"The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope. It takes people out of the isolation society imposes on the bereaved and lets them express their grief naturally. With the shedding of tears, healing comes. And the newly bereaved get to see people who have survived and are learning to live and love again."
~Simon Stephens, founder of The Compassionate Friends
About The Compassionate Friends
The Compassionate Friends is a national self-help bereavement organization. In 1978 The Compassionate Friends, Inc., was incorporated in the United States as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. There are now more than 660 local chapters across the US, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico & Guam.
The Compassionate Friends Mission: When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope and support to families experiencing the death of a son or daughter, brother or sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.
The Vision of The Compassionate Friends is that every person that needs us will find us and that every person that finds us will be helped.
About the Lehigh Valley Chapter
Since 1987, the Lehigh Valley Chapter has provided grief support to countless families with the goal of a positive resolution of grief following the death of a child. The heart of the chapter’s healing experience are our monthly support group meetings. We also provide our members support through chapter newsletters, volunteer telephone friends, a free lending library of grief materials, a chapter Facebook page, chapter website and special events honoring the memory of our children. All chapter work is preformed by a group of dedicated member volunteers in honor of their children, siblings, or grandchildren who have died. The chapter is governed by a voluntary steering committee. There are no dues or fees of any kind. The Compassionate Friends relies entirely on voluntary contributions from individuals (Love Gifts), community organizations & businesses for its operational funding.
The Compassionate Friends, Lehigh Valley Steering Committee and Volunteers
Brian Collins – Steering Committee
Kathleen Collins – Steering Committee, Newsletter Editor, Office Administrator
Dawn Delong – Newly Bereaved Contact Person
Gene Delong – Steering Committee
George Geiger – Steering Committee
Brenda Solderitch – Steering Committee, Treasurer, Newsletter Mailing
Sharon Yurick - Steering Committee, Love Gift Acknowledgement Secretary
Maria Szabo – Remembrance (Birthday Acknowledgments) Secretary
The Compassionate Friends Credo
We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends. We reach out to each other with love, with understanding, and with hope. The children we mourn have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for them unites us. Your pain becomes my pain, just as your hope becomes my hope. We come together from all walks of life, from many different circumstances. We are a unique family because we represent many races, creeds, and relationships. We are young, and we are old. Some of us are far along in our grief, but others still feel a grief so fresh and so intensely painful that they feel helpless and see no hope. Some of us have found our faith to be a source of strength, while some of us are struggling to find answers. Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in deep depression, while others radiate an inner peace. But whatever pain we bring to this gathering of The Compassionate Friends, it is pain we will share, just as we share with each other our love for the children who have died. We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves, but we are committed to building a future together. We reach out to each other in love to share the pain as well as the joy, share the anger as well as the peace, share the faith as well as the doubts, and help each other to grieve as well as to grow. We Need Not Walk Alone. We Are The Compassionate Friends.