PREVIEW: Uptown Art Stroll

The Center is honored to be the beneficiary of the 2017 Uptown Art Stroll being held in the Olmos Park Terrace area this November. The artists of Olmos Park Terrace community is expanding the reach of their event this year and started a new program to partner with local nonprofit organizations. The participating artists anticipate to donate a portion of the art sales back to the Center as a donation and help spread awareness about the healing power that art has on an individual.

To help gear up for the Uptown Art Stroll in November, the Children’s Bereavement Center will be highlighting some of the artists work onsite at 205 W. Olmos Drive, San Antonio, TX 78212. The pieces that are on display at the Center can be purchased and will be on displayed till the end of October. Preview the artwork displayed at the Center below.

Please call the Center at (210) 736-4847, ext. 244 to schedule a viewing or stop by during business hours between 9am-4pm.

For more information on the Uptown Art Stroll, visit there website at www.uptownartstroll.org.

The Wade Richmond Foundation Matching Challenge

SAVE THE DATE!!

The Wade Richmond Foundation is offering the Center a $100,000 matching challenge in loving memory of their son, Wade.
All funds received during the month of October 2017
(That is October 1 – October 31) count towards the match.

Starting Sunday, October 1st, you can donate via website, check, cash or through any of our October events.
Please visit our website for more information
or call the Center at (210) 736-4847.

WAIT!!   DON’T DONATE UNTIL OCTOBER 1ST, 2017!!!

New Collaboration: START Center and Wonders & Worries

How Would You Tell Your Child That You Have Cancer?
Or Explain Why Dad Can’t Give Piggyback Rides Anymore?

Three Texas organizations partner to open San Antonio’s first Wonders & Worries – a therapeutic space where children ages 2-18 whose parent is suffering a serious illness, can receive support to help them cope.

San Antonio, Texas – July 14, 2017 – San Antonio physician Jeff Hallett knows a thing or two about talking to patients about illness. But when his wife, Robin, was diagnosed with breast cancer, they felt at a loss for how to tell their daughter, Rachel, aged 10.

“It doesn’t matter your background or experience,” Jeff Hallett, MD, said. “When you have to tell your child this kind of news, you want to do it the right way. And we didn’t know how. So we called Wonders & Worries.”

Wonders & Worries is an Austin-based nonprofit that teaches parents how to parent and kids how to cope during a parent’s serious illness. It’s the only program of its kind in the US, and first in San Antonio. It is the fifth office for the organization.

For the Halletts, they now have specialized support in their own backyard. “We have found Wonders & Worries to be a tremendous resource for us at a time when help is sorely needed,” said Jeff Hallett, MD. “Robin and I can see that it has helped Rachel to cope with her mother’s illness.”

Since its inception in 2001, Wonders & Worries has served more than 6,500 family members in central Texas, and expects to reach about 100 San Antonio families in its first year. Services are offered free of charge and available in English and Spanish.

“The partnership between the START Center for Cancer Care, the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, and Wonders & Worries meets a growing need,” said Pam Sparks, director of physician integration at the START Center. “Nearly 3 million children in the US are living with a parent who is battling or has survived cancer.”

Executive director of Wonders & Worries, Alex Gabbi, agreed. “Austin doesn’t have a monopoly on sick parents.” Gabbi is not only the executive director, but also received services from Wonders & Worries when his late wife, Heather, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “I look at my three kids and know that our program works. My children are well-adjusted and thriving because of what they learned from Wonders & Worries.”

Rounding out this innovative venture is the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas. “We are honored to partner with two premier organizations that have a vision of healing and understand the impact that it has on children,” said Marian Sokol, PhD, executive director for the Center.

Wonders & Worries co-founder, Meredith Cooper, praised the initiative for executing the vision she’s had for the organization from the beginning. “This is another step towards all children and teenagers being able to reach their full potential despite a parent’s illness,” Cooper said.

Counseling and support groups are offered at the START Cancer Center location in the San Antonio Medical Center area. Referrals are welcome from physicians and families facing cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, MS and other serious diagnoses. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.wondersandworries.org or call 210-736-4847, ext. 247.

