"HEARTS of EPA2" Stories

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In February 2022, we launched a NEW  communication series – ❤ HEARTS of EPA2 ❤!

Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. One little HEART story at a time. Donors. Volunteers. Staff. Former Families. Community Supporters. Board Members. Sponsors.

EVERY little heart story fills the HEART of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. Thank YOU!



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Mark & Amy Blaufuss – DONORS ❤ 
(2 of 2)
February 15, 2023

“Another friend recommended that the Jakubiks look into an organization called Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. The family took the courageous step to reach out and begin their journey through their grief.

“As days and weeks passed, we started to notice that the Jakubik family grew closer, united in supporting each other through the peer grief support programs that Ele’s Place Ann Arbor provided. We were blown away that they were receiving this support free of charge and had the ability to be with others who were experiencing the same or similar loss.

“We joyfully became financial supporters of the Ann Arbor branch of Ele’s Place after being so moved by the real life love and support they had provided to the Jakubiks. We fell deeper in love with the mission and expanded our support the organization with time and financial resources by serving on Capital Campaign committee for the beautiful healing center in Ann Arbor. We continue to support Ele’s Place Ann Arbor through our time and financial resources, helping to drive this wonderful organization into the future through participation on the Ele’s Place Finance Committee and Governing Board.

“The world, and in particular the Jakubik’s, are in a better place because of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, and the vision of Betsy and Woody Stover. We are blessed to be part of this incredible organization.” ❤

Mark & Amy Blaufuss, THANK YOU for sharing your heart story and connection during the month of February! We are grateful for YOU – YOU fill the HEART of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate your generous MATCH GIFT during our February 2023 Appeal – You Heal Grieving Hearts!! Blessings to both of you. ❤

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Mark & Amy Blaufuss – DONORS ❤ 
(1 of 2)
February 15, 2023

“My wife and I moved to Plymouth Township in 2002 to a neighborhood with a lot of young families. We brought our two-year-old son and soon to be daughter to the new house in hopes of meeting other parents with kids of similar age. A few years into our new journey, we ran into a friend at a soccer game who we hadn’t seen in years – Matt Jakubik. His son Luke was on the same soccer team and as irony would have it, they were looking to relocate to a neighborhood with more young families.

“They were able to identify another family who wanted to move to their neighborhood out of ours. The Jakubiks became new neighbors and we quickly began spending a lot of time together, including sports, traveling and just being close friends. We would frequently coordinate meeting at the neighborhood pool and our kids would love to play together. We both built a close relationship with their entire family – Matt, Beth, Luke, Mia and Phoebe.

“A few years later, my wife and I were spending a weekend at a friend’s cottage in Northern Michigan and we received “the call”. A friend phoned us to let us know that a tragic accident had occurred with the Jakubik’s – their daughter Phoebe had accidentally drowned in our neighborhood pool. We were instantly broken over the death of such a little angel. Mark in particular was crushed as he had built a strong relationship with Phoebe who was just shy of her 4th birthday.

“When we returned, the neighbors met with the Jakubiks to show their support and love to help them through this horrible tragedy that no one would wish on their worst enemy. However, we didn’t know what to say – no words of comfort or support could heal their broken hearts. We felt like we were failing our loved friends but in reality, we weren’t equipped to handle the loss of a child.”

Watch for the rest of Mark & Amy’s “HEART story” later today! ❤

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Chuck Colby – DERBY EMCEE ❤ 
(2 of 2)
December 15, 2022

“Dad explained that at breakfast, Mom got up for more coffee and collapsed. She was just gone. She suffered a brain aneurism and died instantly. Again, I filled with anger toward myself. Why hadn’t I been there? I was numb, and I kept all of this bottled up for a few days, until my friend Clay came to the visitation. When he walked through the door at the funeral home, something clicked, and I just let go, I sobbed for 10 minutes. It became real for me at that moment, this was not some nightmare. I was 16, and my Mom was dead.

“Friends came, teachers came, neighbors brought food. Everyone offered condolences and said how much they had loved my Mom, she really was a wonderful person. I feel like I saw the very best in people through this experience, I felt the love of people who cared about me. After a week, friends started asking me if I wanted to hang out, and I started doing things, surprised that life goes on. I was at my friend Al’s house when something funny happened and I remarked to everyone that I couldn’t wait to tell my Mom, she’s got such a sense of humor, Oh, that’s right, she’s gone. Our minds can play tricks on us.

