Learn how many children and families were impacted by Calm Waters from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020
FY20 State of the Agency Update
Dear Calm Waters Supporter,

As I look back over the last year, I’m mindful of how much our world has overcome and how deeply affected we have been because of COVID-19. I’m also very empathetic for the families who face heartbreak and loss due to a divorce or the death of a loved one every single day, regardless of a pandemic, and how desperately they need Calm Waters. July 30 marked my second anniversary as Executive Director of Oklahoma City’s only grief center and I’ve never been so proud to lead this life-changing work.

Because of YOUR support, we were able to offer our support groups, grief counseling, workplace crisis services, Parenting Through Divorce seminars and grief trainings to 5,948 children, teens, adults and families – a 25% increase over last year and with an operating budget just over $600,000.

The words “Thank You” cannot express enough my sincere gratitude for your dedication to our mission! 
The need for our services continues to be great. In fact, the COVID crisis has intensified the trauma many of our families are feeling.

Knowing that our bereaved clients and families would need our services more than ever, our team moved quickly to respond, offering our support groups virtually as well as adding a NEW Coping with COVID weekly support group for anyone struggling with grief or loss due to the pandemic.

We shifted all counseling services to telehealth and moved school support groups online, thanks in large part to the generous support of emergency funding by the United Way of Central Oklahoma.  
Even though our programming had to change, it didn’t change the impact on the lives of those we serve. In the midst of participating in our virtual support groups, one of our grief support group participants said,

“No one gets me like my Calm Waters family does. This is the one time a week I can feel what I need to.”

Long before we realized a pandemic would dramatically alter our lives, the Calm Waters team, led by a highly engaged and committed board, accomplished so much.

Here’s a glimpse at some of those highlights: 
  • 5,948 people were served by Calm Waters from July 1, 2019 to June 31, 2020. This is a 25% increase from FY19!

  • 559 children and families attended Grief and Divorce support groups.

  • Over 400 individuals benefited from our workplace crisis sessions.
  • Almost 900 parents were taught through the co-parenting through divorce seminar.

  • Supported 77 individuals and families in their holiday grief journey at our Winter Grief Workshop.

  • 27 volunteers served as support group facilitators during our weekly Grief and Divorce support groups offered at our Center and in elementary, middle and high schools across 11 OKC metro school districts.
  • Over 215 individuals and families benefited from our grief counseling services.

  • Served 42 bereaved children during our 2nd annual Camp Courage, an art therapy camp.

  • Trained over 500 community leaders, volunteers, school counselors and nonprofit partners.
  • Hosted our 6th annual Under the Big Top gala as well as our 2nd annual Charlotte Lankard Giving Society reception, honoring individual donors who annual contribute $1,000+ or corporations who annually donate $5,000+.
As we look to this next year, the Board, staff and I are hopeful about our future and even more driven to serve the families in Central Oklahoma experiencing horrendous loss. In fact, we continue to look for a new location for our services and are regularly identifying opportunities for partnership. I'm thrilled we ended this past fiscal year with a financial surplus, providing us some measure of comfort as there is still so much that is uncertain within our economy. 
We are planning to begin our free support groups in person this fall with health and safety precautions, by offering both in-person and virtual groups. If it becomes unsafe for our families to do so, we will continue to offer our services virtually and find other ways to ensure everyone is supported at home through activity kits, personal calls from our in-house therapists and other outreach. Please know that every dollar you contribute will continue to be used wisely AND make a massive difference.

Thank you for your commitment to Calm Waters, to our mission and to the precious children we serve like 7-year-old Layne, whose father “died on purpose” over a year ago. For Layne, Calm Waters is the only place he feels safe enough to talk about his dad’s death and the only place he is surrounded by other children just like him, ensuring he has healthy coping skills to see him throughout the rest of his life.

If the Calm Waters family can ever be a support to YOU and your family, we are here. Be safe and well!

Thank you, 
Erin Engelke, Executive Director
P.S. Save the date of August 25, for Calm Waters' second annual Ripples of Hope virtual event! Tickets are $35 and sponsorships begin at $100. Click here to learn more and I hope to see you there!
Calm Waters Center for Children and Families | 405-841-4800 | Calmwaters.org