Island Volunteer Caregivers (IVC) Broadens Its Commitment to Grief Support with the Launch of the Grievers Library: A Source of Healing and Hope

Grievers LibraryIsland Volunteer Caregivers (IVC) continues to expand its mission of aiding those in our community dealing with grief. Recently, IVC proudly introduced the Grievers Library, a project that extends its commitment to supporting individuals on their grief journey. In collaboration with The Grievers Library of Seattle, this initiative aims to provide companionship through books to those living with grief, furthering IVC’s mission of compassion and assistance.

For years, IVC has been a prominent source of compassionate support, extending comfort and assistance to individuals when they face the challenges of grief. Under the dedicated guidance of Robin Gaphni, who has been facilitating Grief Support Groups since 2013, these programs have flourished and grown, expanding IVC’s reach and impact in our community.

In 2016, IVC introduced a one-on-one grief support program called Compassionate Companions. Here, newly bereaved people are paired with trained facilitators to help them along their grief journey. To date, three cohorts of Compassionate Companions facilitators have been trained and have helped over 75 individuals bereaved in our community. Each of IVC’s grief support programs are intended to be of service and based on mutual respect, empathy, and acceptance of differences.

In 2019, IVC formed a valuable partnership with Bloedel Reserve to offer Grief Support Groups in the Japanese Guest House. Under Robin’s guidance with Dr. Ted Rynearson, retired psychiatrist from Virginia Mason, numerous support groups have flourished, and a new generation of facilitators has emerged. Beginning in 2024, four Grief Support Groups, one for each season, will be hosted at the Japanese Guest House at Bloedel Reserve.

Grievers LibraryRecently, the “Grievers’ Library” was installed outside the IVC office on Finch Place, providing free books for grievers tailored to support individuals coping with loss. This project not only enhances IVC’s offerings but also reinforces its commitment to being a pillar of support for those in the community navigating grief.

The Grievers Library’s mission is to offer the solace and companionship of books to those among us living with grief. The library features a variety of adult, teen, and children’s grief books, covering a wide range of topics, including:

  • General Grief
  • Bereaved Spouse
  • Bereaved Parent
  • Bereaved Sibling
  • Parent Loss
  • Medical: Death and Dying, Suicide, Cancer, Overdose
  • Spiritual: Rites and Rituals, Afterlife

Each of IVC’s Grief Support programs are offered free of charge as a testament to IVC’s dedication to compassionately serve the bereaved on Bainbridge Island and our surrounding community.

IVC logoAbout IVC – IVC got its start in 1996 when members of various island religious congregations realized the growing need in our community for an organization that would enable our most vulnerable populations—the elderly, the disabled and others with special needs—to live comfortably and safely in their own homes with independence, dignity and a connection to the community.

This realization spurred the creation of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers of Bainbridge Island (IVC). Through the tireless work of the initial founders and board members, such as Judith Louderback, Joyce Veterane, Joan Treacy, Dick Gregory and Sue and Bob Kuebler, initial funding was obtained from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, a Board of Directors was established and IVC was officially incorporated in the State of Washington on April 29, 1997, and subsequently received its tax status as a Sec 501c(3).

Although IVC’s original volunteers and funding—beyond the initial grant—primarily came from religious congregations on the island (and are still a significant source of IVC’s support), the mission had steadily grown to become more widely diverse, attracting grants, funding and volunteers from the broader secular community. As such, IVC’s Board of Directors decided to change the name from Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers to Island Volunteer Caregivers in 2014.

As stated on their website, “This decision was made in order that the name would more clearly reflect that our mission is inclusive, welcoming care receivers, volunteers and supporters of any and all backgrounds, and regardless of presence or absence of religious affiliations or ideologies.”

For additional information about IVC’s grief support programs and the “Grievers Library” initiative, please contact:

Island Volunteer Caregivers website: ivcbainbridge.org, or call 206-842-4441

Bloedel Reserve Website: https://bloedelreserve.org/grief-groups/

The Grievers Library Seattle: Website: https://www.grieverslibrary.org/

For media inquiries, please contact: Joanne Maher, Executive Director, Island Volunteer Caregivers, info@ivcbainbridge.org, 206-842-4441

*Information provided by IVC and TIWB

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