“I was left feeling a powerful void. Dad did the best he could to help, but he was also dealing with his loss. I grew up fast, we became more roommates than father and son. I cooked and cleaned, he got the groceries, we had breakfast together most days. I coped with music, and I dove into after school activities. When I was busy, I didn’t feel so sorry for myself. Unfortunately, what I didn’t really do was deal with it. I didn’t have anyone who could help me through it. I am still dealing with this as an adult.

“I learned about Ele’s Place after I graduated from MSU (I did do well on the ACT after all!). I remember feeling an instant connection to Ele’s Place, and a desire to help. Young people who experience the loss of a loved one need help and a connection with peers who experienced a similar death. I wish that Ele’s Place had been around for me, that’s why I support Ele’s Place and serve as the Derby Emcee, so that this amazing healing center is there for grieving children and teens who need it.” ❤

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Chuck Colby – DERBY EMCEE ❤ 
(1 of 2)
December 15, 2022

“Mom. I remember these few days so vividly.

“Mom and I had spent the day before together. I was a new driver, proud to be entrusted to captain the trip to East Lansing to pick up my sister Carol. On the way down, Mom and I laughed so much, listened to our favorite cassette (Paul Simon’s Graceland album). Mom and I talked about the ACT test that I was scheduled to take the next day, she assured me that I would do fine. She was so good at helping me to believe in myself. We picked up Carol and loaded the car. All packed up in the Oldsmobile station wagon, we headed back home with me still proudly at the helm. We made good time and got home quickly, even making the mundane stop for bread and milk en route.

“I woke up excited in the morning. I got up early to go take the dreaded test with aspirations of getting a high enough score to earn entry to my desired college, Michigan State. My buddies picked me up. There is power in numbers, so we all went together. I remember sitting in the stale Midland High cafeteria (my rival high school). Sweaty palmed, I raced through the test feeling mostly confident and well prepared by my own teachers. To my pleasant surprise, highlighted moments of various lessons in algebra, history, and chemistry came flooding back. The time was up. Pencils down. I had a feeling that I had aced it, I knew it!

“Guys in the car had a mixture of reactions to the exam. While a few of my pals resigned themselves to having to take it again probably, I felt pretty good. I had a quiet excitement, a confidence that I had not expected. I felt butterflies as I got close to home, eager to burst through the door to share the good news with my folks, but especially Mom, she would be so proud! We pulled in and as I exited the car, I knew something was wrong.

“Dad was standing in the doorway with my Grandma, both looked very upset, in tears. Dad grabbed hold of me and said, “We lost your Mom this morning.” I was stunned. I didn’t cry, which made me feel mad at myself, was I so heartless that the death of my Mother didn’t move me to tears instantly?”

Watch for the rest of Chuck’s “HEART story” LATER TODAY! ❤

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(1 of 1)
October 13, 2022

“This is our last family photo with my Dad. It’s been over 50 years since I lost my father, I was only 5 years old. Unfortunately, memories are harder to come by, however, many of my childhood memories involve feeling as though I was the only one who was dealing with something like this.

“When I was initially invited to attend an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor Healing Hearts Society Breakfast, I had no idea what their mission was. As I listened to families talking about their experience at Ele’s Place, I couldn’t help but think, “Where was this place when I was going through this?” At dinner that evening I told my wife, Kim, about Ele’s Place and about the type of work they’re doing. She also lost her father when she was only 15 years old. I knew then we needed to support Ele’s Place.

“For several years I was a member of an industry association where we organized a charity golf outing and we chose Ele’s Place as our benefactor. After several years of supporting Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, I was asked to join the Community Board. I struggle with the word “no” when someone from Ele’s Place asks me for help. It’s such an easy organization for my wife and I to support. We see the impact peer grief support groups have on the children, teens and entire families, especially knowing that we didn’t have a place like Ele’s Place to go when we experienced our losses. This is our reason for supporting this organization.

“Children and teens who experience a loss at a young age are more likely to struggle with addiction and mental health issues. Having a place like Ele’s Place can help these young people move through their grief and reduce their risk of going down the wrong path. Fortunately, my wife and I turned out “OK” as we were blessed to have loving supportive families. As a society, we are struggling with mental health issues more now than we ever have. Finding solutions is not always easy, but the work being done at Ele’s Place is making an impact.” ❤

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Rosalie Tocco-Bradley – COMMUNITY BOARD MEMBER
(2 of 2)
September 29, 2022

“Flash forward 4 years. The first Lady of Michigan, Sue Snyder, invited me to attend an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor Healing Hearts Breakfast as her guest. I was not well informed about Ele’s Place, but didn’t want to decline Sue’s invitation, so I politely attended the breakfast. I was not prepared for the overwhelming emotion I would experience at the breakfast, as I heard the first-hand story of an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor family, and understood the profound impact that Ele’s Place had had on their journey towards healing.

