News from Dougy Center, January 2023

Upcoming Events

26th Annual Porsche Boxster Raffle

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Virtual Professional Seminar

January 23-27, 2023

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Volunteer Facilitator Training

January 28 & 29, 2023

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Dougy Center Grief Education Webinar: Inclusivity, Intersectionality, and Grief

February 16, 2023

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Reflection Benefit & Auction

May 12, 2023

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Dougy Center launches new online toolkit for kids, teens, and families grieving a death from COVID-19

Our new online toolkit, designed specifically for children and teens, as well as their parents and caregivers, who are grieving a death from COVID-19, is here! The toolkit features 40 new resources, including tip sheets, activities, podcast episodes, and more in both English and Spanish. All resources are provided at no charge at, and made possible by a grant from the Brave of Heart Fund.


Childhood bereavement as a result of the pandemic is a public health emergency. Estimates show that more than 10.5 million children worldwide have had a parent or primary caregiver die of COVID-19. Dougy Center knows from the thousands of children and families who have walked through our doors that those who are newly bereaved will need continuing support and understanding. In addition to the death of a parent/caregiver, these children and teens have their grief compounded by pandemic lockdowns, physical distancing, and other restrictions that have impacted traditional ways of grieving in community.


The new resources address specific issues faced by families of health care workers and first responders, as well as topics unique to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Brave of Heart Fund was founded by the foundations of New York Life and Cigna and administered by charitable partner, E4E Relief. The Brave of Heart Fund was established in 2020 to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of the frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19. It continues to offer support to these bereaved families via partnerships with non-profit organizations aligned with the fund's core purposes. To learn more, visit


The online toolkit is the first phase of the two-year $350,000 grant. The second phase includes the development of activity books for children and teens in both English and Spanish. These books will be published later in 2023.

Thank you for your generosity!

A huge thank you and our deepest appreciation to everyone who supported Dougy Center with their year-end gift. With a goal of raising $150,000, we are thrilled to announce we raised more than $198,000 in December from more than 360 individuals! An additional $32,927 was raised through the Willamette Week Give!Guide! These funds will go to grief support programs and resources to help kids, teens, young adults, and their families before and after a death.

Add a note to Dougy Center's card for the family of Beverly Chappell

Dougy Center's founder, Beverly Chappell, died in September. We are creating a special card for her family that will be presented at Bev's upcoming memorial service. Please include a message or special memory here and we will add it to the card. All messages must be received by January 12.

Tips for New Year's intentions and grief

Grief isn’t something to be managed or organized. It is a wildly complex mix of unpredictable and always changing thoughts and emotions. Given that, you can set an intention to create a supportive relationship with your grief, regardless of how it’s manifesting in the moment. One idea for setting New Year's intentions while you’re grieving is to create a calendar for mapping out events and occasions connected to your loss.

Here are some categories to consider:

  • Particularly poignant days or times of year. No matter how long it’s been since someone died, there may be times that bring grief into sharp focus. It might be the anniversary of the death, the person’s birthday, your birthday, a holiday, or any other day that is meaningful for you and your relationship with the person who died. Often the lead up can be even more difficult than the day itself, catching people off guard until they make the connection. Planning ahead and being aware of these days might not lessen sadness, anger, or heartbreak, but can reduce the confusion around why those feelings are intensified.

  • Specific tasks related to the loss you want to start or complete. There is no timeline for the emotions and logistics of grief. When it comes to sorting through belongings, deciding what to do with your loved ones cremated ashes, responding to friends and family, and attending to other bureaucratic tasks, going at the pace which is right for you is what’s really important.

  • Self-care activities that are truly restorative and nourishing. Self-care is as varied as we are. What brings comfort and energy to one person can spark the opposite for another. As you sort through self-care ideas, consider what helps your body, mind, and spirit. If you have children, talk with them about self-care and ideas they have for what to do when they need support.

  • Time for recreation and fun. Do you worry that you are dishonoring the person or your grief if you find yourself feeling good? Many people struggle with giving themselves permission to laugh and experience positive emotions. If you have children, talk as a family about activities that foster laughter and ease (going to the park, watching silly videos, playing games, etc.). For some, being intentional with these activities helps reduce feelings of guilt around having fun again.

  • Rituals to remember and honor the person who died. Many participants in our support groups appreciate having dedicated time for remembering the person who died and thinking about how grief is affecting them. Scheduling remembrance events such as looking through photographs, lighting a candle, watching videos, visiting the gravesite or other place connected to the person, and getting together with friends and family to share memories are a few examples, but don’t feel constrained by these ideas. Go at your own pace. If looking at photos is important to you, maybe start with one or two and try adding more as the weeks go by.

When it comes to marking these plans in your calendar, be as creative (or not) as you like. Do you want to plan out the entire year or does going month to month seem more feasible? If planning specifics feels too confining or overwhelming, consider assigning certain days of the week for different categories without deciding ahead of time exactly what you’ll do. Maybe reserve Tuesdays for self-care, Thursdays for a remembrance ritual, and Saturdays for recreation and fun. If you have children, consider creating a family calendar and brainstorm ideas for personalizing each person’s contributions. Remember, it’s okay to change your mind and rework plans.

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