As the founder of Willow House, Stefanie Norris has dedicated over eighteen years of leadership, advocacy and support to children and families dealing with death and loss. It would be impossible to detail how many lives have been touched by her efforts. After many years of service, Stefanie has decided to retire from her role as Executive Director and work behind the scenes as a Clinical Consultant for Willow House. To recognize this transition, Willow House is hosting an evening to honor Stefanie so individuals can have the opportunity to stop by, thank her for her years of service and meet the new Executive Director, Susan Tybon.
Susan has more than 23 years of experience working in non-profit management, including several cancer service organizations, starting the second cancer wellness center in the United States. Susan holds a master’s degree in community health psychology and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She previously served on the Board of Directors for Community Health Charities of Illinois and the Chicago Cultural Alliance.
Please join us on Monday, September 19th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
at 300 Saunders Rd, Suite 300, Riverwoods, IL.
In addition, if you would like to make a donation to support Stefanie in her new role, please click here
. Funds raised will go to a program of Stefanie's choice.
Willow House Family Recipe - Volume #1
"As part of the Willow House newsletter we are featuring recipes that are treasured by Willow House families. Food can play a huge role in remembering our loved ones and honoring their memory. This month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Lindell about the pecan pie recipe
that her husband, Bob Lindell, loved to enjoy on any occasion. We hope you will try your hand at the recipe and enjoy this amazing pie in Bob's honor. Thank you Lisa, Julia, and Beau for sharing your story and this delicious treat with all of us."
- Marissa Rogina, Willow House Intern
Click here for the amazing recipe and the Lindell Family's story.
Serving our Schools: Willow House in the Community
Willow House would not be possible without the individual members of the Willow House community that allow us to make a difference. We would love to share with you the amazing work that Mindy Waxman
has accomplished in her role as a Clinical Site Coordinator and School Program Clinician.
Mindy recently completed in-school grief support programs at Mundelein High School
, Waukegan High School
and Grayslake North High School
. Two social workers recalled their experience working with Mindy & Willow House during their 8-week programs:
“Though many of them did not know each other at the start, I can confidently say many positive relationships were formed during the 8 weeks. Students expressed themselves more and more each session as their comfort level increased. During the last session, all the students asked if we can form the group again next year.
“I am immensely grateful not only for Mindy’s support of our students, but also for what I learned by using the curriculum with her as I am better prepared to assist my students as they work through their grief.”
Read their full testimonials here.
Mindy, we are so grateful for the amazing support you continue to provide and the impact you have on the lives of so many grieving children and families. Thank you Mindy!
Don't Avoid It: Talking to your child about death
By Erica Morand, LPC
As I sit down to write this article I find myself laughing. This past weekend I was having dinner with my family and included at the table was my four-year-old son. As the adults spoke about their day and current events I noticed that we were spelling out the words “death” and “died”. As Program Director at Willow House, I unknowingly was trying to shield my child from a word that may cause him some sadness. Is his knowledge of the meaning of this death and dying going to cause him harm? Isn’t it better that he hears the truth from me, his mother, the person that vowed to take care of him before he even entered the world? I have been asking myself why is it so difficult for society to use this word.
...continue reading the full article here.
Welcome New Volunteer Facilitators
Willow House is so pleased to welcome 11 new volunteers into our family of facilitators! This comprehensive training provides an experiential and instructive guiding framework for understanding grief and loss, reviews educational information and research regarding children and grief and provides instruction on how to be an effective peer support group facilitator. The members of this training class came to us from diverse backgrounds with varied life experiences and future goals. Common among them is a deep commitment to support others dealing with grief and to nurture a safe place
for them to experience and share feelings, explore and talk about memories, and develop healthy coping skills. Willow House would truly not be possible without its volunteers and we are so grateful to them all.
Please join us in welcoming them!
Thank you Libertyville Sunrise Rotary Club!