“I was so disappointed that our family had not known about Ele’s Place and resolved that I wanted to be part of sharing the opportunity offered by Ele’s Place Ann Arbor’s peer grief support programs to other families in need. I also called JonJon and Nicole to share my knowledge and enthusiasm about Ele’s Place. They openly agreed that the Ele Place peer-to-peer support activities would have been a game changer for them. They whole-heartedly encouraged me to stay involved.

“In my role as a practicing physician, I connected Ele’s Place Ann Arbor with our oncology and pediatric programs at St. Joe’s and IHA. Many of my teammates participated in an onsite ‘Tour of the Heart’ where we viewed the art generated by grieving children. Our clinical program staff agreed to make sure our patient families are informed about Ele’s Place Ann Arbor.

“During this period of time, I was honored to be invited to join the Ele’s Place Ann Arbor Community Board. And again, I was struck by the incredible dedication of the staff and Board in sustaining the mission and logistics of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor programming, even during the COVID pandemic. Ele’s Place Ann Arbor provides a very special community service – free of charge, for as long as a family needs - that has touched the lives of so many grieving children and teens. I am proud to be part of this wonderful and giving organization. Thank you Ele’s Place. You make a difference!” ❤

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Rosalie Tocco-Bradley – COMMUNITY BOARD MEMBER
(1 of 2)
September 15, 2022

“When my sister Maria was 40 years old, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Maria and her husband Jon, were parents to 5 year old JonJon and 11 year old Nicole. Maria’s battle with breast cancer waxed and waned for 6 years until her brave fight ended with her passing.

“Although we were a large and close-knit family, I don’t think any of us appreciated the toll Maria’s battle and ultimate death were taking on JonJon and Nicole. We later found a story that JonJon wrote in 2nd grade titled, “I Hate Cancer.” Sadly, when Maria did pass at home with Jon, Nicole, and JonJon at her side, JonJon ran from the house and disappeared into the neighborhood. It took family and friends two hours to find the grieving child hiding in a backyard, swallowed by his own grief.

“My brother-in-law, Jon, who was a good man, agreed to enter the kids into grief counseling but they didn’t stick with it. When I asked Jon and Nicole about the sessions, they reported finding no connection or help. How I wish we had known about Ele’s Place! JonJon and Nicole did not find the companionship they needed with other teens who could relate to their tremendous loss and struggles.

“To add to their grief, five years after Maria passed, my brother-in-law, Jon, died of a sudden heart attack. He had been struggling with insulin dependent diabetes. Although Nicole was now in college and able to establish counseling at Case Western, JonJon, then 16 years old, desperately needed a peer grief support group. His well-intended aunts and uncles tried to fill his void, but if only we had known that Ele’s Place existed and offered such an impactful, safe place to express his grief and loss with other teens. JonJon has grown into a thoughtful and caring young man and relies heavily on his faith and family, but I know now that we should have and could have done more.” ❤

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❤ KaDerrick Robinson – STAFF-BEREAVEMENT COORDINATOR ❤ (2 of 2)
June 30, 2022

“I have been a Bereavement Coordinator at Ele’s Place Ann Arbor for about seven months now, and it is by far the best experience I’ve ever had. As a Bereavement Coordinator, I get to watch a family transition through the Ele’s Place healing process. It always makes me happy when I hear from adults that their children/teens don’t want to leave, or that they always look forward to coming to Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. I love watching the children and teens leave their peer groups excited to show their adult what they made during group.

“As a Bereavement Coordinator, I also get to work with the volunteer support group facilitators. I love watching the children and teens interact with their peers and their facilitators. It lets me know that the children and teens are being heard in their peer groups, and that they recognize their facilitator is someone they can go to for support while they are at Ele’s Place Ann Arbor.

