Buzzy's Bees news & updates
June 2023
Summer seems like a time to relax and change up routines. Yet, in our Buzzy’s Bees world much activity continues. Artists for Give Grief a Voice are working from the stories they’ve received as told to our writers by the families. The largest gallery exhibit to date is hanging in Brookwood Library, Hillsboro, through July. If you are unable to see the work in person, you can view the art from all years on our website. Work continues on the development of the Give Grief a Voice book. The online peer support group will meet in July. We continue to receive applications from families who need the financial support offered from Buzzy’s Bees. As we continue to share the impact that our mission has, generous supporters are inspired to donate to Buzzy’s. We will keep the hive buzzing on these long and lovely days.
Brookwood Library Reception Recap and Tour Stop
The Give Grief a Voice traveling exhibit was installed in Hillsboro, Oregon, on June 1st with the largest selection of art and excerpts to date -- 24 pieces were hung. The exhibit will remain in place until July 31st in the gallery space on the second floor of Hillsboro’s Brookwood Library.
On the evening of June 1st, the library hosted a reception and panel discussion with Amanda Drews, Buzzy’s founder, and two of the Give Grief a Voice artists, Jessica Johns and McKenna Marvin. Insights into the process of creating art from the family story about their child gone too soon were moving and meaningful. The moderator asked each of the panelists to share one word that sums up the experience from their perspective. Their words were: connection, cathartic, and love. The process is a powerful one.
We hope those who are familiar with the aim of the Give Grief a Voice project will take some time to visit the gallery. We are grateful to the Hillsboro Brookwood Library for being a partner in introducing people to Buzzy’s Bees. Thanks as well to the Regional Arts Council for providing partial funding for the gallery tour.
The Online Give Grief a Voice Gallery is Now Up
We are proud to announce that our Give Grief a Voice Online Art Gallery is now up! You can now view all of the pieces from our previous Give Grief a Voice seasons, as well as read excerpts from the stories the art is based on. The art can be viewed all at once, or year by year. We hope that this gallery and all the pieces will help demonstrate the impact of the work we do, and we look forward to sharing the pieces being created now for the 2023 season.
2023 Golf Tournament Recap
Our 7th annual golf tournament was held on April 29th - which feels like quite a while ago! Thank you to all that supported the event, we so greatly appreciate you! The third year of the par three tournament was filled and we will continue to keep that part of our Buzzy's Bees Golf Tournament day. The miniature golf was a great success as well! It's always so amazing to see the smiles all around and everyone having so much fun. We had some new winners and some returning (defending champions) winners. 

This tournament is a major piece in the puzzle of helping fulfill our mission to change grief culture and support bereaved families. Buzzy's Bees is growing and becoming a resource that hospitals, social workers, law enforcement, "hive members," and many, many others rely on to help others that are looking for support. Thank you, again, so much for your contribution and we hope to see you next year! Date yet to be determined so stay tuned!
Save the Date: 2023 Give Grief a Voice Art Reveal
Mark your calendars for September 30th, 2023 as the date of our 5th Annual Give Grief a Voice Art Reveal! The event will take place in-person in Beaverton, Oregon. Following the private portion of the evening, we will be opening the event up for a public reception, wine pull, auction, and panel discussion.

This event is a great opportunity for our supporters to meet the artists and writers who provide their talents to the program and to view the art they have worked so hard to create for the families this year. More details about the event will be available later on our website as we draw closer to the big day.

We would like to thank the writers and artists for their work this year in creating something special for our 10 families, and the families for opening their hearts and sharing their stories with us. We hope to see you there!
Program Updates
Financial Gifts
We have gotten more applications for financial support this year than we have seen since the inception of the program. These numbers are humbling, and remind us of the impact loss and grief has on every aspect of a person’s life. We are honored to be able to provide what assistance we can to families impacted by such tragedy. 

We have been able to provide financial gifts to a total of 15 families this year, with the average gift being around $500 dollars. All together, we have been able to give $9,200 to bereaved families this year. The children whose lives we are grieving ranged in age from stillborn to a little over 12-years-old. The families shared with us that they plan to use the support to assist with funeral, cremation, and cemetery expenses, as well as help in paying household bills, counseling, and even moving costs. Our hearts are with these families as they mourn. If you know of a bereaved family who could use some financial support, please let us know through this application.
Give Grief a Voice
Our 2023 Give Grief a Voice season is moving toward a close. We have served 10 families this season and, for the first time since COVID, the majority of our family interviews were conducted in person instead of virtually.

Longtime followers will know that Give Grief a Voice operates seasonally, beginning in late December or January. The winter months are generally when the writers meet with the families to hear their stories of loss and grief (phase 1). Next, the writers draft and edit their stories (phase 2). Most of phase 2, save some editing, is complete at this point. 

Phase 3 is when the art is created. As the artists read and digest the stories, we solicit family photos and store them in a shared folder that the artist can access. The artists develop their concepts and share sketches of their intended pieces with Buzzy’s. Then, the painting begins! Our families will finally get to see their pieces for the very first time at our annual Give Grief a Voice Art Reveal Event, which is scheduled to take place on September 30th, 2023.
Peer Support Group - D.U.B.S.
Join us for our next DUBS online meeting on July 9th at 1pm. We will be talking about support systems. We will discuss who our support systems are, and how we help our support systems to understand what we are feeling/going through and communicate our needs. Grief brings up so many feelings. We don't always know the right words to use to get our needs met. Let's work together to word our needs to those who are there for us. 

