We wish to express our appreciation to the following organizations for their generous contributions. These gifts allow Mourning Hope to continue providing grief support services to children, teens, young adults and their caregivers throughout southeast Nebraska.
Foundations and Endowments
- Abel Foundation
- AseraCare Hospice Foundation
- Building Strong Families Fund
- Community Health Endowment of Lincoln
- Cooper Foundation
- HoriSun Hospice Community Foundation
- Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation
- Lincoln Community Foundation
- May L. Flanagan Foundation
- New York Life Foundation
- Pegler Family Foundation
- Peter Kiewit Foundation
- Rogers Foundation
- The Grainger Foundation
- The Moyer Foundation
- Woods Charitable Fund
Click on the logo to learn more about The United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County.
2015 Spirit of Hope Awards
Frank and Elizabeth Hilsabeck have certainly taken an active interest in Mourning Hope, and how we were ever so lucky to be blessed by their dedication to our mission – we will never fully understand, but will always fully appreciate. Frank and Liz donate their time, their talents and their resources in ways that we cannot verbalize. Through their work on the Trustee Board, Liz’s leadership in the WonderWoman fundraiser that was implemented last year, and their guidance and support of our organization overall, they have touched the lives of so many in our community.
Through every action, they have helped Mourning Hope create a sustainable organization that is richly blessed by their very presence. Thank you, Frank and Liz Hilsabeck, for your service to Mourning Hope. We honor you today with a Mourning Hope, “Spirit of Hope” award.
If you’ve walked through Mourning Hope in the past, you’ve likely seen the quilts that hang all over our house. During each of our 10-week grief series for the past 20 years, we’ve asked each child and sometimes caregivers as well to make a quilt block in memory of the person who died. When the families come back to Mourning Hope after their session ends, the kids walk all over looking for their quilt which will forever honor and celebrate their loved one upon the walls of Mourning Hope.
These quilt blocks are then all put together by a local quilter who year after year, creates a unique quilt to hang in our home, that not only reflects the uniqueness of each child’s grief journey, but also represents the bond that’s created by all of the individuals in that series who have experienced similar loss in their lives. For many years, Linda Ashelford has put these quilts together. A behind the scenes job that is vital to our ongoing program. And we certainly don’t stop often enough and thank her for all of her meaningful work at Mourning Hope.
And so in 2015, we offered Linda a Mourning Hope “Spirt of Hope” award – an award given at the board’s discretion to an individual who has made a marked difference in the lives of grieving youth in Lincoln. Thank you, Linda, for all you do to support the families at Mourning Hope.
2014 Partners in Hope
Business Network International is the largest business networking organization in the world and boasts chapters in thousands of communities. BNI of the Heartland which serves Nebraska, Wyoming, Western South Dakota and Southwest Iowa, offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts, and most importantly, business referrals.
In addition to their business at hand, BNI of the Heartland has held an annual golf outing for the last 9 years, donating 100% of the proceeds to a local nonprofit. Of those 9 golf outings, this May will mark the 6th consecutive year that BNI has contributed the proceeds to Mourning Hope. So far, BNI has helped raise nearly $30,000 for our Grief Center, which has helped Mourning Hope promote hope and healing for the bereaved families that walk through our doors at Mourning Hope every day.
Brian Hoffart, a BNI Member and a member of Mourning Hope’s Board of Directors, has been leading this golf tournament for the last few years and we are beyond appreciative of all that he’s done. And we are grateful for the support from Vince, Rusty, Jeff, Chad and the many BNI members who have made this golf outing a thriving success.
2014 Spirit of Hope Award
Pam Fuhr Dinneen is the founder of the Mourning Hope Grief Center. As an educator and counselor, she found herself working with children and seeing the devastating impact grief had on so many aspects of their lives, affecting their learning, behaviors and choices. After serving on the crisis response team for Lincoln Public Schools and becoming acutely aware of the need for support services for grieving children, teens and their families, she traveled to centers across the United States, learning about ways to support them.
Pam’s passion is to companion people, walking with them through the most difficult times in their lives and helping them have hope, healing and happiness again. She continues to be very active with Mourning Hope as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Board. Pam is also on the Program Committee, Training Team and serves as a consultant for Mourning Hope’s mission.
Through Pam’s vision, call to action and motivating inspiration, this organization has flowered from a single group to a thriving non-profit that has served thousands of families and educated numerous community members in grief reconciliation. Pam gives generously of her time, talents, and financial resources and does so quietly – people know only a portion of the many ways that Pam impacts our community. A compassionate leader of Mourning Hope’s support groups, Pam has dedicated her life to serving children.
Pam is definitely a distinguished and unsung hero in the Lincoln community.
2013 Partners in Hope
The Mourning Hope Board is proud to annually thank an organization that has made a significant impact on Mourning Hope. We call this award, "Partners in Hope." While we traditionally bestow this honor to one organization, Mourning Hope representatives felt strongly that Woods Charitable Fund, the New York Life Foundation, and the Rogers Foundation all exemplified the type of organizations and the type of partnerships we wanted to acknowledge in 2013. Throughout the year, all three provided Mourning Hope unique opportunities designed to ensure that youth in our community would not feel alone in their grief.
Woods Charitable Fund offered Mourning Hope a generous grant to initiate a new community outreach position charged with ensuring all youth in the community have equitable access to bereavement services.
The New York Life Foundation awarded Mourning Hope funding to expand upon the work of the community outreach coordinator through implementing community-based grief support groups in Lincoln's schools. Specifically, funding from the New York Life Foundation was used to establish the new community-based grief support program that will eliminate many barriers related to bereaved youth accessing grief support services in Lincoln.