“Being a Bereavement Coordinator has helped me see how much of an impact a healing center can have on grieving children, teens and families. I am often reminded about my grief journey as I provide support to families as they go through their own journey. It fills my heart to know that at Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, children, teens, and families can start the healing process together, and they don’t have to do it alone. I wish every community had a place like Ele’s Place Ann Arbor.” ❤

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❤ KaDerrick Robinson – STAFF-BEREAVEMENT COORDINATOR ❤ (1 of 2)
June 16, 2022

“My mother was my best friend. I don’t think I could ever tell my story without mentioning her. She is actually one of the main reasons I became a social worker. In 2001, she was diagnosed with Lupus, but I did not learn this until five years later. It was amazing, and also disheartening, to watch her raise my brother and I as a single mother while dealing with Lupus. I watched her go to school for social work. I also watched her be taken away in an ambulance after she had just returned from the hospital days before.

“Through all of her successes and pains, she always had the biggest smile on her face. No matter what she was going through, she always wanted to help someone. After a long battle with Lupus, my mother died on October 9, 2012 – three weeks before my 19th birthday. I thought that I would be okay because I knew that she did not have to deal with Lupus anymore, but my grief was too heavy. I didn’t know much about grief at the time so my anxiety was constantly high and I was so confused about what was happening to me.

“Unfortunately, I would’ve been too old to attend groups at Ele’s Place when my mother died. However, I feel that if I had a healing center like Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, I wouldn’t have felt so alone and confused. I would’ve learned that there were other teens in my community that felt how I felt and could relate to what I was going through.

“Fortunately, I learned about Ele’s Place Capital Region while I attended Michigan State University and decided to become a volunteer support group facilitator there. It was a very heartwarming experience as a group facilitator. It also helped me with my own grief, and a few years later brought me to Ele’s Place Ann Arbor as a staff member.” ❤

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❤ Paula Crosby-Flake – ADULT CLINICIAN ❤
(2 of 2)
May 26, 2022

“I have been a Spouse and Partner Loss facilitator (Adult Clinician) since the fall of 2013. During my Ele's Place Ann Arbor training I learned about the adult groups that were offered to parents and caregivers. I knew then that being an adult facilitator would be the best spot for me. Not only did I identify with this group, experiencing my own adult grief journey after losing a young son and my husband, but I also appreciate the opportunity to offer this peer grief support that would have been so welcomed years ago.

“Grief support groups for the parents or guardians of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor children and teens are available and facilitated by Licensed Clinicians. Ele’s Place believes its’s important to be able to support adults in their grief, so the family can continue on their healing journey together.

“Watching group members connect during such challenging times is really a gift for me to see. I marvel at the resiliency and resourcefulness of my group members, and lend support and experience when warranted. The peer-to-peer support is heartwarming to watch unfold during our group, and I often witness lifelong friendships being made. This is what makes Ele's Place Ann Arbor so unique and special in what they offer to families who are grieving.” ❤

Paula Crosby-Flake, thank YOU for sharing your heart stories throughout the month of May! We are grateful for YOU – YOU fill the HEART of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. Congratulations on your retirement…YOU will be missed at EPA2 on a weekly basis, but we know you are a forever friend!! ❤

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❤ Paula Crosby-Flake – ADULT CLINICIAN ❤
(1 of 2)
May 12, 2022

“When a new member joins my adult grief support group at Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, I give a brief history of my own connection to loss, and grief. I always include that while my family received grief support from a local Ann Arbor agency, it was not comparable to the peer support offered at Ele's Place.

“My grief story began in the fall of 2001 when my 8 year old son died of cancer. It was such a sad time for our family with John leaving behind his dad, his older and younger brothers, and me. Losing our "middle" was life altering in many ways. Fast forward to February 2005, my husband Walt, and my children's dad, died of cancer. This added another layer of grief to our already broken hearts. We were starting over on the waves of grief, again.

“While we had a support system of friends and family, no one we knew had such complicated grief. The individual peer groups that Ele's Place Ann Arbor offers would have helped my children feel not so alone, and allowed them to feel connected to others with such great loss. Being connected to other young widows such as myself at the time would have given me the "me too" validation, and the ability to share the trials of being an "only parent.” ❤

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❤ Donna Roberts – FORMER EPA2 TEEN ❤
(2 of 2)
April 28, 2022

“Although it’s been about five and a half years since I lost my father, I am reminded of him and his love for me every single day. My dad was a racecar driver, and he worked on his car out in our garage. We have sold the car since, but we still have his tools and equipment. He was one of those guys who could fix anything, so in our home, I see the new faucet he put in, the floors he installed, and the closet that has his clothes still intact.

