Hello Friends –
Chicagoland area children, youth, families and communities have experienced significant trauma and loss that has increased as a result of the pandemic. The New York Times recently reported that at least 120,000 children in the U.S. have lost a parent to COVID-19. We know that children who suffer this kind of traumatic loss often have learning or behavioral problems in school and are more prone to experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Research also shows the impact of other types of losses experienced during the pandemic, including an increase in post traumatic stress, anxiety, and depressive disorders. The continued efforts of the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden loss helps these children minimize the negative effects of unprocessed grief. The increasing need for depth-oriented mental health services in the wake of the pandemic has never been greater and we continue to be one of the go-to resources in our community.
This year alone, our two children’s grief centers provided over two thousand in-person or telehealth sessions to grieving children and their families. Meaningful statistics include:
- Over 2,000 in-person or telehealth sessions provided to grieving children and their families (in comparison, we provided 1,200 sessions in 2020)
- The average self-pay fee collected per session was only $15.96
- Over 65% of services were provided to clients paying out-of-pocket as low as $1 per session
- 67% of clients qualified for a trauma-related diagnosis
- 33% of clients were diagnosed with an anxiety or depressive disorder
- Reasons for referral included Death, Divorce, Community Violence, Incarceration, Abandonment, Terminal Illness, Abuse, Suicide, Domestic Violence, Adoption, Deportation, Custody Issues, Homicide, Substance Abuse and Separation Issues
Complimenting our flagship children’s grief centers, we also make a tremendous impact through other programs:
The demand for school related services has sky-rocketed over the past few years and continues to grow (up 33% from 2020). Our School Outreach Program, in conjunction with Willow House, continues to provide crisis intervention, education and consultation IN SCHOOL to help children understand the grieving process and to support peers and loved ones that have experienced loss. This year the programs have reached over 80 schools in Chicago and the suburbs.
The Lauri Bauer Foundation funds multiple support programs through JUF. In 2021, we hosted five virtual community events and they explored alternative ways to mourn and grieve during the pandemic. Through music, mindfulness, poems and pictures, these programs honored loved ones who died and offered a safe space for grieving. These programs directly impacted hundreds of individuals and indirectly impacted many more. We also continued to offer essential support groups for younger adults grieving a spouse/partner, older adults that have lost a partner and other grief programming. In addition, we continued our professional training for clinicians which introduced professionals to pandemic grief- grieving at a time when challenges to routines compounded bereavement. Almost 100 professionals attended this training.
Once again, we supported the Heart to Art camp program at the Auditorium Theatre. This unique performing arts camp program brings together young people between 7-14, largely from the inner-city, who have experienced the death of a parent. Through interaction with other young people who have experienced a similar loss, campers understand they are not alone. To date we have sponsored over 500 children.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on children. Earlier this year, we proudly supported publication of a new book – Keke’s Super-Strong Double Hugs. This book tells the story of a little girl’s big feelings during a pandemic and how her family provides comfort and understanding. It was written specifically to help parents guide the conversations regarding the trauma and sudden loss that kids are experiencing due to COVID-19 and includes tips and resources for parents and caregivers. To date, over 1000 copies of the book have been sold. The book was featured in an article in the Chicago Tribune, and proceeds from the book go directly to our foundation.
You can order your copy of Keke’s Super-Strong Double Hugs HERE.
As a result of COVID, we have been unable to hold our major annual fund raisers in 2020 and 2021. We have relied on the generosity of supporters and Board members to continue our mission but ultimately, we need to jumpstart our fund raising to ensure continuity of our programs and services. The fall and winter holidays are a particularly difficult time for anyone experiencing grief and we expect the need for our services to increase.
We appreciate your past support and hope we can continue to count on your incredible generosity. You can donate directly on our website HERE or by completing the attached card and sending to:
Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss
PO BOX 737, Lincolnshire, IL 60069
EVERY GIFT WE RECEIVE BY THE END OF THIS YEAR WILL BE MATCHED DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, UP TO $25,000, BY FRIENDS OF lHE FOUNDATION.
We wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
With much gratitude,