Dear Friends of the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss:

As we look forward to the New Year, all of us involved with the Foundation are proud of the contribution we’ve made to the community over the past five years.  2015 was especially rewarding and each of you shares in our success.  Highlights include:

One-to-One Impact:  The Barr-Harris/Lauri Bauer Children’s Grief Centers continue to grow rapidly.  This year almost 1,400 one to one professional patient therapy sessions were held, a 30% increase over 2014.  The average fee per session collected by Barr-Harris was $15.00 with many families being seen pro bono.  Our reach keeps expanding as 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 to twenty two.   There is tremendous need in the community for these services and via word of mouth our good work is reaching more and more grieving children.

School Outreach:  Our School Outreach Program continues to expand as we funded workshops, in-services, presentations and consultations to over three dozen local schools.  We also started 8 week grief support groups inside six schools and we are eager to expand these In School Support Groups.

Specialized Camp Programs:  We continue to support specialized grief camps for children:  HANDS TOGETHER/HEART TO ART at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is for children ages 7-14, most from financially challenged circumstances, who have experienced the death of a parent.  CAMP KANGAROO hosts 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 help them begin to move through their grief.  CAMP ERIN, a free, weekend grief support camp focuses on bringing together bereaved children ages 6-17.  These programs provide an environment for hundreds of children that have lost parents and siblings, to share their grief with each other and the professionals that staff these camps.

Annual Sudden Loss Conference:  We continued our partnership with the Jewish Healing Network of Chicago and hosted our annual Conference on Help, Healing and Hope after Loss.  The conference, “To Begin Again After Loss: Putting the Pieces Together,” featured author and nationally renowned speaker Rabbi Naomi Levy and was attended by over 300 people.  We have sponsored this program for three years and attendance grows each year.

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.  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.

As you can see, the work of the Foundation continues to gain momentum.  When we started the Foundation almost five 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 2015 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 we near the end of 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 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,