New FVHH website delivers our compelling message of HOPE! IF YOU HAVEN’T visited FVHH.net recently, you’re in for a pleasant surprise – we have redesigned our website to emphasize our message of Hope. In the process, we’ve also streamlinedournavigationandadded features that will make it easier for visitors to find the resources and information they need. Indeed, FVHH.net is designed for those in need. Click on GET HELP on our top navigation menu, and a dropdown menu lists our services and programs according to the situation the visitor is facing – loss of a spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling; loss due to a suicide; and resources for caregivers, families, children, even those anticipating a loss due to a life-threatening condition. Programs we conduct through partner organizations – such as Lutheran Social Services and our schools-based Project Hope initiative – are listed under PARTNER PROGRAMS. Our PROGRAM CALENDAR, at the top of every page on the site, provides quick “when and where” information on support groups, events, and other scheduled programs. Visitors will find our phone number and email at the top of each page as well. Our HOW TO HELP section provides a direct link to our new, secure online donation page, and then offers resources for additional ways people can #GiveMoreHope – including instructions for setting up legacy gifts, new “DIY fundraising” guidance, and ways to donate items for our popular Medical Equipment Lending Closet. VOLUNTEERS have their own section on the website, and we will be building out new resources for our volunteer corps in the weeks ahead. For anyone interested in becoming an FVHH volunteer, the online signup form is now active. The SPECIAL EVENTS tab includes photos from the 2018 Garden Party and an attendee survey. Coming soon, we will have the registration information on the “5k to Remember” and much more, as it relates to FVHH events. The updated RESOURCES tab area provides our regular quick-links to area-wide agencies and organizations. And our new Hope In Action blog – the website companion to our redesigned newsletter and new monthly enews service – will keep you up to date on FVHH activities as well as issues affecting our cause and the constituents we serve. Finally, updates on FVHH, including staff news, press releases, and media coverage, are in our ABOUT section. The benefit of a website is that it is dynamic – it can expand and change as the needs of our clients, our volunteers and our supporters dictate. Stay tuned as we further build out our new online home so we can continue to #GiveMoreHope to the Fox Valley. Summer 2018 The mission of Fox Valley Hands of Hope is to enhance the quality of life and to provide hope for those experiencing grief or life-threatening illness, at no charge to the community. A message from the Executive Director The S Word Suicide. It’s a word no one wants to say, hear, or talk about. Unless the person who committed is well-known, obituaries in general will not mention how a person died if they took their life. Suicide is an epidemic unlike any other. It leaves more questions than answers and sadly creates a lot of shame and blame on family members. There is no particular age, gender, race or culture, socio-economic status, or education level that it does not affect. This is what makes the loss of someone so difficult. There are no markers to predict who may commit and in our world of superficiality, we believe that everything is “okay” with those who seem emotionally resilient, financially successful, academically strong, and socially admired. So what does one do if someone talks about taking their life? My own experience and what Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) recommends is having a compassionate, non-judgmental conversation with the person about their thoughts of suicide. One the biggest myths surrounding suicide is that if we discuss it, it will encourage a person to commit. Studies (and there are a lot of them) show this is simply not true. When a person talks about suicide, they are taking a huge risk because society has made suicide taboo. As the listener, it is important to be open, calm, and understanding. People who think about suicide, attempt, or commit aren’t being selfish or self-centered as many believe. They are suffering and are struggling to find a way to relieve their pain. It is often the one choice they feel they have when they don’t know what else to do. The stigma that surrounds suicide is what keeps us from truly listening to those who mention it. Those who feel lost often say they don’t feel heard. By truly listening we may find some answers to many of the questions that suicide leaves behind. The newsletter is going electronic! Please give us your email address so you can continue to receive it. Subscribe on our website at www.fvhh.net