Bereaved Families of Ontario Durham Region Newsletter - May 1998

Report from the Co-ordinator

There has been a lot of activity at BFO over the past few months concerning fundraising. We had the Angels Tree of Light, the Walk to Remember, the Mickey Finn's evening and now, in this newsletter, the Fireworks Sale.

Every year at the end of February we have to submit to the provincial office a report of all our activities and a financial statement for the previous year. A budget proposal for the current year is also submitted. As you can see, to remain as an affiliate member of Bereaved Families of Ontario, certain standards must be met. The Board must be fiscally responsible and each affiliate must provide support services following guidelines established by the Provincial Board's Quality Assurance Committee. I thought I would share with you some highlights of your Annual Report sent to Head office.

Total expenses for 1997 were over $14,000. Major costs were office rental ($4,300), office funishing/installation ($4,600), telephone ($1,400). Income for 1997, thanks to your generous donations and fundraising activities totalled over $19,000. This surplus of $5,000 was added to funds we already had on hand at the beginning of 1997. We enter into 1998 with approximately $13,500 in reserve. Major expenses for this year are office rental ($6,500), telephone ($1,500), office expenses/postage, etc ($2,000), family support nights ($1,000) and purchase of a computer for the office. From these figures you can see that without ongoing fundraising events, our affiliate would not be ablet ot function within 12 to 18 months.

Our goal for the future is to expand our services to run more efficiently. To do this, we would need paid staff for the office and to be able to support the salary for at least a part-time co-ordinator. It is our hope that we can increase our income to achieve these goals in the not so distant future. Our organization is growing ever larger and becoming more difficult to run becasue of the increase in administrative time required.

Many thanks to all our volunteers. In 1997 you performed a total of 1,500 hours of volunteer work! This included running two couples and one mothers's support groups, five family support nights, four issues of the newsletter and more than 20 one-on-one meetings. Without you, there would be no services at all.

The money is important to maintain our operations, but we would immediately cease to be as an organization without the caring and sharing of all our members. We truly are a family of bereaved helping the bereaved. If you are like my family and I, you continue to find comfort in the support and understanding we can offer each other as we journey together down the road before us.

Sincerely Gary Goswell.

Program Coordinator's Report

It seems unseasonably warm for March as I write this piece and already the signs of Spring are blatantly obvious everywhere.

We were very pleased that Susan Hendricks and Nancy Hopgood were our speakers in February for a group of bereaved parents at the Whitby Public Library. Thank you to Susan and Nancy for their part in that evening's success. Perhaps a more clinical look at our body's reactions to stress and bereavement can help us all to understand a little better why we react to the way we do. Susan allowed us into her journey of grief and shared her personal traumatic symptoms of grief as we discussed some very common reactions to bereavement after an unexpected and sudden loss.

Our final Family Support Night of the year will take place in late May but we will endeavor to have two Share and Care evenings over the summer. We will determine those nights and announce tehm at teh Family Support evening in May.

At this point, I will sign off. I wish you peace of mind as the warm weather softens our heart with renewed hope as we journey through our grief.

Sincerely Gail Young, Program Coordinator