Buzzy's Bees news & updates
September 2022
Our Buzzy's Bees hive is still humming with the energy and poignant beauty of the Give Grief a Voice event held on September 24. Though you may not have been able to attend, throughout this newsletter you'll find ways to share the experience. The online art auction is your opportunity to provide future families this unique means to honor their grief after the unexpected loss of a young child. We count on you!
2022 Give Grief a Voice Art Exhibition and Benefit
On September 24th, 2022, Buzzy’s Bees held our 4th annual Give Grief a Voice Art Exhibition and Benefit, our first event open to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We gathered together in the Historic Alberta House in Portland, Oregon, on a warm sunny evening for a night of remembrance and love. Arriving families greeted each other with hugs and comradery after meeting at our Bonfire & Brews and Mother’s Brunch, which took place before the event. 

We unveiled this year's art to the 13 families who shared their stories with us in a private ceremony, where families who were able to make it in person were led to their art, while we held virtual attendance calls for families unable to attend. Soon after the gallery doors opened to our ticketed guests to view this year’s art as well as reproductions of previous years pieces.

To read the full story and view photos, check out our blog post here!
Online Art Auction is Live!
Our online art auction has launched! We had 31 items donated by talented artists, ranging in value from $18 - $890, all set and ready for you to enjoy in your home. 

At our Give Grief a Voice event this past Saturday we held an auction preview for guests to peruse in person. A few items have already been sold and taken home using the Buy Now option at our event and the open gallery hours during Alberta Street’s community night on Thursday. 

Don't miss your chance to pick something up for yourself! Shipping is available to any U.S. location. You've got to be ready to act quickly as this online portion of our fundraiser is this weekend only! Bidding opens at 9am on Friday, Sept 30th and closes at 8pm on Sunday, Oct 2nd. That’s right - you only have 3 days to secure a piece you love in support of the GGaV program! 

Thank you for your contribution! Money raised from this art auction will fund the writing and art pieces for our 2023 Give Grief a Voice families.
Give Grief a Voice Gallery Tour
Did you get a chance to see our first art gallery exhibit at the Northeast Community Center in July? As you’ve hopefully heard, we are on a 5+ stop tour of various public spaces in the tri-county area. Our objective is to change grief culture in the United States by normalizing conversations about child loss. To that end, we are displaying professional reproductions of the art work previously gifted to our Give Grief a Voice families. Don’t fret if you missed us in July because we have more opportunities for you!

Right now, you can visit us at stop number 2 at the Historic Alberta House. Come during our open hours below, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to chat with a Buzzy’s creative about the program and their work.

Open hours are:
  • Friday, Sept 9 3-7p  
  • Friday, Sept 16 3-7p  
  • Monday, Sept 26 3-7 
  • Alberta Street’s Last Thursday Portland, Thursday, Sept 29 4-9p 
  • Friday, Sept 30 3-7p 
  • Friday, Oct 7 3-7p 
  • (more to be announced - follow us on social to hear more!)

Our next three tour stops will take place in 2023 and are located at regional public libraries. Wilsonville Public Library will host our exhibit in February 2023. West Linn Library will host our pieces in March 2023, and we look forward to displaying our art at the Hillsboro Brookwood Library in June and/or July.

The GGaV Gallery Tour is supported with funding from Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).
Program Updates
Financial Gifts
Four families were given financial support from Buzzy’s Bees this past quarter. One was to a family whose three-month-old child died from unknown causes. Another was to a family from Michigan who lost their ten-month-old child following a house fire. A family living in Ohio was gifted financial support after their five-day-old child died after contracting an infection, and a mother whose one-month-old passed away from complications of a fever received support as well. Most of these families are using the gift to pay for funeral or cremation expenses. One family confided that they would use the financial support provided to assist in keeping up with their rent and bills as well. Our hearts are with these families as they mourn. If you know of a family who could use some financial support, please let us know through this application.
Give Grief a Voice
Wow, time passes quickly! In our last quarterly newsletter, we were wrapping up the artwork for the season and beginning to focus on how to make our event special for our families. Now, our event has happened and we find ourselves prepping for an entirely new season of family stories and art. We’re already sifting through collected applications for 2023.

Our near-term focus for the next few months is refining internal processes. Our committee has plans to streamline and improve our program not only for the family participants but also for the artists and writers who provide quality writing and art. We have aspirations of hosting a project launch summit where our creatives will gather and contribute their ideas for refinement. We also have ideas to further engage alumni families in building a community of bereaved parents. It's going to be a busy fall! 
Peer Support Group - D.U.B.S.
Our DUBS (Dedicated Universal Bereavement Support) program continues! If you are interested in joining a support group with other adults who have been impacted by the unexpected death of a child, please reach out to DUBS@buzzysbees.com. After a summer-break, our online evening meetings will begin to meet again on the 4th Thursdays each month. In-person meetings in Hillsboro will resume in 2023.
Tune in - Amanda makes a guest appearance on a second podcast!
Donate Your Miles to Support Bereaved Parents
Have you collected more hotel points or airline miles than you know what to do with? We are set up to receive them from you as a donation! Our Give Grief a Voice program's mission to tell the story of bereaved parents from all over the U.S. coupled with our ability to return to in-person interviews for 2023 means we need to be prepared to fly. Also, being able to offer a travel stipend to the families to receive their art in the fall is a meaningful way to make sure all are able to attend in person, if they wish. We have set up mileage accounts with Southwest, Alaska, and United. If you have miles to gift, reach out to Emilia Kirstein, GGaV’s new program administrator, at emmy@buzzysbees.com to help you get the process of transferring your points and miles started. It's actually simple and would make a big impact!
Volunteer Spotlight - Proofreaders!
This quarter we're pleased to recognize and publicly thank the group of proofreaders who have volunteered their time to be a fresh set of eyes on each of our stories. The suggestions and minor tweaks have helped with clarity and the professionalism of our fantastic writers. Thank you, Marisa Coleman, Caitlin Collins, Sarah Gamber, Nancy Petrie, and Tracy Wilson. Your support in helping our writers shine is very much appreciated!

