Willow House Hope & Healing Campaign

This year, Willow House has not been able to raise the funds necessary to continue to cover the costs of existing and ever-increasing requests for services. Because of this, we have launched the Hope & Healing Campaign, with the immediate goal of raising $25,000 by February 27th. We have already raised more than $10,000 but we still need your help! Please consider the following ways that you can help us to reach this important goal:
  • Make a personal donation in memory of your loved one
  • Ask your family & friends to make donations
  • Organize or ask a group to do a fundraiser – your school, place of worship, workplace, scouts, sports team or other organization with whom your family is affiliated
  • Ask the organization where you work to consider making a gift, grant or special event sponsorship​
If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions or would like us to contact someone directly, don’t hesitate to call. Please help us continue to bring Hope & Healing to those in the future who will need and benefit from our services. Thank you!

Re-Opening of Joie's Branch Library!

Joie’s Branch is a lending library of books & audio-visual materials at Willow House, named in honor of Joie Amber Kallison who died at the age of 24 while serving in the Peace Corps. The materials are educational, supportive, and cover issues and topics of interest to grieving children, teens, parents, young widowed, and those parenting and caring for bereaved children and teens. Joie’s Branch resources are also used by mental health professionals, clergy, educators, and all volunteers who facilitate groups and assist in Willow House programs.

Why "Bibliotherapy"?

Especially for those dealing with grief, feelings are often whirling around with no direction. Learning about how other children, teens or adults have dealt with and experienced their grief can offer hope, knowledge, and direction through one's own grief process.

Many of the books for children serve as helpful vehicles for discussions and sharing of feelings, particularly with children who may otherwise find it difficult to identify or verbalize what they are feeling or to address these feelings with their parents or other caregivers.

Special thanks to Maria Feldgreber for volunteering
her time to organize, summarize, and re-vitalize the library!

Feel free to stop by the Willow House library in Bannockburn to borrow a book. Willow House group members also have access to a cart of Joie's Library publications at each monthly meeting. These are available at all Willow House group locations.
Below you will find a sampling of just a few books available:

Emily’s Sadhappy Season
by Stephanie Golightly Lowden

This is a story of a young girl’s feelings and experiences after the death of her father. Emily is very sad, and then learns that her mother is going through the same thing that she is. They decide together to be "sadhappy" that is when you are sad and happy at the same time. "When we think about daddy we’ll feel happy remembering the fun times we had together. We’ll feel sad because he’s not with us. We’re going to have a sadhappy season for a while!"

The Moon Balloon - A Journey of Hope and Discovery for Children and Families
by Joan Drescher

This is a GREAT book for a child!  A book about feelings. This book talks about going on a balloon ride using the hot air balloon to "spark your imagination". "In order to go up, you need to be light, dropping your sandbags one by one, dropping your fear, worry, and anxious feelings out with the sand."

A Garden of Love and Healing
by Marsha Olsen
Living Tributes to Those We Have Loved and Lost

The idea of planting a garden in memory of a loved one is symbolic of the loved one's infinite presence in life. This book gives symbolism of plants, themes, preparation and installation ideas. Throughout this book there are touching stories that show that the planting of a garden is both healing and therapeutic.

“Memories in a Jar”

A Willow House activity you can do at home
Created by: Charlotte Shuber, Willow House Intern
In 2017, take some time to explore memories; create your own using the following shapes, then store them in a jar or container:

Hearts - Memories I shared with my loved one that I’d like to keep/remember. Examples: going to a concert, their laughter, watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve. 

Circles - Memories that happened after my loved one died that I didn’t get to share with him/her. Examples: 8th grade graduation, vacation, 10th birthday

Some memories might be gifts from your loved ones, whether tangible or intangible. For example, a bicycle or sense of humor. Other memories may be of events shared, like a trip to Disneyland or baking cookies together. You may also have memories of things your loved one missed. Perhaps one was not there for their championship soccer win, or their 8th grade graduation. Memories from your loved one will always influence your new experiences and memory-making now and years to come.

Amazon Smile


#StartWithaSmile at for your Valentine's Day gifts and Amazon donates a portion of that purchase to Willow House!

Save the Date!

Announcing the annual Willow House Spring Gala!

Saturday, May 6, 2017
The Arboretum Club
Buffalo Grove, IL

Mark your calendars and keep an eye out for a special early bird ticket price!

In the meantime, Willow House is looking for some spectacular Auction Items. Click here to donate an item or service.

Expressive Arts Night at Willow House

Improv Night
Monday, February 13th
2231 Lakeside Dr Bannockburn, IL

Expressive Arts groups are open to Willow House families AND their friends. For more information about this group and to RSVP, please email us at or call (847) 236-9300


Since 1998, Willow House has provided support to children, teens, adults, and families who are coping with grief and the death of a loved one, and also to schools and communities coping with grief and death. Willow House services are open-ended and provided at no cost to thousands of Chicago-area families, including survivors of 9/11 and those grieving a death from suicide.
Willow House Empty Chair Project

Peer Support Groups
Survivors of Suicide Loss
In-School Support Program
Community Outreach and Education
Crisis Support Services
Special Remembrance Events
Please contact us for more information: (847) 236-9300 or
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Willow House
2231 Lakeside Dr
Bannockburn, IL 60015

Call us: (847) 236-9300

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