“I also see his truck in the driveway that we still drive sometimes. I can drive down the street to the local cemetery to visit him and say hello whenever I want. We also have a table in the front room that has a folded flag, along with all of the special mementos I have received from my dad and projects I made at Ele’s Place Ann Arbor that remind me of my dad.

“One Valentine's Day, my father gave me a wonderful stuffed animal that he helped me name. I loved her so much then, and I still love her, for she continues to help me feel connected to my father. Another thing that helps me stay connected to my father is Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, as that’s where I learned to keep the memory of my dad alive in my heart, as well as to help others do the same for the person who they lost. At Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, I was able to connect to others my age - meeting peers who have had similar losses to mine helped me put my own grief into perspective by seeing that I AM NOT ALONE. 

“I have, unfortunately, aged out of Ele’s Place because I’m no longer a teen. However, I am grateful to be able to participate in Ele’s Place Ann Arbor fundraisers and contribute to events, in whatever way I can. I love being a part of this tremendously wonderful organization.” ❤

Donna Roberts, thank YOU for sharing your little heart stories throughout the month of April! We are grateful for YOU – YOU fill the HEART of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. ❤

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❤ Donna Roberts – FORMER EPA2 TEEN ❤
(1 of 2)
April 14, 2022

“The most vivid day I remember with my father, was his last. It started out as a wonderful day…it was snow day from school AND, it was my dad’s birthday. I remember being so happy to spend time with him. The weekend before I baked him a wonderful cake that he told me looked delicious, and I had all his presents wrapped and ready. It was also Christmas time, so I wanted to bake Christmas cookies, but we were short on ingredients. My dad drove me to the grocery store to get some supplies, and I am so thankful for that trip, as it was the last thing I ever did with him.

“We returned home from the store, my family came over, and then I went upstairs to play Barbie dolls with my cousin. Before we got to cake and presents, my father had a massive heart attack and passed away. My father was a very healthy man - never ever sick or unhealthy, in fact, he was even a racecar driver. I remember feeling…in shock, in a dream-like state, and being remorseful for my mom, myself, my aunt, and my dad’s twin sister - it was her birthday that day as well! I remember going to bed, waking up, and hoping that the day before was a dream, but then I looked at my mom and realized it was unfortunately not a dream. I was so thankful for my community from my golf team, dance team, church, and school friends who were there to give me support during that incredibly difficult time. For the next few months, every day seemed numb, trying to step up, because now it was just my mom and me.

“Thankfully, my mom found a wonderful healing center where she and I could go to process our grief - Ele’s Place Ann Arbor! I remember thinking how much wanted to attend, because my mom told me about it and said I WOULDN’T BE ALONE. I was happy that at Ele’s Place I was a part of a group and surrounded by other teens my age who had a similar loss to mine. I did not want to feel singled out or alone through the grieving process, I was excited to be able to go there.

“Without Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, I would have a lot less emotional control, and I would not be able to talk about my father like I am right now. Furthermore, I would not have had anything to look forward to for quite some time. I really enjoyed coming each week to see my peers, who became my friends, and to be with my wonderful, perfect facilitators, whom I cannot say enough amazing things about. I wouldn’t have met some wonderful people who have truly changed me for the better.” ❤

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❤ Mike Halpern – VOLUNTEER ❤
(2 of 2)
March 24, 2022

“It’s now 2022, and I’ve been an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor volunteer grief facilitator for eight years. The Ele’s Place peer-to-peer model creates a forum where similar-aged children and teens engage in facilitator led activities, each designed to help them process their feelings of loss, sadness, and pain, as well as the many unexpected changes that accompany the death of someone in their life. They discuss complicated feelings at their level. Not surprisingly, children and teens find common ground to discuss, and as a result, don’t have to feel alone, isolated, or different.

“As a volunteer facilitator, this metaphor illustrates grief for me: Grief is like a terribly painful scar that gradually hurts less as it fades, but never goes away. It is always part of you, but it changes and takes on different forms.

