a milestone of healing

Christopher and Michael's Story

As the year ends, we want to share a story about the lasting impact you are having on the lives of children and families in our community.

Christy and her two sons, Christopher and Michael, never expected to need grief support services in their lifetime. But when Christopher was six years old and Michael was four, their 14-year-old sister, Ella, died after an unexpected accident. This life-altering tragedy drove Christy to find a space where her two sons could receive the necessary support to grieve the death of their beloved sister and learn healthy coping skills.

ella and her baby brothers

Ella’s death was not just a heartbreaking loss, but a cascade of challenges that the family was forced to face head-on. In the aftermath, Christy and her family found themselves in a community where few services were available for their specific needs, and those that existed were prohibitively expensive and far away. Over time, they were feeling increasingly isolated and lonely in their grief, and Christy knew she had to relocate the family somewhere to get help. Following the family’s move, they found grief support services funded by Safe Crossings Foundation that were tailored to their needs and completely free.

Christopher and Michael

christopher and michael

After they settled into their new home, Christopher and Michael attended Camp Erin®-King County, a free, weekend camp for kids and teens ages 5-17 who are grieving the death of a significant person in their lives. This would be the first time the family had spent a notable amount of time apart since Ella’s death. For Christy and her family, this would serve as a milestone, marking a crucial moment of establishing independence for each of them.

The three-hour drive home from camp gave Christopher and Michael a chance to share their grief and their memories of Ella. Christy says “it was a full human experience” for her and her family to understand that while these feelings shouldn’t dominate their lives, they deserved and needed to be acknowledged.

In addition to Camp Erin®, Christopher and Michael attended a grief group for kids where they had a chance to connect with others just like them. Receiving grief support services transformed the lives of Christy’s family, fostering a sense of resilience, understanding, and belonging. “They were like a huge bubble of love for Christopher and Michael,” giving them a space to heal through the power of love, support, and a community that truly cares.

christopher and michael with mom and dad

For over 30 years, Safe Crossings Foundation has helped grieving children, and their need is our call to action. Because of your steadfast and generous support, we are committed to ensuring all grieving children receive the emotional support they need to heal and thrive after the death of a loved one—free of charge.

Christopher and Michael are just two of the thousands of children and young adults in our region who are served each year by programs funded by Safe Crossings Foundation. Our goal is to reach as many grieving children as possible, especially those who would not otherwise find support in our communities. Your gift is vital to making sure these programs are free and accessible to everyone who needs them.

Every child, teenager, and young adult copes with grief in different ways, and the broad array of programs funded by Safe Crossings Foundation is essential to helping these children. Our vision is that no kid will grieve alone, and we ask for your support in making that vision a reality. Please make a donation to help grieving children today.

With warm gratitude,

Karen Schrantz
Executive Director, Safe Crossings Foundation

P.S. One in eight youth lose a parent or sibling before the age of 25. Holidays can be especially hard for young adults like Christopher and Michael. Safe Crossings Foundation strives to make the holidays a little easier by funding a variety of programs that help at this time of year. Please join us by making your donation today.

If you prefer to give via check, please mail it to:
Safe Crossings Foundation
4210 Southwest Oregon St, Suite H
Seattle, WA 98116

Scroll to Top