Organized by: Vanessa Kaskiris
I am in the research and early implementation phase of starting a nonprofit to serve individuals who have experienced traumatic loss.
My decision to pursue this project is a labor of love and genuine need. Eight and a half years ago, my 20-year-old brother Russell was murdered. I experienced a debilitating current of shock, grief, shame, mourning and many other complicated emotions that took years to process. I discovered that despite searching for and desperately needing resources, there appeared to be no single prominent organization specializing in this experience.
I gradually became aware of a subtle societal expectation to get over my pain and act normal; it indicated to me that we simply do not know how to honor grief. Three and a half years after Russell’s murder, my mom passed away. Her pain was so pronounced, that her body shut down. Immediately upon her sudden death, my youngest brother began to exhibit erratic behavior and an inability to think logically. He was later diagnosed with mental illness. I truly know firsthand the devastating and irrevocable effects of traumatic loss on a family. By establishing a website with information, resources, and stories, the organization will acknowledge trauma and provide information for those who feel lost, ashamed, betrayed, and ignored.
This organization will be called July10.org in honor of Russell - it is his birthday and it was one of his favorite days of the year. The hard launch of the website will coincide with this date in 2016. Anniversaries continue to play a part in the honoring of my grief.
My goal is to raise $5000.00 this summer to support the launch of July10.org. Please consider making a gift to cover expenses associated with launching this organization. Any amount that is comfortable for you will help make this important resource available to people who need it.