Would you like to help grow our Peer Support Group? We would love to build more meetings and events in our program. Join our DUBS committee to help us connect to other families in support.

If you are interested in joining a virtual support group with other adults who have been impacted by the unexpected death of a child, please reach out to [email protected].
Our Mission has Moved Two Large Donors
The development team has been telling the story and mission of Buzzy’s Bees, which is like sowing seeds. Nurturing and carefully tending relationships with donors and grant making institutions has started to bloom into new large donors and we are excited to share some exciting news with our hive. This past January, a private donor sent $10k who was particularly moved by how we support families who have experienced unexpected child loss. And this spring, we were awarded a $30k grant from the Satterberg Foundation specifically to support the outreach, storytelling, and community building of our Give Grief a Voice project. We know that each person we touch through our outreach and programs is bringing us closer to seeing real change in grief culture and we are thankful for the opportunity to continue this work.
Thank You to Elliott & Murrey
We would like to thank Kerri at Elliott & Murrey Coffee Roasters for providing us a special opportunity this past May! Every year, Elliott & Murrey creates a special blend and donates proceeds to a nonprofit. Kerri chose Buzzy’s Bees as the recipient this year, honoring both Bereaved Mother’s and Mother’s Day. Bags of coffee were sold at our Golf Tournament and at local Oregon grocery stores. In total, 72 bags were sold!

Thanks again Kerri for your generous donation, and to Buzzy’s supporters for purchasing this craft coffee!
Volunteer Spotlight
This quarter we are happy to highlight the volunteer contributions of Ana Valencia. In setting up the Brookwood Gallery Tour stop (see above), our team took the opportunity to offer the introductory gallery language in Spanish as well as English for the first time. Having a native speaker support this translation was a success! Thank you so much, Ana!
BottleDrop's 2023 Bottle Hunt
After the Fourth of July parades are finished and the fireworks are over you may be looking for some summer fun. If you like geocaching or puzzle solving this is for you! Oregon's Bottle Drop program will launch their 2023 Bottle Hunt on July 5. Here are the details:

Six commemorative bottles will be hidden in special places across Oregon and clues will be issued over a five-day period to reveal their whereabouts. Each lucky finder will get to keep the bottle as a memento of their triumph and select a BottleDrop Give nonprofit of their choice to receive a $1,000 donation for each bottle found!

The commemorative bottles for 2023 are inspired by Oregon’s iconic state flag, and sport a blue and yellow motif. Like the flag, they even include Oregon’s iconic state animal (the beaver) on the back of the bottle. As a reminder, the Hidden Bottles are made from BottleDrop’s Refillable Bottles, which support the only statewide refillable bottle program in the United States.

If you wish to join the hunt you can sign up to receive clues.

As a reminder, Buzzy's Bees participates in the BottleDrop Give nonprofit program, so if you are a lucky "finder" you can make a difference by naming us as your choice!  

P.S. If you would like to collect can and bottle deposits for Buzzy's Bees, contact Alexandria Causey at [email protected] for bags and tags.
Information Connections
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 many ways. One of the more common but less talked about ways grief shows itself is through anger. Speaking Grief, a wonderful resource that we have revisited many times, posted an article about Grief and Anger and how it makes us behave. Often, grief combined with anger can cause people to act irrationally, or have trouble communicating what they feel beyond the anger. Speaking Grief provides two great videos from people who experienced anger while grieving, as well as resources to seek help if one's anger feels extreme or out of their control.
  • For bereaved parents with teenage children, it can be extremely difficult to communicate with their children about their emotions and their experience with grief. Teenagers may be reluctant to share their emotions with their parents, while the parents may struggle to reach out while dealing with their own grief. The National Alliance for Children’s Grief has created an interactive Teen Grief Journal in collaboration with grieving teens in order to provide an outlet and safe space for teens to express their grief and be supported by others who have gone through similar experiences.
Thoughts from our Blog
In case you missed it, here is recent post from our blog.
  • When someone close to you experiences a loss, it is difficult to find the words. Too often it is tempting to hold back and say nothing, for fear that what we try to express will come out wrong or not be helpful. As part of our effort at Buzzy’s Bees to provide resources for those who grieve and those who care for them, we shared guidance provided by the Dougy Center, “What to Say, What Not to Say,” in helpful graphic form.
  • With summer around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to share a wonderful resource for grieving families. Camp Erin, founded by the Eluna network and Providence Hospital of Oregon, is a summer camp that serves bereaved families by providing a place where children and teens can share their story with others with similar experiences. Calvin, Buzzy’s brother, attended Camp Erin last summer, and we had an opportunity for a brief interview with him in order to share a camper’s point of view. Read the interview on our blog.
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:

Traveling Gallery Exhibit Subcommittee Member - contact Kelly Tilford
We recently received a large grant to extend our gallery tour and are forming a group now to establish where and when our reproductions will be hung next. This is a very tangible way to support our mission and connect with other art loving volunteers.

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:
  • 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 [email protected].
  • 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 under the My Thrivent heading.  
  • Donate Your Miles and Points - We are set up to receive hotel points or airline miles from you as a donation. Reach out to Emilia at [email protected].
Grief does not discriminate. Buzzy’s Bees strives to support a broad and diverse community of grieving families.