Compassionate Friends, Fredericksburg, VA Chapter is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, friendship and understanding for families or individuals who have experienced the death of a child. They provide the opportunity to talk about their child, other family members and feelings as they go through the grieving process. Their sole purpose is not to focus on the death itself but to have others around who can relate and offer solace during this difficult time. Compassionate friends lends support for those who need to express their feelings freely and is not affiliated with any particular religion. This week we caught up with Kathie Kelly, Chapter Leader, for this week’s Friday Focus to discover what great support Compassionate Friends has to offer.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
A: We are a self-help organization offering friendship, understanding and hope to bereaved families that have experienced the death of a child. We service Fredericksburg, Stafford, King George, Colonial Beach, Westmoreland County, Caroline County, Spotsylvania County, Orange, Culpeper and Dahlgren.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: Our organization helps the community by providing a safe place for families who have lost children to come, share and get support. We meet the 3rd Tuesday’s of each month at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg, VA. We are non-profit and meetings are free. We also offer support through phone support and visiting the bereaved.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: The biggest challenge is getting the word out to the community to ensure people know we exist and they are not alone. We also struggle getting funds for our organization, as we are non-profit, we rely on donations to help support our group for the newsletters, meetings, outreach materials such as books and brochures and for our memorial candle lighting.
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
A: Chapter Meeting on May 17, 2016 at 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM. Location is Redeemer Lutheran Church, 5120 Harrison Road, Fredericksburg, VA.
A: TCF Annual Candle Lighting Memorial Program on December 11, 2016 same location as the meetings.
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
A: The bereaved families who have suffered a loss of child/children can come to any meeting as it is free and open to the public. Visit our site Compassionate Friends for more details.