“Talking with others doesn’t eliminate grief for children and teens, but it does make it easier for them to process it and begin to move on with their lives. I am so honored to be an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor volunteer facilitator, and so happy that there is an Ele’s Place for children, teens and their families to attend, so they DON’T HAVE TO GRIEVE ALONE." ❤

Mike Halpern, thank YOU for sharing your little heart stories throughout the month of March! We are grateful for YOU – YOU fill the HEART of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. ❤

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❤ Mike Halpern – VOLUNTEER ❤
(1 of 2)
March 10, 2022

“January 31st, 1969 was a cold, wintery Ann Arbor day that started with my brother Andy and I walking to Wines School. After lunch my second-grade teacher walked me to the principal’s office. To my surprise, Andy was waiting for me. Why was everyone so quiet and grim? Mrs. Dickson, a family friend drove us home without saying a word. Our mom let us in, burst into tears, and said, “Your father died this morning.”  Andy started sobbing. I struggled to comprehend the moment. I was frozen…it felt like an atomic bomb detonated in my abdomen creating a void of emptiness and hurt. When I returned to school the kids, even my friends, avoided me. Glassy-eyed teachers acted like everything was normal. I knew that EVERYTHING had changed. I would be alone, isolated, and different for the rest of my life.

“As an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor grief support group volunteer facilitator, I often reflect back on how much my brother, my mom and I could have benefitted from peer grief support when my dad died. I am so honored to be an Ele’s Place Ann Arbor volunteer facilitator, and so happy that there is an Ele’s Place for children, teens and their families to attend, so they DON’T HAVE TO GRIEVE ALONE.” ❤

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❤ Molly Dobson – DONOR ❤
(4 of 4)
February 23, 2022

“You need that purpose. A sense of purpose and deciding what’s most important to you, where you would most like to share your riches with those who are in need. It’s hard to be a good donor. You have to be very conscientious. … I like concentrating on my own community, where I can know the need, I can know the leadership, I can know what’s being accomplished and how purposeful it is.

“Grief is so absorbing and so negative, and so hard to get away from. … Maybe you’ll never mend, but partially mend, or get closer to total mend. I’m just so glad Ele’s Place Ann Arbor is in our community.” ❤

Molly Dobson, thank YOU for sharing your little heart stories throughout the month of February! We are grateful for YOU – YOU fill the HEART of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. ❤

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❤ Molly Dobson – DONOR 
(3 of 4)
February 16, 2022

“In 1972, at age 21, our son Peter was killed on US-23. There was a knock on the door, the police said he was dead. He died instantly in a head-on collision. … Grieving was terrible. Bill said to me, “Molly I can’t talk about it, I don’t want to talk about it.” And, all your friends don’t know how to talk about it. They just feel ill-equipped to talk about it and don’t want to go there. And, there were no outside places to help.

“I just marvel at the meaningfulness of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor and the way you can mend wounds for families. … There wasn’t support when Peter Dobson was killed. There was nothing, except a class at WCC. But we need that help, nobody can mend by themselves. They need a family and when you can come to a place like Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, you’ll find that family that you can love and listen to. … It warms my heart that Ele’s Place is located in our own Ann Arbor community. They tenderly address the needs of individuals processing deep seated grief caused by the loss of a beloved family member or friend.” ❤

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❤ Molly Dobson – DONOR 
(2 of 4)
February 9, 2022

In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Navy Women’s Reserve Act, creating what is commonly known as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), a division of the U.S. Navy during WWII. Molly was commissioned a Naval Officer after graduation from the University of Michigan in 1944. She was sent to Washington DC and began her year and a half tour of duty encrypting and deciphering coded messages during the war. Thank you for your service, Molly Dobson!

Molly recently shared this treasured message with the Ele’s Place Ann Arbor staff, “Thank you for all the tender loving care y'all provide in our community. As a former Naval Officer, I salute you, one and all, for the job you're doing in helping to mend broken hearts in our Ann Arbor community. It's a job that needs doing, to be sure, and I’m so happy all of you are doing it in style and with the deepest of convictions!” ❤

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❤ Molly Dobson – DONOR 
(1 of 4)
February 2, 2022

When asked about where her legacy of philanthropy, generosity and thinking about other people began, Molly responded, “I can think of one instance with my father. It was my 21st birthday, I was living at the Delta Gamma house [at University of Michigan], and [my parents] came to bring me a present and say hello. Here I was two months from graduation and my dad said to me, “Sis, what are you planning on doing?” I hadn’t thought much about it…I said well, maybe I’ll be a stewardess. Airplanes were big transportation at that time and looked very exciting and inviting, and it would be a traveling experience. This was 1944 mind you, we were deep in war on both coasts. And, my father said “Do you think that’s doing enough for your country?”

“And, there was a seed that was planted, you have an obligation to do more.” … “It’s been a privilege to be an Ann Arborite and learn what a nonprofit is, and to support programs that support people in need. Ele’s Place Ann Arbor is one of my favorite ones, and needs a lot of support.” ❤