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Calm Waters Board President’s grief journey provides hope for others through the first Wall of Hope donation

By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter —

OKLAHOMA CITY Calm Waters Center for Children and Families, the only grief center in Central Oklahoma offering free grief support services to children and families, has revealed the Wall of Hope, a highly visible naming opportunity for individuals and organizations dedicated to supporting others in their grief journey caused by death, divorce or other significant loss.

The Wall of Hope
, located in the lobby, is the latest addition to Calm Waters Center for Children and Families new offices, located at 501 N. Walker, Suite 140, in Oklahoma City. Calm Waters provides free grief support services for children and families on their grief journey caused by death, divorce or other significant loss.

Calm Waters Board President, Kendra Barnes, and her two young sons, donated to the new Wall of Hope in memory of her late brother, Dillon, who was only 1-year-old when he died, introducing Kendra to finality of life at the tender age of six.

Kendra’s grief journey taught her the importance of family and to never take anyone for granted, and the names of her children were the first added to the Wall of Hope.

“My sons are able to see their names and know they are helping others,” Kendra said.

Kendra’s oldest son, Jack, interprets his mother’s volunteer service and monthly donations to Calm Waters as a way to help fix broken hearts.

The Barnes family’s Wall of Hope donation will specifically fund 36 individual grief support sessions. The Wall of Hope has only 60 available naming opportunities and each space can be secured with a $1,200 donation to Calm Waters.

The Wall of Hope donation can also be funded with a 3-year commitment of $33.30 a month, or a 2-year commitment of $50 a month, or a 1-year donation of $100 a month.

“The Wall of Hope stemmed from the idea of it being not only a tool to help provide free grief support, but to enforce the idea that behind each name on the wall is a person who stands with other our clients and donors in solidarity; offering encouragement, empathy and most of all, hope,” said Erin Engelke, Calm Waters’ Executive Director.

Grief Support Groups, held on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., every other week, are on-going.

Families may join a group at any time and stay connected for as long as needed. Families attend the same night together, but participants are divided by age, type of death and who died. Grief support groups are for ages 3 to adult.

Register for a grief support group online here.

Since its founding in 1992, Calm Waters has served more than 50,000 individuals across the Greater Oklahoma City Metro Area through their Center and School Support Groups. Calm Waters is a proud United Way of Central Oklahoma Partner Agency.

Individuals interested in adding their names or the names of someone they love to Calm Waters’ Wall of Hope or to learn more about their services, should visit or call 405-841-4800.  
Kendra Barnes and her youngest son, Will Barnes, identify Will’s name on the Wall of Hope, located in the Calm Waters lobby at 501 N. Walker Ave, Suite 140, in Oklahoma City. Photo provided.