Given the somber topic of our work, it doesn't go unnoticed that the emotional load of reading each piece isn't light. However, expanding the team of people who read each of these stories furthers Buzzy’s mission to change grief culture at large. Reading these stories provides insight into how much joy and love surrounds bereaved parents along with the deep sorrow. Because of the Give Grief a Voice project, many of us at Buzzy’s have learned how to better support the grieving people in our own lives. It’s part of the amazing ripple effect this project has and yet another reason we’re all proud to be a part of it.
Appreciation Happy Hour Recap
Each meeting and conversation comes with a gift. You don't always know what that gift is until later and sometimes you have to search or wait for the golden nugget. This advice, given by the founder of another grief organization, is exactly how we'd explain what might sound like the most random of gifts.

Through a series of connections and conversations, NW Natural offered us the opportunity to host a volunteer and sponsor appreciation happy hour in August. They granted us the use their facilities and catering services at no charge. This allowed us to have a fun evening where we were able to toast the backbone and muscle of Buzzy's Bees, our volunteers and sponsors. Thank you to everyone who supports Buzzy's Bees with your time, talents, and dollars. Cheers to you!
Information Connections
Resources
Connecting our community to additional grief and loss resources to help navigate this rugged terrain. We have recently found the following to share.
  • Grief manifests itself in different ways for many people. For many, turning to books is a great way to find solace through reading experiences that mirror their own. The newly launched Grievers Library founded by Pamela Belyea allows those in grieving to easily access books about grief. Although the only physical location is in Seattle for the moment, they have a wonderful online database full of resources and ways to look up exactly what one needs.
  • Speaking Grief recently held a webinar titled "Help Me with My Grief," which allowed bereaved persons to talk to experts on how to find which options of grief support (ex: therapy, support groups, etc.) are the best fit for them. Finding which type of support is needed to help process grief can be a difficult part of the journey, and we are grateful to Speaking Grief for providing their insight on this often confusing subject.
  • Return to Zero: H.O.P.E. is an absolutely wonderful organization that provides imperative support to bereaved families through support groups, as well as workshops for writing and art (subjects very close to our heart at Buzzy's. Their resources cover a broad range of loss in pregnancy and early infancy, allowing bereaved families to find support and care for their experiences. Places like Return to Zero remind us that we are not alone in our experiences, and that help is there should we need it.
Thoughts from our Blog
In case you missed it, here is recent post from our blog.
  • We at Buzzy's were deeply honored last year to be gifted a gorgeous quilt last year from our great friends Patty Torres and Pauline Mead (the latter of which worked 70 hours to stich the piece) as part of our 2021 fundraising efforts. These deeply generous people had heard of our mission and found it resonated with them. Read more about their story here. Pauline has also completed another quilt for Buzzy's this year, and we can't wait to share it!
Additional Ways to Support Buzzy's Bees
Volunteer Opportunities - Giving your time and talents
If you are looking to get involved with Buzzy's Bees, we are always happy to match your interests, available time, and specific talents with one of our standing committees. Please get in touch! Sometimes folx are looking for a defined role, in which case, here are a couple of opportunities to consider:

Communications Committee Member - contact Amanda Drews
Our communications committee could use another person or two with a passion for telling our story. We meet once a month virtually, and in the interim we could especially use your help to pass along language and updates to our GoogleAds contractor. Join us!

IT Support - contact Julie Schneider
Have you noticed that our emails are .com even though we are a .org website? Do you have the IT talent to help us transition our email addresses to the new domain? We could use your help!
Giving Partners
Thank you for your ongoing support through matching and other programs. Check these options:
  • AmazonSmile - We can receive proceeds as you shop through Amazon. Set up Buzzy’s Bees as your charity of choice at smile.amazon.com
  • Benevity – A matching program through your employer (ie Google, Microsoft, Nike, etc)
  • BottleDrop - We are a registered non-profit with Oregon's BottleDrop and can receive proceeds from your donated cans and bottles! If you want to participate or have any further questions please reach out to Alex at dubs@buzzysbees.com.
  • Fred Meyer Community Rewards - In addition to receiving personal rewards you can link your customer card to Buzzy’s Bees at Fred Meyer Community Rewards
  • Thrivent Choice Dollars - If you have an insurance or annuity contract with Thrivent you may have Choice Dollars to designate. Check it out at thrivent.com under the My Thrivent heading.  
Grief does not discriminate. Buzzy’s Bees strives to support a broad and diverse community of grieving families.