After David’s wife Sandy was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in 2010, she began to go downhill quickly.
She lost her ability to walk without a cane, and wasn’t able to go up and down stairs without a lot of difficulty.
Her bedroom had been upstairs, so David had to move quickly to find her a new place to sleep– a room by the back deck was quickly remodeled for her.
David describes this place as “the sunniest room in the house.”
It was also where Sandy spent the last six weeks of her life, and the site of unimaginable pain for David and his children. After Sandy’s death, David struggled to find his way forward with his two daughters, Isabel and Maddy. In the devastating wake of losing their mother and wife, the Rivera family tried to push forward as best they could. Sandy had some life insurance that kept them afloat for a while, and the girls kept busy with activities at school.
Unable to go back to work, David struggled with their finances until one day he googled “widowed fathers” and stumbled upon the Liz Logelin Foundation.
He applied for and received a grant.
After learning about the origins of the foundation, he got in touch with Matt Logelin, and they shared stories. He says he is reading Matt’s book, but it has felt “too painful” to finish right now.For David, finding the Liz Logelin Foundation wasn’t just about money- it was a way to connect with others; a way to know that he wasn’t alone.
Since then, David says he’s thought a lot about how to use the money in the most meaningful way possible to honor his wife. Time and time again, he has looked at his young daughters and tried to think of what would be best for them.
Finally, he realized that a meaningful project was right in front of him- he wants to use the money from the foundation to remodel the room his wife spent her last days in. Since her passing, he says that the family barely ever goes in the room, and when they do, it’s just to pass quickly through on their way outside.
“It’s painful to be in there, but it’s been years now. I want to remodel it to be a place where my kids want to be. A new place.”
For his two daughters, who have been to camps and counseling, there is real value in being able to find some stability and fun where there has been so much pain. David wants to remodel the room how they’d like it, so it’s a place where they can hang out and have fun as they enter their teenage years.
“In many ways, they just want to be normal again. This could be a part of that,” he says.
Even with all the suffering they have experienced, with help from the foundation and the hard work of one very brave family, there’s a chance that this room might be the sunniest room in the Rivera house yet again.
Please help families like David’s rebuild hope by donating now. Join the $7 on the 7th campaign and help us continue to change lives all year round. Your support of $7 a month provides the LLF the opportunity to change lives.
David’s story was written by Rachel Nelson who lives and writes in Minneapolis.
After the unexpected and shocking murder of her husband Germaine last summer, it took all the strength Samira had just to keep herself and her two young daughters going.
“We had to pray together, cry together, be strong for one another. Those three things helped us stay together. There were times when I thought I couldn’t go on, but then I saw my girls be strong for me, and that that gave me energy to keep pushing.”
As the family grieved, mounting financial worries began to add to their emotional stress. Samira struggled to support the family herself, but the bills started to pile up “higher than the roof.”
Unable to find any organizations that could help and uncertain what to do, she googled “help for widows” in a moment of desperation. One of the first hits was the Liz Logelin Foundation. Finally, she had found a source of relief.
The first thing Samira will do with a grant from the foundation is get back on top of her household bills. Things have gotten so bad that when her car got a flat tire, she had to start walking and taking the bus rather than pay to get it fixed. Once these basic needs are met, Samira would love to do something special for her daughters. Both of their birthdays are in the early summer, right before the first anniversary of their father’s passing. It’s going to be a delicate and emotional time for the family.
“As long as I can remember, they’ve wanted to go to Disney Land”, Samira said. “When it all comes down to it, just spending time as a family doing something fun would be wonderful.”
“I am honored to be able to tell my story if it can help even just one other person who is in my position. I’ve come a very very long way. In times like this, you have to believe in something. Prayer, hope, whatever it takes, you have to believe.”
Samira’s story was written by Rachel Nelson who lives and writes in Minneapolis.
The first Bowl for Hope in LA was a huge success! Thanks to your generosity we raised just shy of $4,000 for grieving families. Simply amazing!
Take a look at the photos here.
A special thanks to Chris and Eleni Bicos for donating the food from Gus’ BBQ!
Kristin has not yet used the support given to her by the Liz Logelin Foundation.
She is waiting, and she has found the rare freedom to wait, to let the grant’s use evolve with her own healing, is as much a gift as the grant itself.
Kristin, a fourth-grade teacher in Wisconsin, had initially thought she would put the support toward a trip to spread her husband’s ashes in Jamaica, as he had asked her to do. However, Kristin’s husband died unexpectedly when she was just eight weeks pregnant; she couldn’t take the trip immediately.
Soon after Marley was born, Kristin caught part of a TV program in which Matt Logelin was interviewed.
“You feel so alone being so young,” Kristin says, reflecting on her discovery of other young widows and widowers. “But there’s a lot of other people going through the same thing. If they can do it, you can do it.”
After receiving her grant, through her daughter’s first months, Kristin realized the gift could wait for a joint trip, to be taken when Marley is able to understand the place’s meaning.
Marley, now nine months old, is named for Bob Marley; many of Kristin’s favorite memories with her husband come from their trips to the island.
Kristin did go to Jamaica this past New Year, an individual sojourn, where she felt her first sense of calm since her husband’s death. But she will wait to use the grant until Marley is three — or four or five — allowing Kristin and her daughter to take the trip whenever they are both ready, regardless of their circumstances at that moment.
She will show Marley her dad’s favorite spots, places where Kristin spread his ashes, alone, and where she and her daughter will, together, make new memories.
