The Compassionate Friends is a national bereavement self-help organization that was originally founded more than 40 years ago in England, and currently has a presence in at least 30 countries world-wide. In 1978 The Compassionate Friends, Inc., was incorporated in the United States as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. There are now more than 600 local chapters of TCF located throughout the US.
The Compassionate Friends Mission Statement is as follows: When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope and support to families experiencing the death of a son or daughter, brother or sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.
The Santa Cruz chapter of The Compassionate Friends was formally established in June, 2011. We meet monthly on the 2nd Monday of each month. Many of our original members are bereaved parents who, after participating in an 8-week grief support group with Hospice of Santa Cruz, realized the value of meeting with other bereaved parents on an ongoing basis to offer compassionate listening and support to each other. We found the support and insights we give each other to be tremendously valuable and healing, and became aware that there was a need for self-help groups for bereaved families in the Santa Cruz area.
The national organization of The Compassionate Friends holds an annual conference each summer.