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  • Katy Ryan


Dear friends,

A lifetime ago, a college professor forever and immensely changed my life when he recommended KinderMourn for my graduate internship. Dr. Barret, with his simple wisdom stated, “I can just see you working there.”

For 35 years, it has been my greatest honor to work at KinderMourn and spend my career supporting and advocating for bereaved parents and grieving children.

I am forever grateful to the parents who trusted me to share your journey. My heart holds memories of pink ribbons, Domino’s Pizza, Clemson Tigers (seriously), Tar Heels!, Alf, creative #8, crazy socks, lucky pennies, tiny footprints, fingerprints forever over doorframes, VW Beetles, PS5, ducks, and more. It has been a privilege getting to know you and your previous, beloved children.

I have been blessed to work with the brightest group of staff and facilitators. The current and past staff, along with exceptional boards of directors, have been my solid foundation. I have been surrounded by the brightest who kept the mission of KinderMourn in focus.

Finally, to the many donors who graciously supported KinderMourn through my tenure – thank you.

In 1992, my greatest fear in accepting the directorship was my lack of ability to raise money. How could a grief counselor fundraise? At the time of my hire, a dear board member shared this advice, “if you believe in KinderMourn, you can raise the money.”

Well, I did believe in KinderMourn, and now, 35 years later, I believe more strongly. I believe in the spirit of a grassroots organization that began 44 years ago after one tiny baby died and her parents saw a need for grieving families to have a safe haven. I believe in the coming together of the grieving to find hope and healing. I believe that when so much has been lost – there is something to be found.

Thank you for the privilege of the past 35 years … forever grateful,

Kelly Hamilton


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