The Center was thrilled that the National Alliance of
Grieving Children (NAGC) decided to host the 22nd Annual Symposium on
Children’s Grief in San Antonio, Texas. As the local host for the event, the
Children’s Bereavement Center opened it’s home to over 400 attendees to take a
tour and get a first hand look at our facility.
The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas is proud to
be a member of the National Alliance of Grieving Children and is honored to
advocate for children in San Antonio and South Texas.
The NAGC is a nationwide network comprised of professionals,
institutions, and volunteers who promote best practices, educational
programming and critical resources to facilitate the mental, emotional and
physical health of grieving children and their families. Through the collective
voice of our members and partners they educate, advocate and raise awareness
about childhood bereavement.
The Center is excited to announce that the non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator, has awarded the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas our third consecutive four-star rating!!
This is the highest possible rating and indicates that the Center adheres to the non-profit sector’s best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that the Center exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in our area of work. Only 22% of the charities that Charity Navigator evaluates have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas outperforms most other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets the Center apart from others and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.
We couldn’t have received this top rating without you. Thank you for trusting us with your donations, your volunteer time and your good will. Your trust and support mean so much to the staff and the children and families we serve.
You can find our rating on Charity Navigator HERE and visit our website for more information about us.
Thank you for being a part of our mission to foster healing for grieving children, youth and their families in our community!!
Heroes and stories about
ordinary people doing extraordinary things are a huge part of children’s lives
and have been the theme of this month’s activity during groups. At the Center
we’ve been talking about what it means to be brave/courageous and what it means
to be resilient. This activity offers the opportunity to think about and
talk about our innate strengths as super powers which help us make it through
We asked the children
what does it mean to be a hero? And what does it mean to be brave? These
questions gave them the opportunity to acknowledge and name some of their own
strengths and recognize the strengths that their deceased loved one may have
taught them. With all of these things in mind, we invited the children to
design a Super Hero Cape for themselves. And our Pet Therapy Dogs joined
in on the fun too.
Everyday the Center comes in contact with heroes in disguise… volunteers, donors, potluck partners, pet therapy dogs… everyone who makes this program possible is a hero in the eyes of the Center and the children that we serve. Thank you for all you do!
The Center is pleased to announce the opening of Paloma Place, a children’s bereavement center in Wilson County. In partnership with the University of Texas-San Antonio’s Academy for Crisis and Trauma Training, the Center will provide grief services for residents of Sutherland Springs and the surrounding communities in the aftermath of the November 2017 tragedy. The Center’s staff has been providing support for the community since the tragic loss of lives occurred. This collaborative partnership is funded in part through a grant from The Victims of Crime Act, Whataburger, a gift from the San Antonio Area Foundation and designated support from caring friends of the Center.
Future home of Paloma Place in Floresville, Texas.
Paloma Place is a replication of the program established in San Antonio in 1997, with an additional center operating in the Rio Grande Valley to serve the residents of the border region of Texas. Each center utilizes innovative programming for children and families developed by Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas to provide healing and recovery for individuals who have experienced the death of a loved one.
Commenting on the new center in Wilson County, Executive Director Marian Sokol said, “We are all saddened by this tragedy that occurred only a few miles from our Center in San Antonio. We feel fortunate to have the expertise, resources, and earned confidence from leadership throughout Texas to respond to the needs of those who have been impacted by this tragic event.”
As more information on this program becomes available, it will be posted on our website at www.cbcst.org or please call the Center at (210) 736-4847.
Hermann Sons Life Camp and the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas are partnering to offer children and teens a Grief Support Camp. Hermann Sons Life offers life insurance and annuities for its members and hosts camp sessions throughout the summer. Hermann Sons Life and Children’s Bereavement Center have joined together to provide this Grief Support Session to offer children and teens the opportunity to process their grief in a fun and inviting camp environment.
Camp Hermann Sons
Hermann Sons Life Camp is ideal for any child:
Ages 6-17 years
Have experienced the death of a parent, brother or sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, close friend or other special person.
The Hermann Sons Life Camp is held during the summer. (July)
For more information on Camp Hermann Sons click HERE.
The Center is once again proud of the role it plays in training counseling interns from local universities, and thrilled when one of these students returns to the Center as a new employee. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Joe Avera, Ph.D. LPC-Intern, NCC (supervised by Roberta Varela-Hein LPC-S) and Kathy Fitzsimmons, LPC.
Joe Avera did a portion of his doctoral internship with the Center a few years ago. He is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and recent Ph.D. who graduated from UTSA. Joe has been working with Jewish Family Services and will complete his LPC licensure in a few months. He is joining us to offer support to the faculty and children in Floresville Independent School District, where most of the children from the recent Sutherland Springs tragedy went to school. It is the Center’s expectation that we will soon open an additional Center for healing in Floresville, in partnership with the Department of Counseling, UTSA. Joe is uniquely equipped to coordinate this program that we hope will be staffed by UTSA doctoral students and CBC staff. Welcome Joe!
Kathy Fitzsimmons, LPC
Kathy Fitzsimmons will be a familiar face to some, she is an licensed professional counselor who finished her internship at the Center a few years ago. She has counseled children in partnership with a local pediatrician and sees clients in both church and private practice settings. Kathy has also supported the Sunday support groups last spring. Kathy does hold a part-time position but will be facilitating support groups, as well as offering additional support to clients and the intake process. Welcome Kathy!
We are thrilled to have you both part of our team!!
In the aftermath of local and national tragedies, many students turn to teachers, school counselors, and support staff to address the grief they face. Last week on Friday, the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas hosted the organization’s annual Grief Education Institute Symposium, “Supporting Our Students Through Crisis and Loss.”
The program featured Dr. David J. Schonfeld, the Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB) at the University of Southern California, who has provided consultation and training in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and cities within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and Townville, South Carolina. Dr. Thelma Duffey, and Dr. Shane Haberstroh who also presented, represent the University of Texas at San Antonio’s College of Education and Human Development department and have been working to provide services and consultation to the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Newtown community for the past five years.
Along with these wonderful presenters, the Children’s Bereavement Center was proud to present the 2018 Hope Award to both the Molak Family and Senator José Menéndez for their achievements to support and pass David’s Law (SB 179). Every year the Center pays tribute to individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving outcomes for children, in addition to impacting policy, and serving as change agents to improve systems of care. David’s Law mandates all public schools create anti-bullying policies, which include protection from abuse after school hours as well as systems that allow students to anonymously report instances of bullying.
Left to Right: Rose Sherman-Williams; Marian Sokol, Executive Director; Jacqui Peace, CBC Chairman; Senator Jose Menendez; Maureen and Matt Molak
The Children’s Bereavement Center is honored to recognize the Molak Family, as well as Senator José Menéndez. for bringing HOPE to every child in Texas who faces bullying and acts that demean the dignity that he or she deserves.
Don’t miss out on your 2018 Children’s Bereavement Center Fiesta Medal!!
Purchase your 2018 CBCST Fiesta Medal online HERE through the Fiesta Store for $8 or you can also pick up your medal at Schnabel’s True Value Hardware store, located at 4337 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212.
All the money raised from Fiesta Medal sales goes towards funding the Center’s free grief support groups for children and their families.