Hope After Project was founded by Jennifer White in 2013. In 2011 when Jennifer was 23 years old her life changed forever when her mother, Joanie, died by suicide.
Jennifer noticed almost all of the resources available to her focused on the way her mother died rather than the way that she lived.
In an effort to connect with the generous, complicated and kind woman her mother was Jennifer signed up to volunteer at a local elementary school that needed a fresh coat of paint.
Jennifer felt connected to her mother's life and to her community. Helping others filled her with hope and she decided to give that experience to others. Jennifer builds and facilitates every Hope After Project. Jennifer is a certified bereavment group facilitator.
At Hope After Project we build community service projects inspired by the lives of extraordinary people who have died. These acts of community service become living memorials that provide a positive and productive way for those who are bereaved to honor their loved ones and to find hope.
Every Hope After Project is custom built based on the life we're remembering and the needs of the bereaved. We've built military care packages, weeded in community gardens, cared for homeless animals, served food to cancer patients and planted trees.
We believe no one should have to face grief alone and that every grief journey deserves to be honored.
Hope After Project strives to create more empathetic, grief aware communities by building acts of community service in memory of those who have died.
Kelly McGonical writes about founder Jennifer's experience channeling trauma into hope.
The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, PHD
Beyond Surviving: Building Hope After
"There should be a word for this feeling. Maybe another culture, one that is less death denying, has a word for this. It’s a push and pull. A deep sadness and profound gratitude. It’s the grey space. And it’s important because it’s the current that runs through every Hope After Project."
"Almost four years after my mom’s death, I still carry those holes left behind by her suicide. Some of the holes have scars over them, but some will never heal. Hope After Project is the light that shines through those holes, giving me hope, instilling the belief that I can go on.
Hope After Project: Finding A Positive Way To Fill The Gray Space After A Loss
June 2015 Too Damn Young
April 2015 Alliance of Hope
April 2014 Huffington Post
October 2014 Huffington Post
December 2014 Mamalode
Community Brings Hope to Cancer Patients in Memory of Mother
Be Sharing Grief, Community Service and Living in the Gray Space
Th Hope After Project Founder, Jennifer White, writes for Mamalode on complicated relationships and finding hope on the side of the highway.
The Moment Everything Changed
"'Today was the first day, in a really, really long time that when I thought of my mom I just thought of her, the person she was, instead of thinking about how she died,' my best friend Brooks, said as we drove to our favorite restaurant in Kansas City after a HAP in memory of his mom, Carla, who died from colon cancer in 2007." I smiled and looked out the window. That's it, I thought, that's why Hope After Project exists.
"I realized that Patty and Shannon were like grief barometers for me. Maybe it was silly to wonder if I was grieving correctly, but I did. Had I cried enough? Had I moved on too quickly? Too slowly? Was sharing my mom and I's story the right thing to do or was it some desperate attempt to keep her memory close?"