Countryside, ILL- Pillars Community Health (PCH) is pleased to announce the recipient of the esteemed Power of One Award for 2024, Linda Moran, MS, LCPC, Founder and Director Emeritus of Buddy’s Place, PCH’s childhood bereavement program. Linda Moran will be presented with the award during the “All In For PCH” Gala on Friday, February 9th, 2024. The Power of One Award was established by the PCH Board of Directors in 2019 to recognize individuals or groups that have made significant contributions to the organization.
Linda Moran’s extraordinary journey and unwavering commitment to journeying with those in grief have left an enduring impact on the community. She has been a source of hope for children and families navigating the arduous path of loss for over two decades.
Grief is an inevitable part of life, a natural response to the loss of a loved one. In today’s world, where health issues and violence have become increasingly prevalent, the demand for support is greater than ever. Buddy’s Place, an initiative founded by Linda Moran, has provided a secure and nurturing environment for children aged 4 to 18 and their families who are grieving the loss of someone significant.
Linda’s motivation to establish Buddy’s Place stemmed from her personal experiences with childhood grief. At the age of 14 , her 40-year-old father died., and later, her sister died at the age of 39. Nancy’s husband, Don, and sons Scott, age 9, and Andy, age 7, were devastated. Linda was determined to join them on their grief journey empathically, as she wished someone had for herself and her sister, Nancy.
Linda pursued a counseling degree and joined PCH (formerly known as Community Family Service and Mental Health Association) as a therapist. In 1999, she conducted a comprehensive needs assessment, recognizing a substantial demand for a family-centered bereavement program in the western suburbs. In 2000, with the backing of a three-year start-up grant from the Community Memorial Foundation, Linda Moran and PCH launched Buddy’s Place.
Today, Buddy’s Place offers its invaluable services at no cost to participants, thanks to ongoing funding from the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission and generous donations from individuals and organizations. Children and teenagers can participate in an 8-week group session, while adult caregivers have the opportunity to learn how to assist children in processing their grief. Additionally, Buddy’s Place hosts a Monthly Gathering where families can share meals and engage in grief-related projects together. There are no geographic restrictions, ensuring that families from various areas can benefit from the program.
“Buddy’s Place is an incredible program,” says Julie Ryan, Senior Vice President at Pillars Community Health. “Unfortunately, many families facing the loss of a loved one are unaware of nearby support programs. Death is a universal experience, yet, as a society, we often struggle to discuss it openly. This lack of awareness underscores the importance of programs like Buddy’s Place.”
In a world filled with stories of violence and devastating illnesses, Buddy’s Place stands as a beacon of healing for participants and their families. It provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to learn how to cope positively with their grief while also educating the community and influential figures in a child’s life. Buddy’s Place helps one child at a time heal and move forward toward a productive life, even after enduring great loss.
The Power of One Award bestowed upon Linda Moran acknowledges her unwavering dedication to empowering individuals and families on their journey through grief. Pillars Community Health is honored to recognize Linda Moran for her exceptional contributions to our community and for personifying the Power of One.
Previous recipients of the Power of One Award include Zada Clarke, the PCH Health Center Staff during the pandemic of 2020, and Frank and Jan Bomher.
For more information about Pillars Community Health and Buddy’s Place, please visit PillarsCommunityHealth.org. For tickets and philanthropic opportunities please visit https://pillarscommunityhealth.org/event/all-in-for-pch/