The Liz Logelin Foundation’s unrestrictive policy, not dictating grant usage, allows for an evolution.
As Kristin says, the foundation only asks you “do something that brings you joy.”
In a healing process, sources of joy are ever-changing.Through the LLF’s philosophy and gift, Kristin discovered her joy in not only finding a peace, but also making a plan for the future.
Please consider making a gift today of $7, $15, $100 or even $500 or more to give families like Kristin and Marley’s the chance to find peace.
Share Kristin’s story with your friends and let them know why you support the LLF.
This weekend we have the first LLF event in LA and would LOVE to see all of the nearby supporters there. Please take a look at all of our upcoming events below so you can save the dates!
Kristin’s story was written by Kate Erickson who lives and writes in NYC.
In July of 2006, to too many people, Matt Logelin had said,
“I know how you feel.”
Since his wife had died, he had written a blog, which had suddenly, unexpectedly, connected him to widows and widowers around the world. In the course of composing entries and corresponding with this new community, he realized, in addition to inappropriately simplifying pain, platitudes offer no view of life beyond grief. Matt wanted to add something to the grief refrain. He wanted to say this, right now, is the worst, but you can make it.
Matt himself was starting to make it, and as he prepared to go back to work, he considered the four thousand dollars remaining from donations family, friends and strangers had given him since his wife’s death. The money couldn’t fix what had happened, but it had allowed him time and space to focus on his new daughter. He had started believing that his life would move forward, and in the relief of that revelation, Matt gave the money away, in the form of several small grants. The Liz Logelin Foundation was born.
Recently, the foundation received a letter from a former grant recipient. The letter thanked the foundation for its help, then explained the family had turned a corner, had a better year than expected. They included a donation so that another family might experience this same success.
“This means we are doing something amazing,”
Matt says, and he launches into his vision for the foundation’s future: legal and financial consultation for young widows and widowers thrown into running a household alone. Checklists and practical resources to anchor the process. Sponsorships that send widows, widowers and their family members to camps and other places of community.
Matt’s vision is one of support and empowerment, one that begins drawing the map to life after grief.
In the new year, help the Liz Logelin Foundation and its community continue to grow.
We have many exciting events planned for 2012 and we would love to see you at one or more of them.
Run, Walk, Hope 5k + Maddy’s Mile Fun Run: June 9th at 9am at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, MN. Don’t forget you can always participate in the walk around the world no matter where you are.
Celebration of Hope: September 22nd at Solera in Minneapolis, MN. Tickets available soon.
We look forward to seeing you in 2012,
The power of hope is incredible. As one family told us – your gift helped us to find the strength to journey on.
Cheers to you and all that you made possible for grieving families this year!
We simply cannot put into words how deeply we value your support. Have a wonderful and safe evening ringing in the new year.
We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in 2012!
Give to the Liz Logelin Foundation.
The note was simple:“Thank you to you and your staff for the gift last year. We have been blessed with a wonderful year! Please use this donation to help another family.”
Included with the note was a check for $50. What a powerful way to say thanks.
Your past support made this circle of hope possible. In 2012 there will be more families who find themselves in need of the LLF. We cannot reach these families without your help. The work that you make possible is critical and the need is on going.
You too can make 2012 a year of hope for a family in need. We know that you have many choices when you think about where to give and we want you to know that we greatly appreciate your decision to support the LLF as we continue to provide grieving families with hope. A donation of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 will have a profound impact on someone’s life.
Please don’t wait. Donate now.
“Because I am lucky,” Jordan tells me. “Complete strangers have helped me out. I wanted to do the same for someone else.”
In Matt’s book, Jordan found an eerie mirror of his own journey.
“I know it can’t be the same, but it felt that way,” he says. In that mutual experience,there was the comfort crossing thousands of miles.
Through the phone, I hear Sawyer, eight months old, squealing. Jordan laughs lightly and assures me we are hearing happiness. From her tiny, distinct voice, I realize then the Foundation is not so much an entity as it is a collection of individuals. Individuals who know when life follows an illogical course, an unexpected generosity can help us find a stranger on a common journey.
This holiday season let your generosity shine through. Make a donation in someone’s name as a holiday gift or in memory of someone you love. A donation of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 will make a profound impact on someone’s life.
Give to the Liz Logelin Foundation.
President and Founder
Jordan’s story was told by Kate Erickson who lives and writes in NYC.
Last summer, not long after Lee had moved into a small house in northern Minnesota, his new neighbor called across the shared fence. Lee and the woman traded names and basic details, the pleasantries of young, suburban parents scouting playmates for their children. And then they discovered a similarity, an understanding each would have never wished in the other. Lee and his neighbor had both recently lost their spouses; each is learning to process their grief while raising children alone.
“I don’t want to win the lottery, but I worry about this winter’s heating bill,” Lee said. “You save the aces for the last part of the game, and I’ve pulled my aces.”
In the summer sun, Lee’s neighbor understood.
“Have you heard of The Liz Logelin Foundation?” she asked. Lee had not, and right there, over a fence in a pair of backyards, emerged the best reason for the LLF: reaching out of a similar tragedy, one can reveal a source of hope.
This holiday season change someone’s life. Give to the Liz Logelin Foundation. A donation of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 will make a profound impact on somone’s life.
Donate now and end Lee’s wait for hope.
President and Founder
Lee’s story was told by Kate Erickson who lives and writes in NYC.