For more information:

About Wonders & Worries
Wonders & Worries is a nonprofit that ensures children and teens can reach their full potential despite a parent’s serious illness. Since 2001, Wonders & Worries has provided professional support to more than 6,5000 family members during a parent’s illness. Programs are offered at no cost to families in English and Spanish. Wonders & Worries is the only organization of its kind in the US. For more information, contact Penney Berryman at penney@wondersandworries.org or 512-329-5757, ext. 202.

About Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
Established in 1997, the mission of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas is to foster healing for grieving children and youth, their families, and the community. The Center annually serves over 1,600 children and caregivers, and delivers more than 15,000 mental health service hours at no cost. For more information, contact Leslie Wood at lwood@cbcst.org or 210-736-4847, ext. 247.

About the START Center for Cancer Care
The START Center for Cancer Care provides the highest-quality care for people with cancer, and helps accelerate the development of new treatments to improve patients’ quality of life and give real hope against cancer. The START Center has one of the world’s largest and most active Phase I clinical trial programs, and has helped bring 19 promising anticancer drugs to market. For more information, contact Kelly Morris at kellymorrispr@gmail.com or 210-843-9900.

Happy Birthday to Us!!!

Martha Atkins relieved her sadness at the death of her brother, by imagining a grief center in San Antonio just for children. In 1997 that dream became reality when she began offering peer support to San Antonio’s grieving children. She started by offering one peer support group that served 19 families, carrying the materials she used for the groups in the trunk of her car, and borrowing space from different local churches for the group meetings.

Soon after its inception, the San Antonio community recognized the benefits of the program and joined together to help purchase a permanent home for the Center at 332 W. Craig. The program grew rapidly in its new home, and services were improved and expanded. In the early years of the new millennium, it became clear that the program was growing out of the house on Craig Street, and Dr. Atkins and the dedicated and enthusiastic board of directors began to search for a larger site that would allow the Center to continue growing and serving more families. They found an outdated office building that offered 10,000 square feet of “growing room” and set about raising the funds needed to purchase and refurbish the building into the lovely, welcoming “Home with a Heart” that it is today.

This year the Children’s Bereavement Center is celebrating 20 years of service to the South Texas community – 20 years of providing children and their families with the support and guidance needed to rebuild their lives following the loss of a loved one. We are honored to serve the San Antonio and South Texas area and look forwards to the next 20 years.

 

 

New Resource: Out Came the Sun

The Center is celebrating the achievement of another goal – the creation of a booklet that can be used by teachers, nurses, doctors, parents – anyone who comes into contact with, and wants to help, a grieving child.

Out Came the Sun is a guide for parents, grandparents, teachers – anyone who may come in contact with a grieving child.

Out Came the Sun is a labor of love that was two years in the making. Now a reality, the book is being distributed to schools, hospitals, churches, pediatrician’s office and other organizations to provide useful information about how to support a child who is grieving the loss of a loved one.

Every year the Center provides grief support services for over 1,500 children and adult caregivers. However, there are many more grieving children in San Antonio and surrounding counties who need comfort, support and understanding. For every one of these children, there is an adult parent or caregiver who is struggling to meet the needs of the child, while coping with their own grief. Out Came the Sun is designed to help these adults by providing descriptions of appropriate grief reactions, warning signs to watch for, recommendations for how to handle different issues, referrals to on-line support and helpful books and publications.

“It is our vision to be able to serve every grieving child in our community,” said Executive Director Marian Sokol, “But we know that is not realistic. We hope that by making this book available to as many people as possible, fewer children will find themselves walking the journey of grief alone, and more will be able to recover and lead healthy, productive lives.”

Thanks to Editor Michele Stanush for her insights and recommendations, and the team at TradeCraft for their creative guidance. The first printing of the book was made possible by a contribution from the San Antonio Pi Beta Phi Alumni Association. Already underway, the second printing was made possible by the Porter Loring Family.

The Center hopes to distribute Out Came the Sun to organizations and individuals who would find it most useful. If you would like to order a copy, you can CLICK HERE to contact the Center with your request.

