” continues to be in great demand. This group is for those who are grieving the death of their spouse within the last two years and focuses on the issues facing younger spouses including parenting, self-care, coping skills and getting support. This support group is free of charge and we provide childcare and dinner. We also started “Nechama: A Workshop to Comfort the Bereaved.” This group is for grievers and their loved ones who experienced a loss during the last six months and helps people learn about the grief process, coping mechanisms, different grieving styles and how to gain and receive support from friends and family. Over 100 people participated in this program.

As you can see, our work has become an important part of the community. When we started the Foundation almost six years ago, we had a modest goal – to reach out to and help as many people as we could. Each year our reach has expanded and 2016 was no different. Making such a positive difference in the lives of so many is a fitting tribute to Lauri – she would be proud.

If you were one of our donors this past year, our sincerest thanks. You make everything we do possible. As we near the end of 2016, please keep us in your plans so we can continue to fulfill our mission of HELPING others, giving them the tools to HEAL and watching them find HOPE after loss.

Secure online donations can be made on our website at Checks payable to the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss can be mailed to:

Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss
PO Box 737
Lincolnshire, IL 60069.

On behalf of the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation and the thousands of children, teens and families we have helped, thank you for your friendship and continued support. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.

With heartfelt gratitude,