As we approach a New Year I am pleased to share the continued success of the Foundation and the impact it is making in our community.

One-to-One Impact:  The Barr-Harris/Lauri Bauer Children’s Grief Centers continue to grow.  This year over 1,100 one to one professional patient therapy sessions were held, a 20% increase over 2013.  The average fee per session collected by Barr-Harris was $16.00 with many families being seen pro bono.  We now receive referrals from social workers, pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, Police Departments and even a homeless shelter.  The greatest number of referrals was for parent loss followed by sibling loss. We saw children ranging in age from three to twenty one.

School Outreach:  Our School Outreach Program, in conjunction with Willow House continues to expand as we funded workshops, in-services, presentations and consultations to over three dozen local schools.  We reached social workers, psychologists, teachers and students and continue to provide ongoing resources to school personnel and grieving families.

Specialized Camp Programs:  This past summer we continued our support of the HANDS TOGETHER/HEART TO ART program at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.  This summer day camp is for children ages 7-14, most from financially challenged circumstances, who have experienced the death of a parent.  Building on the success of this camp we decided to support two additional children’s grief camps.  We funded the newest location of Camp Kangaroo, a camp for children ages 5-13 who have suffered the loss of a parent or other significant loved one.  This camp offered a week of activities for campers to learn about the grieving process, honor their loved one and being able to move through their grief.  The Foundation also partnered with Camp Erin, a free, weekend long grief support camp which was held at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside.  This camp focuses on bringing together bereaved children, ages 6-17.

Sudden Loss Conference:  The Foundation continued its’ partnership with the Jewish Healing Network of Chicago and hosted our annual Conference on Help, Healing and Hope after Loss.  This two part conference was led by Dr. Robert Neimeyer and was attended by over 300 professionals, clergy and community members.

Group Support:  The success of 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.

When we started the Foundation almost four 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 2014 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.  Our work would not be possible without you.  As you begin to think about your giving for 2015, 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 experiencing a sudden 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 PO Box 5368, Vernon Hills, IL 60061.

On behalf of the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss and the thousands of children, teens and families it has helped just this year alone, thank you for your friendship and continued support.  We wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.

With heartfelt gratitude,