Willow House Newsletter - August 2016
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Welcome to the Willow House Newsletter

Dear friends of Willow House,

We welcome you to a brand new edition of the Willow House newsletter! You will find that it is filled with grief-related educational information, current stories of Willow House family members, how Willow House is actively serving our community, upcoming events & programs, and much more... We want this newsletter to be valuable for you, so please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve. If you ever find that you no longer wish to receive our emails, simply click 'unsubscribe' at the bottom of any email.

Thank you and enjoy!

Save the Date! - September 19, 2016

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!
Cassie Desir Jacob Henry
Eleanor Asma Jen Kaplan
Leann Asma Sandi Lovejoy
Patti Grams Emma Peck
Liesl Schwarten Susan Tybon
Charlotte Shuber  

Thank you Libertyville Sunrise Rotary Club!

Willow House would like to thank the members of the Libertyville Sunrise Rotary Club for their support of Willow House! New Executive Director Susan Tybon and members of other community based organizations gathered for an awards ceremony and dinner on May 18th. We are honored to receive support from an organization that does so much for the community.
“I'm grateful a place like this exists. I'm not who I was but I'm living a new me.”

A mother grieving the loss of her son from suicide.

Upcoming Events

August 21, 2016:
The 8th annual...
Walk to Remember & 5K Run for Hope! The deadline to receive a t-shirt for the event is in 3 days on August 5th.

Click here to REGISTER and for more information.

August 27 & 28, 2016:
Stop by the Willow House booth at the Port Clinton Art Festival! Located in Highland Park, this fun festival is host to many diverse and unique art pieces for you to enjoy as your stroll down the downtown streets of Highland Park!

Sept 19 - 5:30 - 8:00 PM

Join us for an evening to honor Willow House Founder, Stefanie Norris and thank her for her years of service as Executive Director.

Thank You

Lauri S. Bauer Foundation



Heartfelt thanks to the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for awarding a grant to directly support the Willow House School Program. Last year, Willow House provided services to sixty schools throughout the Chicago area. This accomplishment was only possible due to the direct support from Scott & the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation. With their support, we hope to extend our reach and help even more grieving children throughout the community in the years to come.

Chicago Wolves
We are grateful to the Chicago Wolves for their longstanding support of Willow House. The staff and players have taken the time to understanding the unique needs of grieving children and have supported our families in many ways. It is an honor to announce that we are once again a recipient of funds from the Chicago Wolves.

How You Can Help

Charity Car Donations
Buying a new car? Getting rid of an old one? Selling isn’t your only option. Willow House has just teamed up with Donate for Charity to make donating your vehicle easy. It’s a win for all: you get a minimum $500 tax deduction (or higher, depending on what your car sells for), and Willow House receives the net proceeds to support our program.

By donating your car, you’ll avoid the headache of selling a used vehicle. Whether the vehicle is running or not, Donate For Charity relives the hassle and will process the donation. We certainly appreciate our donors considering this option as a way to help support our cause. For more information and to donate a car, click on this link or call Donate For Charity directly at (866) 392-4483.

Questions / Inquiries

If you have questions about the Willow House Newsletter, would like to discuss a story, submit an article, or have any other inquiries, please contact:

Thank you!
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Our mailing address is:
Willow House
300 Saunders Road, Suite #300
RiverwoodsIL 60015

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