THROUGH OUR AFTERCARE TEAM, WE PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR DONOR FAMILIES:
These opportunities include honoring your loved ones’ legacy of life, making connections with other families in person and on social media, communicating with your loved ones’ recipient(s) if possible and sharing your loved one’s story with the community
We offer several signature events throughout the year:
- At the Celebration of Heroes Night at the Zoo event every April, we gather at the zoo for a night of celebration and remembrance, including a sand ceremony where each family contributes to a piece of layered sand art representing the many donor heroes and the lives they have saved and restored through the gift of donation.
- Our annual Hope for the Holidays event takes place in late fall to honor donors and their families. We recognize that the holiday season is a particularly difficult time when you are missing a person that you love. Donor families are invited to gather for food and conversation and to remember their loved ones in a special rose ceremony. These roses will be placed on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float at the coming year’s Rose Parade.
- At our Memory-Making Workshops, you can make a quilt square in honor of your loved one to be placed in a Donor Family Quilt. ARORA displays these quilts at Aftercare events and at local programs that promote organ and tissue donation. Periodically, we also offer other types of memory-making workshops as well.
- Once per year, we offer a Transitions Support Group where every family that had a loved one donate or make the intent to donate in the previous calendar year is invited to gather to get to know one another and share about their loved ones.
Within the three calendar years following your loved one’s death, we will contact you by phone, mail and email to notify you about these events as well as other opportunities. After this time, you may follow the ARORA Donor Family Services Facebook Page or our Upcoming Events page on this website for upcoming event information and ways to RSVP.
We also provide support for your grieving process, including bereavement materials and educational workshops, and connect you with resources that we hope will help in your journey. We are also available to you if ever you have any questions or need a listening ear or resources. In addition, if you need support in the community, we can connect you with local grief support groups or individual support professionals. We would like to personally thank you for being part of this donation process.
For any additional information, contact ARORA’s Family Services Aftercare Department at 501-907-9138 or toll free 866-660-5433.
The Center for Good Mourning at Arkansas Children’s Hospital provides information about local support groups in Central Arkansas and around the state. Though this is offered through the Arkansas Children’s Hospital website, many of these programs work with people of all ages.
Another excellent resources is UAMS’ Bereavement Support Group Directory, which is sorted by city and offers many options for grieving support around the state. If you are grieving the loss of a child at any age, Compassionate Friends offers groups in several locations throughout the state. This organization is dedicated to helping families who have lost a child.
If you have lost a loved one through suicide, there are also a number of support groups around the state that serve families experiencing this particular kind of grief and loss.
Here are a few programs in which donor families have participated that you might want to look at first. While we don’t endorse any particular group, program or approach, these are groups with which our donor families have had some experience, and we share them in the hopes that they will be helpful:
- In Central Arkansas, hospice organizations offer grief groups that are open to the public and are often free of charge. See their websites for group times and locations.
- If you are interested in a religiously-based Christian program, we have had donor family members report positive experiences with Griefshare. GriefShare is a 13-week support group program offered in churches that includes religious content from the Christian tradition. For a list of GriefShare groups, click here.
Central Arkansas: You might also consider Walking the Mourner’s Path, another program with religious content, hosted at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (20900 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR 72223) Call Joanna Seibert at 501.753.4281 for a schedule. This program offers eight weekly sessions with a sliding scale fee for participation.
- For a program geared toward parents who have lost a child of any age, you might check out Bereaved Parents of the USA – Central Arkansas Chapter. Contact Debby and Kevin Hunsaker at 501.847.4102 or email: email@example.com. Contact the Central Arkansas chapter at 501.944.9007 We hope this list offers you a few places to get started in finding a community in which to express, share and finding healing in this difficult place of loss. If we can be of any further support, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at 501.907.9125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaleidoscope Greif Center through Methodist Family Health
Contact: Janet Breen
Good Mourning Program through Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Contact: Greg Adams
Hope and Healing 4 Kids through Arkansas Hospice
Contact: Simone Brock
ARKANSAS DONOR FAMILY COUNCIL
We also collaborate with the Arkansas Donor Family Council, an independent group of donor families and recipients that work to support other donor families and promote organ and tissue donation. Learn more about the ADFC and upcoming events here.