National Bereaved Parent, Sibling Organization Recognizes 81 Compassionate Employers

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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, 81 employers in the public and private sector are being recognized by The Compassionate Friends in 2007 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.

When a child dies, families begin a grief journey that follows them through all parts of their lives

Eighty-one employers, representing 33 states, 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 D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Generally nominated by the persons they have directly helped, these employers are receiving Compassionate Employer Recognition in 2007 for going above and beyond the normal policies of most companies in helping their employees when the death of a child occurred.

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.

This is the seventh year for recognition of employers, with recipients jumping from three the first year, to the current 81 for 2007. Employers being recognized range from small companies with as few as two employees to large companies with as many as 250,000.

The 2007 recipients of TCF's Compassionate Employer Recognition are (by state): ALABAMA: Aldridge, Borden & Company, P.C., Montgomery; ARIZONA: Valley Child Care and Learning Centers, Phoenix; ARKANSAS: Wal-Mart ISD, Bentonville; CALIFORNIA: Campos Bros. Farms, Caruthers; DaVita, El Segundo; Jeppesen DataPlan, San Jose; COLORADO: Garfield School District #16, Parachute; Park Forest Care Center, Westminster; CONNECTICUT: Crescent Point Benchmark, Niantic; FLORIDA: Boynton Pump and Irrigation Supply, Stuart; Coastal Cooling, Inc., Fort Myers; Ebel, Inc., Jacksonville; Florida Health Care Association, Tallahassee; Florida Hospital Medical Center, Orlando; Pro-Tech Pest Control, Naples; Seminole High School, Sanford; GEORGIA: Mimosa Elementary School, Roswell; U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General - Audit Region IV, Atlanta; IOWA: American Tool and Engineering, Greene; Fisher Controls International, Marshalltown; IDAHO: Wayside Cafe, Rupert;

ILLINOIS: ADP Dealer Services, Hoffman Estates; Hair Directors, Buffalo Grove; Tilton, Kelly + Bell LLC, Chicago; Village of Streamwood, Streamwood; INDIANA: Harrison County Hospital, Corydon; Tires Plus Total Car Care, Greenwood; KENTUCKY: Pennyroyal Hospice, Hopkinsville; T.H.E. Engineers, Inc., Lexington; MASSACHUSETTS: Aberjona Nursing Center, Winchester; Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Boston; University of Massachusetts Medical School, Jamaica Plain; MINNESOTA: Fairview Home Care & Hospice, Princeton Branch, Princeton; Independent School District 622, North St. Paul; MISSISSIPPI: Johnson Dodge Kia, Meridian; MISSOURI: Centene Corporation, St. Louis; Heartland Regional Medical Center, Saint Joseph; MONTANA: Achievements, Inc, Libby; Critical Illness and Trauma Foundation, Inc.; Bozeman; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Fort Peck Project, Fort Peck; NEBRASKA: Nashua Corp., Omaha; National Research Corp., Lincoln; Sandhill Oil, Hyannis; United States Postal Service, Chadron; Western State Bank, Waterloo; NEW JERSEY: DIMACS/Rutgers University, Piscataway; Northern Jersey Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, Midland Park; The Iron Horse Restaurant, Westwood; NEW MEXICO: United States Probation Office - District of New Mexico, Albuquerque; NEW YORK: IIja J. Weinrieb, MD, Williamsville; Metro North Commuter Railroad, New York City; Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP, New York City; NORTH CAROLINA: Atlantic Coast Toyotalift, Winston-Salem; National Gypsum Company, Charlotte; Wal-Mart, Wadesboro Store, Wadesboro;

OHIO: The Wackenhut Corporation, Reynoldsburg; OKLAHOMA: Lexington Public Schools, Lexington; Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates, Oklahoma City; OREGON: Fujimi Corp, Tualatin; Hoffbuhr & Associates, Inc., Medford; PENNSYLVANIA: Blue Mountain Middle School, Orwigsburg; City of McKeesport, McKeesport; Eastern Lebanon County School District, Myerstown; Kellogg's Snacks, Eastern Region, Fort Washington; Moon Area School District, Moon Twp.; United States Steel Research and Technology Center, Munhall; Vincentian Home, Pittsburgh; SOUTH DAKOTA: Sioux Falls Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Sioux Falls; TENNESSEE: FedEx, Memphis; Smith's Air Assault Store, Inc., Clarksville; TEXAS: Marr Eye Center, Bryan; Stebbins Five Companies, Ltd., Longview; Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies, Waco; The Linc Group, LLC, Houston; Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, Fort Worth; VIRGINIA: Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg; VERMONT: EPS, Inc., Williston; WASHINGTON: 7 Cedars Casino, Sequim; WISCONSIN: City of Beloit Fire Department, Beloit; Lear Seating Corporation, Janesville; Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, Green Bay.

"When a child dies, families begin a grief journey that follows them through all parts of their lives," said Patricia Loder, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends. "Today the need for support in the workplace so often takes a back seat to the demands of the marketplace. These 81 employers, large and small, public and private, are being recognized for providing the compassion and understanding that is vitally needed in the bereavement process."

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 Nominations for the 2008 Compassionate Employer Recognition program will be accepted starting July 23, immediately following The Compassionate Friends 30th National Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


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