A Tribute to our Founder Linda Phelps
The visionary or founder of any organization that makes deep and lasting impacts on the lives of individuals and families it serves also leaves a special imprint on the organization that remains—even after that founder is no longer part of it. Dr. Linda Phelps was (and is) that kind of visionary-founder for the Grief Resource Center. During her many years as a professional counselor, she recognized that there were significant numbers of people who were experiencing various forms of grief as they dealt with major life transitions. These included loss of loved ones, but also other critical life changes such as the loss of one’s job or a major change in a family member’s health, a divorce and more.
As a result, Linda presented a proposal to the owners of the French Family of Companies asking them to consider providing the seed funding to create a multi-purpose, multi-capable grief resource center. This center would bring together a wide array of professionals, peer support groups, first responders, members of the faith-based community, hospice and others to serve this broad base of needs. In addition, this center would offer training, workshops, seminars and direct one-on-one professional support counseling for individuals and families.
When the Grief Resource Center opened its doors in October 2016, Linda’s vision became a reality and the demand for the services offered has not ceased to grow ever since. Her legacy continues, even after her retirement.
In 2019, the Board of Directors of the Grief Resource Center approached the Children’s Grief Center seeking a merger of the two organizations. Both organizations were founded to provide free, community-based support to individuals after the death of a loved one. After much discussion and due diligence, both boards voted unanimously to combine services, staff and resources. In October of 2019, the GRC was legally dissolved and operations began to transition to the Children’s Grief Center.
Since that time, the world has shifted. We have responded, stronger than ever – serving our clients remotely, meeting with service-providers, volunteers and supporters to listen and learn. As we work together to identify gaps in grief services and how to meet them, you can continue to find us as both the Children’s Grief Center (www.childrensgrief.org) and the Grief Resource Center (www.griefnm.org). As we refine our mission and our vision, we will continue to serve grieving children and their caregivers, as well as adults over the age of 25 grieving the death of a loved one. We will expand and grow as a stronger resource to be a light in the darkness of grief to all members of our community, as we honor the legacy of both great organizations and their history of serving those who grieve.