National Bereaved Parent, Sibling Organization Recognizes 65 Compassionate Employers from 28 States

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In a nation where many companies fail in their duty to provide genuine, caring support when an employee has a child, sibling, or grandchild die, 65 employers in the private and public sector are being recognized by The Compassionate Friends in 2006 for doing just that. Recipients of Compassionate Employer Recognition, awarded annually, are acknowledged for going above and beyond the normal policies of most companies in supporting their employees when the death of a child has occurred.

Sixty five employers, Oakbrook, IL—Sixty five employers, representing 28 states plus Puerto Rico, are being recognized by the Board of Directors of The Compassionate Friends for showing extra sensitivity to bereaved employees following the death of a child. The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is the nation’s largest self-help bereavement organization with nearly 600 chapters serving all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico.

Generally nominated by the persons they have directly helped, these employers are receiving Compassionate Employer Recognition in 2006 for going above and beyond the normal policies of most companies in helping their employees when the death of a child occurred.

    The criteria for Compassionate Employer Recognition include, but are not limited to:

1)    Policies that reflect a compassionate attitude toward bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.

2)    Additional time off beyond the familiar three days.

3)    Flexibility in work assignments and evaluation of job performance.

4)    Providing support services and/or time off to obtain counseling or seek a support group

5)    Other acts of compassion.

The 2006 recipients of TCF’s Compassionate Employer Recognition are (by state): ALASKA: University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan, Ketchikan; ARKANSAS: KHBS/KHOG-TV, Fort Smith; ARIZONA: Banner Baywood Medical Center, Mesa; Cesar Chavez High School, Laveen; CALIFORNIA: Blue Shield of California, San Francisco; E.D.D. State of California, Riverside; Fashion Furniture, Inc., Fresno; Revenue Development Systems, Fairfield; SYSCO Food Services of San Diego, Poway; Winter Group, Inc., San Diego; CONNECTICUT: IBM Global Services, Strategic Outsourcing, Southbury; FLORIDA: 1st Kids Daycare and Preschool, Wesley Chapel; American Medical Response, Tampa; City of Palm Bay, Palm Bay; Club Staffing, Inc., Boca Raton; Dial Cordy and Associates, Jacksonville; Saddle Creek Corp., Lakeland.; GEORGIA: Dekalb County School System, Decatur; Portman’s Music Superstore, Savannah; Repco Sales of Georgia, Woodstock; IOWA: Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, West Des Moines; ILLINOIS: National Automatic Merchandising Association, Chicago; KENTUCKY: Osram Sylvania Glass, Versailles; Reed Weitkamp Schell &Vice, Louisville; Republic Bank and Trust, Louisville; LOUISIANA: Allen Parish Sheriff’s Department, Oberlin; Altec Gas Lift, Inc., Broussard; Fabriques, LLC, Lafayette; MASSACHUSETTS: Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis; Malden District Court, Malden; Merriam-Webster, Inc. Springfield;

MICHIGAN: Cook GM Super Store, Vassar; Golden Beach Manor, Millersburg; Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., Detroit; Ossur, Albion; MISSOURI: Laclede Gas Company, St. Louis; MISSISSIPPI: Richton Bank & Trust Company, Richton; NORTH CAROLINA: Liberty Home Care, Wilmington; Northern Hospital of Surry County, Mount Airy; NORTH DAKOTA: Bethany Homes, Fargo; NEW HAMPSHIRE: Municipal Resources, Inc., Meredith; Sony DADC, Nashua; NEW JERSEY: Bluebird Auto Rental Systems, Dover; NEW YORK: American Home Mortgage, Melville; Gowanda Central School District, Gowanda; Pavilion Central School District, Pavilion; OHIO: Best Buy D.C. 87, Findlay; Cuyahoga Physician Network, Cleveland; Victoria Insurance, Cleveland; PENNSYLVANIA: 3 Rivers Wet Weather, Inc., Pittsburgh; Greater Erie Community Action Committee, Erie; The Meadville Tribune, Meadville; Washington Hospital Family Medicine, Washington; RHODE ISLAND: The Howley Bread Group, Cumberland; TENNESSEE: AmSouth Bank, Nashville; University of Tennessee, Office of Research and Public Service, Knoxville; TEXAS: Classic Chevrolet/Hummer, Grapevine; UTAH: Albertsons Store #396 (and Corporate), Price; VIRGINIA: The Reinforced Earth Company, Vienna; WISCONSIN: Freedom Graphic Systems, Milton; Hy-Safe Technology, Union Grove; Polywood Fabrications, Wausau; Wal-Mart Store #882, Prairie du Chien; Wisconsin Army National Guard, HHS 1st Battalion 121st Field Artillery, Milwaukee; PUERTO RICO: Fiddler Gonzalez & Rodriguez, P.S.C., San Juan.

This is the sixth year for recognition of employers, with recipients jumping from three the first year, to the current 65 this year.

“When parents experience the death of a child, they begin a lifelong journey through grief recovery that follows them to their workplaces, their churches, and their communities,” says TCF Board President Rick Yotti. “The support and sensitivity of employers plays an important role in the positive resolution of grief, so it is gratifying to see so many employers recognized as shining examples of compassionate understanding.”

The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. To contact The Compassionate Friends, call toll-free 877-969-0010 or visit the TCF national website at http://www.compassionatefriends.org.

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Wayne Loder