The Rogers Foundation provided all of the financial support needed to create and distribute 76 grief kits, containing 1,100 books, in the Lincoln Public School elementary libraries
So, it is with great pleasure that Mourning Hope announced Woods Charitable Fund, the New York Life Foundation, and the Rogers Foundation as our 2013 "Partners in Hope" award winners.
2012 Partners in Hope - Family Service
The Mourning Hope Board is proud to annually thank an organization that has made a significant impact on Mourning Hope. We call this award, "Partners in Hope." The 2012 "Partners in Hope" award went to another nonprofit in Lincoln - Family Service. Family Service is dedicated to growing stronger families in the community. They provide more than 5,000,000 meals each year through a USDA food program in 84 Nebraska counties. This program feeds almost 24,000 children in licensed home child-care facilities. Family Service delivers the Women, Infant and Children program to 3,000 people in Lancaster County each month and care for more than 1,800 children who take part in their child care and early childhood programs based in 23 Lincoln Public Schools.
What many people are likely not aware of, is how many times Barry Gourley -- Family Service's Executive Director -- and other staff members have assisted Mourning Hope in our development. Mourning Hope has grown significantly in the last few years, but with our limited personnel resources, we've needed assistance with financial questions, policies and procedures, hiring processes, strategic planning, and HR-related issues. One call to Family Service has led us immediately to the answer. The willingness of Family Service to mentor our smaller nonprofit is appreciated immeasurably.
So it is with great pleasure that Mourning Hope announced Family Service as our 2012 "Partners in Hope" award winner.
2012 Spirit of Hope Award
This year, Mourning Hope elected to give one additional award which we termed the "Spirit of Hope" award. Unlike the "Partners in Hope" award, this award is designed for individuals who uniquely give above and beyond to bereaved youth in the community. For our first annual "Spirit of Hope" award, Mourning Hope decided to bestow the award to two individuals: Liz Shea-McCoy and Bob Reeker. Both Liz and Bob are local artists who work wonderfully with youth, and give willingly of their time and resources on a regular basis.
One of Mourning Hope's annual programs - "Art From Our Heart" partners local artists with children who have experienced the serious illness or death of someone significant in their lives. Liz and Bob have consistently served as our artists for this program as well as helping the Center with many other art-related programs.
For bereaved children, we know that sometimes words are too difficult, but they can often express their feelings through other mediums, such as art. By working in tandem with professional local artists and trained grief facilitators, children gain valuable insight and understanding regarding their personal grief journey. And this is only made possible by the generosity of individuals like Liz and Bob.
2011 Partners in Hope - Nebraska Wesleyan University
The 2011 "Partners in Hope" award goes to Nebraska Wesleyan University in recognition of the amazing hospitality and support they have provided to Mourning Hope over the last few years.
In 2007, Mourning Hope moved into a home just off Nebraska Wesleyan's campus and the University has served as a wonderful landlord since our lease began over four years ago. Prior to 2007, Mourning Hope was operated out of various venues that were not sufficient for the organization's growing needs. Mourning Hope was in desperate need of a permanent location where grieving children and their families could feel at home - Nebraska Wesleyan's generosity made this long-term dream a reality.
In addition to providing us with a warm and welcoming place to call "home," Nebraska Wesleyan has also provided Mourning Hope with a number of work study students, volunteers and practicum students who have all enhanced the services that our organization provides. Currently, we have two work study students, Brittany Gunther and Sierra Summers, and Mourning Hope would not be the organization it is today without their support.
The partnership between Mourning Hope and Nebraska Wesleyan University has developed over the years and now includes cooperative marketing, fundraising, sponsorship of various programs and even wonderful work like Lisa's in helping us make the bowls for our annual fundraiser. So it is with great pleasure that we announce Nebraska Wesleyan University as our 2011 Partners in Hope award winner.
2010 Partners in Hope Award
The Mourning Hope Board is proud to annually thank an organization or business that has made a significant impact on Mourning Hope. We affectionately call this award: "Partners in Hope." Although we owe our gratitude to so many people in our community, this year we wanted to publicly recognize HoriSun Hospice as our award recipient.
HoriSun Hospice consists of a team of committed and specially trained healthcare professionals providing expertise on living life to the fullest with dignity and comfort. The HoriSun Hospice team collaborates and implements a plan that provides the optimum in end of life services. Throughout the last several years, HoriSun has partnered with Mourning Hope to bring in a national speaker on grief-related issues, most recently bringing Harold Ivan Smith to Lincoln. And while the financial investment they have made in the Center has been amazing, the dedication of the staff at HoriSun has been equally astounding and we thank them for the wonderful partnership that has been built over the years. It is with great pleasure that Mourning Hope announces HoriSun Hospice as our 2010 Partners in Hope award winner.
2009 Partners in Hope
In February 2009, Mourning Hope's first "Partners in Hope" award was presented to Swanson Russell, a local advertising and public relations firm, which has donated tens of thousands of dollars in services during the past two years. Since 2007, when they first started working with us, the agency has invested over 500 hours in various projects, meetings, and marketing-related activities. At an average billable rate of $100 per hour, this results in over $50,000 of donated resources.
While this financial contribution has been amazing, Swanson Russell transcends mere monetary contributions. Their endless dedication and hard work to support Mourning Hope's vision makes us forever indebted. Thank you to Dave Hansen and the entire Swanson Russell team. Receiving this type of work from a national agency that offers knowledge and expertise from nearly 50 years in the business is a true blessing for Mourning Hope.