To view now CLICK HERE.

 

 

River Parade brings smiles for miles…

This year at the Texas Cavalier’s River Parade our float, Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow, highlighted some of the cutest fairies and leprechauns on this side of the rainbow… all made possible by the support of the Porter Loring Family.

Every year, the Texas Cavaliers River Parade features more than 45 decorated floats gliding down the San Antonio River as thousands of onlookers enjoy the sights and sounds of this unique event. The Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation uses the proceeds from the parade to benefit children’s charities in our community. This year, the Texas Cavaliers donated over five thousand dollars to the Center in support of our peer support programs for grieving children.

THANK YOU TO THE TEXAS CAVALIERS FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN SAN ANTONIO!!

New Collaboration Offers Anticipatory Support

For some time the Center has received requests to provide anticipatory support for families who have received a serious or life threatening diagnosis. Children and adults in these families have a great need for comfort, understanding, support and guidance when faced with the challenges of a future filled with doctor’s visits, hospital stays, difficult treatments, and unknowable outcomes.

In 2016, the Center was asked by San Antonio’s START Center for Cancer Treatment and Research to provide anticipatory care for START Center patients and their families. Counseling and peer support groups for children 2-18 are provided by the Center’s staff at START’s Medical Drive location, in collaboration with a play therapist from Austin-based Wonders & Worries. Currently services are available every Tuesday, with plans to expand as need requires.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the START Center and Wonders and Worries to fill this gap in services for San Antonio families,” said Executive Director Marian Sokol. “We look forward to easing the anxiety of these children and to providing support for the adults who are coping with the challenges inherent with such a diagnosis.”

Referrals will come from START Center and the community at large. If you know someone in need of this service, contact Leslie Wood, LCSW at 210-736-4847, ext. 247 or at lwood@cbcst.org.

 

 

Medals, Mariachis & Margaritas!

That was the order of the day on March 3 when the Center held its 2017 Fiesta Medal Unveiling party. Friends, supporters, and Fiesta royalty filled the Center during the afternoon event and were welcomed by Ben Pressentin, President of BB&T Bank, the event’s sponsor. Honorary event chair City Councilman Roberto Treviño thanked guests for attending and thanked the Center for its work with grieving children. King Antonio XCV Michael A. Casillas, Rey Feo LXIX Fred Reyes, and Miss Fiesta Madi Moad-Hageman also expressed gratitude for the Center’s work in San Antonio and to the sponsors that support this work.

 

All guests received the Center’s 2017 Fiesta Medal, designed by well-known folk artist Enedina Casarez Vasquez, who explained that her inspiration for the 2017 medal came from one of the children who attended last year’s event. The Center’s medals are available at the Fiesta Store, 2611 Broadway. Enedina reports she is already working on ideas for the 2018 medal.

 

2017 Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas’ Fiesta Medal, designed by Enedina Vasquez

 

 

 

 

Susan Pamerleau is 2017 Hope Award Recipient

Board Chair, Bill Day and Susan Pamerleau

Former Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau received the Center’s second annual Hope Award during the Center’s Spring Symposium on February 3rd. The Hope Award was established in 2016 by Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas to recognize individuals who dedicate their lives to improving outcomes for children. The intent of the award is to recognize and honor those who have made a difference in the lives of individual children, and in addition have impacted policy and served as change agents to improve the systems of care. Susan Pamerleau’s lifetime of service to the nation and this community has been marked by leadership, duty, honor, and excellence in both the public and private sectors.

We are proud that she is the 2017 Hope Award recipient!

SAVE THE DATE: October 2017

Coming up later in the year, you will have the opportunity to double the impact of your contribution to the Center by making a gift during the month of October. We have received a generous challenge from the Wade Richmond Foundation to raise $100,000 in October. If we are successful, the Richmond Family will match YOUR DONATION dollar-for-dollar! If you are thinking about making a gift to the Center – or know of someone else who is – please consider giving in October. We need everyone’s help to meet this challenge!

For more information, please contact the Center’s Development Department at development@cbcst.org.