Murder of a Parent: How Do You Help the Child Left Behind?

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Supporting KIDDS
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To provide a compassionate pathway to healing for grieving children and their families, and to empower the community to support them in the grieving process.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Jenn (not her real name) was 11 years old when her father died in broad daylight at the click of a handgun’s trigger. In that one instant of time, she lost her father, and momentarily her life. We at Supporting KIDDS cultivate hope in children suffering from the death of a loved one. Children do not understand the permanence of death as adults do. So for children touched by death from murder, suicide, overdose, accident, cancer, or natural causes, we walk them through the healing process to prevent grief-related issues later in life. In short, we help children return to a life of hope and dreams.

At Supporting KIDDS, Microsoft software permeates every corner of our organization to increase the number of children served, improve awareness of the normal grief process in the community and ensure we deliver a program of excellence that helps children heal from loss. Microsoft software aids marketing, budgeting, strategic planning, programming, fundraising, grant submissions, educational programs as well as maintaining records on individualized clinical therapy for children.

We help kids as young as 3 years old through consultations and provide services to those 5-18, including their families. Services require a sustainable funding stream through donations, fundraising events and monies from caring community partners. Party on the Patio is our signature fundraising event where we hold both live and silent auctions. Microsoft Powerpoint and MS Publisher are mainstays in the execution and marketing of our auction. Powerpoint helps us create tempting item descriptions that entice buyers to bid high so we can maximize our returns. MS Publisher aids in design of tickets and marketing flyers, both for print and electronic distribution. This April we had more than 265 attendees at Party on the Patio and raised $30,000 to help continue with services to our community.

Supporting KIDDS offers support group programs for children and their families twice annually. Our curriculum-driven support group program is the only one of its kind in the nation. Based on expert knowledge of grief in different age groups, our experienced psychologists developed this six week program to not only help kids grieve but, also to teach parents and guardians how to answer a child’s tough questions related to death. After all what do you say to a 5 year old who asks: Why did you burn the body daddy? Why did Joey shoot himself? or When will mommy be coming home?

Microsoft Word and Powerpoint are essential to creating, updating, and delivering our proven healing curriculum for children. We use the software to show kids what crematoriums, funeral homes and caskets look like so they understand and become more comfortable with rituals of death. We also use them to distribute written training materials to our group facilitators who need to know what activities to initiate on any given day. The critical learning objectives of our curriculum are also held in Microsoft Word documents.

We could not accomplish what we do without the help of Microsoft software and are truly thankful for Microsoft’s commitment to small nonprofits like ours. In 2008, with only 3.5 fulltime employees, we served the needs of 264 grieving children and families and delivered grief education to 455 professionals actively dealing with grieving children including: teachers, psychotherapists, funeral home staff, day care providers, religious leaders, pediatricians, nurses, and school counselors. Microsoft Excel aids in integration and collation of all agency data, so we can track our accomplishments and community impact, then turnaround and communicate our impact to corporations, philanthropists and individual donors looking to make a difference.We also create the Supporting KIDDS annual report in Microsoft Publisher. The annual report communicates our vision, mission and accomplishments to a wider community than those who walk through our front doors. Finally, Microsoft Excel keeps our budget on track during the year to maintain low overhead costs. This allow us to pour most of our precious dollars into serving the needs of grieving children.Murder of a Parent: How Do You Help the Child Left Behind? The answer is easy … provide the parent or guardian with the phone number, website address, educational materials or application forms to the support group programs at Supporting KIDDS. With the help of Microsoft, we are here to cultivate hope in all grieving children.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery