Buzzy's Bees news & updates
May 2021
As spring unfolds new life emerges - sometimes slowly and sometimes with a burst almost overnight. This year we are grateful to get a glimpse of the path back to some kind of normal as people receive vaccines for protection from Covid 19. Little by little we are emerging from our cocoons and fluttering to the sweetness of a bit of togetherness. We hope this finds you well and ready for the warmth of summer and enjoying longer days. Please take a few minutes to learn what the Buzzy's Bees hive has been up to. There is much to report!
$10K in 10 Days Results - Success!!
The fundraising series was a success from every angle!
Last spring when Covid hit, we threw together quick online Bingo and pub-style trivia games - just for fun, to see our people, and raise a few dollars. Fast forward a year and we weren't quite ready to hold our annual spring mini-golf tournament, but we were itching to bring the hive together again. With the time, talents, and fresh energy of 6 people on the development committee, the $10K in 10 Days series was built!

Over the course of 10 days we held 9 fundraisers, There truly was something for everyone, as about 150 households participated in one thing or another (or several!). We loved seeing so many familiar faces participating, and it was such a success to have so many new people added to our hive of supporters, which increased in size by over 20%.

Our goal was to raise $10k which made for a catchy series name, but we truly were going out on a limb in hopes to reach that number. Imagine our delight when tickets for events were selling out, donations were arriving, and our fundraising goal was surpassed! Thanks to each of you, we were able to raise about $11,500!
Program Updates
Financial Gifts
We have given three financial gifts since our last newsletter. The recipient families are in Oregon, Texas, and North Carolina and suffered the loss of a 3 month old, 9 year old, and 8 month old child. We know of some of the pain that these families are feeling and how especially hard it is to navigate the first several months after a child passes. We heard from the social worker who submitted the application for the family in Oregon that they are working to secure housing for the family and help cover cremation expenses. We hope that Buzzy's financial gift can help ease some of the burden.

All three applications arrived on the coattails of our recent $10K in 10 Days fundraising events, which is a reminder that our events help raise awareness of our programs along with the dollars to run them. The committee that convenes to determine the amount given felt confident writing the checks thanks to the participation and support of our hive and the program's sustaining donor, Martin Family Real Estate. This program is growing! These three gifts alone are as much as we normally fund in the entire calendar year. Thank you!
Give Grief a Voice
Our Give Grief a Voice committee has also been busy this spring. We recently welcomed a new volunteer to the committee (read more about Kelly below) and we are working to wrap up the interview and story writing portion of our 'season.' The images to the right are screen shots of committee members and writers taken during some of our interviews this year.

Soon our artists will be digging into their work to create the pieces that will be gifted to the participating families. Stay tuned for information about the art gallery style event that we plan to host in some sort of hybrid way this fall.

We are also already thinking ahead to our 2022 program year and looking for connections and outreach to individuals who would like to apply. If you or anyone you know is interested, please reach out to Nicole at [email protected] or Kelly at [email protected] or ask them to fill out our short online application.
Volunteer Spotlight - Kelly Tilford
A recent addition to our growing volunteer team is Kelly Tilford who serves on our Development Committee and is our new Give Grief a Voice program manager. We asked her to share some thoughts on what inspired her to offer her time and talents to the Buzzy's Bees organization.

"Stories and big ideas energize me professionally and personally. Stories transform lives and big ideas drive change. An interest in stories and big ideas is certainly reflected in my work experience. I was a lawyer for a while, but those weren’t the stories and big ideas that motivated me. I’ve worked in the philanthropic world for organizations whose missions were important to me. That was fun, fine, and good.

It took me a while to realize that there are professions where big ideas intersect with stories in ways that engage and inspire. GGaV occupies that space for me. The story part of the program is literal and powerful. Grieving families are invited to narrate the story of the loss of their child, and a professional writer creates a narrative that is forwarded to an artist. The artist translate these words into visual art that preserves and honors the child who's died.

Amazing, right? I’m a seriously lucky person. It only helps that this small but mighty organization is driven by the volunteer energy of serious powerhouses. The Buzzy’s Bees people have a wide range of complementary skills. Some are big picture innovators. Some are detail oriented strategists. Many fall somewhere in between, and all of them are compassionate, bright, creative, and effective communicators.

The GGaV project is one of big ideas, too. For starters, GGaV acknowledges the full humanity of children. Of course, these lives were impactful. Of course, the loss ripples through the community. Of course, these children and their place in this world should be preserved and honored. Another big idea of GGaV is that maybe those of us who haven’t experienced the death of a child can be better at supporting our grieving loved ones. Maybe we’ve given short shrift to the people who are in the muck of grief. When we listen to the stories of grieving people, we add meaning to the world and enrich our understanding of it. I think the GGaV stories add a compassionate dimension to some very big ideas. To me, that’s beautiful."
5th Annual Golf Tournament
Save the Date and Sponsorship Opportunities
The Buzzy's Bees Golf Tournament planning committee has begun putting together details for our 5th annual tournament! Please mark Saturday, August 28 on your calendar and plan to join us!

New this year, we are adding a 9-hole par-3 competition in the morning along with our traditional mini-golf tournament and luncheon party. Stay tuned for when tickets go on sale and snag your spot early! We will be adhering to Covid guidelines so tickets might be more limited than usual.

Also, if you are connected to an organization or know of someone who would like to be a sponsor, we have several sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact committee chair, Nate Drews, at [email protected] for more information.
Information Connections
Part of Buzzy’s Bees mission is to connect people to resources that speak to grief and loss in order to help one another navigate this rugged terrain. We have recently found the following and want to share them with our community.
  • Julie Garner, founder of Project Yellow Light, is one who has had the unimaginable experience of losing a child. She's survived, though not unchanged. Julie contributed the following blog to HuffPost in April, 2016. 11 Life Lessons From a Grieving Mother She speaks not only to mothers who grieve, but also to family and friends who may not know what to do or say. We hope, along with Ms.Garner, that her "...firsthand experience will help others cope and help their friends provide the support they need to lighten their load and lift their spirit along the way."
  • As shared by Modern Loss, society simply needs to do better with sharing the burden carried by bereaved parents. Read Evin Phoenix's candid account of how she could have better weathered those awful early days. 
Thoughts from our Blog
If you haven’t had an opportunity to browse our blog, now is a good time to check in.
Since our last newsletter, we posted the final four in our series that shares excerpts, along with the art, from each of the stories we told in 2020.

We also posted a piece by our lead blogger, Nancy Petrie, that offers a reminder of how grief sometimes halts us in our tracks.

Finally, a little bit of insight into one of the connections that Buzzy's has and cherishes.
Let's socialize!
Some of what we shared on our social networks that you might have missed:
This spring we highlighted several women-owned businesses in coordination with Women's History Month, Woman Crush Wednesday,' and showcasing the sponsors of our Drive In Movie night. All these women have inspired and supported Buzzy's Bees to continue to grow! We are happy to share with you:

  • We are grateful for the continued support of Keri, owner of Elliott & Murray Coffee. Some of our recent raffle winners are likely enjoying a cup of brew from them!
  • Megan De Salvo who volunteers on our Communications Committee where she shares expert tips is the owner of Edge One Media, a Portland based Digital Marketing Agency. 
  • Photographer Brittney Corey shared that she supports Buzzy's Bees because of a personal connection to someone who unexpectedly lost a child a few years ago.
  • Joy Cha is a graphic designer and one of our Give Grief a Voice artists. Check out her professional work on her personal site as well as a post about her involvement in our project. We are so grateful for her.
  • Malaina Kinne, another photographer loved by Buzzy's Bees shared that she supports Buzzy's because "I know there are people hurting in the world right now and Buzzy’s Bees is there to comfort, support and love those in need."
  • Aubrey Martin is a treasured supporter and we were so glad to have Martin Family Real Estate as the Drive In's presenting sponsor.
  • We love that we can also count on the support of Jacquie Walter, of Translating Insurance, time and again!
  • A new, but equally loved sponsor is Kristen Ratten, for your content and copy needs.
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:
  • Flyer distribution - We will have a printed flyer for the golf tournament available in a few weeks. We could use your help bringing them to local businesses and community boards.
  • Day-Of golf tournament 'runner' - Are you young, able bodied, interested in golf, and available on Aug 28? We could use your help to place signage at the holes and carry other various items to and fro.
Giving Partners
Thank you for your ongoing support through matching and other programs. Check these options:
  • Thrivent Choice Dollars - If you have an insurance or annuity contract with Thrivent you may have Choice Dollars to designate. Check it out at under the My Thrivent heading.  
  • AmazonSmile - We can receive proceeds as you shop through Amazon. Set up Buzzy’s Bees as your charity of choice at
  • 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
  • Benevity – A matching program through your employer (ie Google, Microsoft, Nike, etc)