Three BA in Leadership students create Isaiah’s Foundation of Hope

Three Trinity Western University students have joined forces to create "Isaiah’s Foundation of Hope," a non-profit organization dedicated to touching the lives of individuals and families struck by grief and loss.

The Foundation arose out of the students’ work in TWU’s Adult Degree Completion Program as part of a final project based on the BA in Leadership theory-to-practice requirement. Students Ann Burnett, Denise Lones, and Marlene Neufeld worked collaboratively on the project.

Although they have completed the requirements of the project, all three continue to work with the foundation.

One of the students, Bellingham, Washington business owner Denise Lones, said, “The Isaiah Foundation began with a simple concept – the recognition that everyone experiences and expresses grief in their own way. Because our culture is often afraid of the strong emotions which surround the grieving experience, we felt it was important to direct attention to this area of need. It’s our hope that The Isaiah Foundation will provide support to those who so desperately need it.”

The name originated from one of the creators of the foundation, whose son Isaiah died as an infant. All three agreed it was important that the foundation bear his name. Lones’ company designed marketing materials for the foundation, which feature infant Isaiah’s footprints as a lasting reminder of the impact and permanence of grief.

Details of the foundation’s work were unveiled to high acclaim at a ceremony at Trinity Western University’s campus on February 16, 2012. Attendees in the auditorium used phrases such as “overwhelmingly positive,” “moving,” and “heart-warming” upon learning of the foundation’s mission. University representatives were impressed with the scope of the project, which was the first of its kind in the Adult Education program.

The foundation has also generated significant interest from Fraser Health and other service providers. Samantha Saffy, MBChB, FCPsych(SA), FRCP(C), who works with patients suffering from pregnancy loss at Surrey Memorial Hospital, attended the foundation’s launch at TWU. After the presentation, she told Marlene about two women who had lost their full-term babies that week. These women will be in the foundation’s first workshop in May.

Individuals wishing to receive services from the foundation, and those who wish to volunteer their services, should contact Marlene Neufeld.

TWU's Adult Degree Completion is designed for busy and working adults to finish their BA in Leadership. Learn more about the program at adc.trinitywestern.com, and attend the upcoming information night on April 10.

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