Frequently Asked Questions
What is Safe Crossings Foundation?
Safe Crossings Foundation is a public charitable foundation with federal tax exempt status under I.R.C. 501(c)(3), tax ID # 75-2992774. We are dedicated to being a leader in supporting services that help grieving children heal. Our vision is that every grieving child receives the support needed for healing.
When and why was the Safe Crossings Foundation established?
The Foundation (formerly known as the “McMullin Robertson Foundation”) was created in 1989 as a memorial to two Seattle attorneys who died from cancer within a short time of each other, Ken McMullin and Bill Robertson. Each left behind a family, between them, six children ages six months to seventeen years. As the families of Ken and Bill began the long process of grieving, they realized that no comprehensive grief support program existed in King County for children facing the death of a parent or other loved one. They decided that a fitting memorial to these two fathers would be the creation of a program that would provide anticipatory grief and bereavement counseling, free of charge, to children in King County who were struggling with the potentially-devastating emotional challenges of a loved one’s terminal illness and death. With generous support from Ken and Bill’s colleagues at Williams Kastner, and other family members and friends, the Safe Crossings Foundation was established.
How does the Safe Crossings Foundation fulfill its mission?
To help fulfill our mission, we collaborated in 1990 with Providence Hospice of Seattle to create the Safe Crossings Program, a grief counseling program that serves families in the greater King County community. Safe Crossings Foundation continues to provide the primary funding for the Safe Crossings Program and Camp Erin® King County.
What is the Safe Crossings Program?
The Safe Crossings Program is a bereavement counseling service that was specially created to help children prepare for the death of someone they love, and to offer ongoing support after the death occurs. Four professional bereavement counselors provide Safe Crossings Program services, which include:
- Face-to-face, one-on-one counseling for children, parents, and extended families both before and after the death of a loved one.
- Grief support groups for children and teens, many held during the school day in over two dozen local elementary, middle, and high schools, as requested by teachers and school counselors.
- Crisis response (consultations, grief education, discussion groups, etc.) to public and private schools after the sudden death of a student, staff member, or parent.
- A weekend summer grief camp (Camp Erin) for children and teenagers.
- Three family day camps held in the summer for grieving children and teens to come together, along with their families, for education, play, and support in an outdoor setting.
- A spring and summer picnic for children, teens, and their families to celebrate the seasons and honor loved ones who have died. These gatherings provide families an opportunity to share stories, participate in creative activities and games, and support one another.
- A winter bonfire at Alki Beach held after a teen gathering to brainstorm future events.
- Creation and distribution of written information and educational materials.
- A training curriculum developed by Safe Crossings that addresses best practices in addressing children’s grief and is made available to area professionals for continuing education credits.
- One-on-one consultation with educators, counselors, and other health care professionals who are supporting a family facing the loss of a parent or child.
- Partnering with other community service providers as appropriate. All services provided by the Safe Crossings Program are offered at no charge. For more information about Safe Crossings Program services, please call 206.320.4000.
What is the relationship between Safe Crossings Foundation and the Safe Crossings Program?
Safe Crossings Foundation provides the primary funding for the Safe Crossings Program. The Safe Crossings Program is managed and operated by Providence Hospice of Seattle. The Program counselors are employees of the Providence Hospice of Seattle, but collaborate closely with Safe Crossings Foundation on program direction, resource allocation, and raising public awareness of the need for grief counseling for children.
How can I get involved or help Safe Crossings Foundation fund grief counseling for kids?
Safe Crossings Foundation relies solely upon charitable gifts from the community to fund the grief counseling services provided by the Safe Crossings Program, The Healing Center and Art with Heart. Volunteer opportunities with Safe Crossings Foundation include participating on various committees and helping with fund-raising special events. To find out more, please contact us at 206.652.4723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.