Voices of Grief: The Film and the Organization

Organization

Voices of Grief’s primary program is grief education and support:

  • Offering film-based bereavement education through Voices of Grief community screenings and discussions, nationwide.  Developing an on-line system to provide the film and discussion materials to all hospices at no cost.
  • Facilitating eight-week grief education and support groups in Teller County and the Pikes Peak region, six times a year with an average group size of 10 people, utilizing the widely acclaimed Dr. Alan Wolfelt model of “companioning.”
  • Delivering monthly grief support education to Alzheimer’s caregivers in Teller County.
  • Delivering additional grief support education to faith-based organizations across the Pikes Peak region, including Stephen Minister and lay minister training.
  • Offering grief awareness seminars through a variety of community groups, such as the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce.

Pikes Peak Community FoundationVoices of Grief (VOG) was established as a component fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF) in 2012. This provides 501(c)3, non-profit status and a solid base of local community support. Our mission is to restore compassion, forgiveness and loving kindness in the process of grief in our culture by preparing individuals with the tools to address grief.

Documentary

We have completed the film, capturing both Pikes Peak area locals sharing their personal stories, as well as nationally renowned experts offering their insight.  This has been edited down to a compelling 42-minute film presenting the information in a cohesive, story + solutions-based approach.

VOG experts

Announcements

We’re excited to share that Voices of Grief was selected as the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Nonprofit of the Year.  The Chamber’s qualifications for the Non-Profit of the Year award include a strong focus on the mission of the organization, inclusive, diverse, and responsive organizational practices, regular and effective communications, commitment to community, and ethical fundraising and resource development.  We are honored and humbled.

Fundraising

Thanks to everyone for your generous support to date!!!  We continue to receive broad support from a range of sources including foundations, churches, hospice, local businesses and individual contributions. See our webpage with the list of “Our Supporters” and please consider helping us with distribution and training expenses.

We will be providing this valuable grief education resource to all who have a need, whether they have experienced the loss of a loved one or are serving as a companion to someone in grief.  To this end, we are developing an online system to provide our film and discussion materials to all hospices nationwide at no cost.  Together, we can help heal hearts broken apart with grief.  Any amount you can give is helpful and greatly appreciated.

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Meet the Film Team

Deb Collins

Deb Collins

Producer, Director and Editor

Deb Collins, award-winning filmmaker and author, has over 20 years of film/video/multimedia production experience. She is the founder and owner of her own multimedia company, Starinsky Studios, with clients such as internationally renowned motivational speakers Mark Victor Hansen (“Chicken Soup for the Soul”) and Tony Robbins. She contributes her skills and talents in technology, visual communications and marketing to clients and projects world-wide.

Deb’s mission is to bring important messages to life by creating an emotional connection with her audience. Her background in technology, marketing, management and creative thinking fuels Deb’s business approach to film projects.

With a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, Deb began her career in electronics technology design and marketing with IBM, Motorola, Data General, and INMOS Corporation. After founding a software development corporation, she was awarded several U.S. and International patents in learning technology.

Kathy Sparnins

Kathy Sparnins

Executive Producer

Kathy Sparnins delivers the Bereavement Education Groups for Prospect Home Care & Hospice in Teller County. She also provides grief educational support programs for El Paso and Teller county organizations that identify a need.

Kathy’s background includes certification with the Death and Grief Studies program with the Center for Loss and Life Transition in conjunction with Colorado State University. Kathy completed Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with Samaritan Counseling, completed a Chaplin Internship with Pikes Peak Hospice, serves as a Stephen Minister leader with a local church and trained as a Facilitator with the internationally known Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Teens in Portland, Oregon which was founded by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Kathy has a Spiritual Direction certification from the Shalom Center in Mt. Angel, Oregon and a B.A. in Psychology from Goddard College. She studied in the MSW graduate studies program at the University of South Carolina and the Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling program at Goddard College.

Lise Bennett

Lise Bennett

Writer, Assistant Director and Assistant Editor

Lise Bennett (Naugle) brings her experience as both a writer and a health care professional to the project. Lise received her BS in biology and humanistic studies and has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine.

She spent eleven years in private practice before specializing in research, writing, and education about stress and its effects on the body. Her goal as a doctor is to help people integrate the physical, emotional, and spiritual to support optimal wellness and vibrant living.

As a narrative writer, she has won the grand prize in a scene writing contest sponsored by Showtime, was a winner in the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition with her script, Crossing the Line, and was a finalist in both The Moondance International Film Festival and The Latino Screenplay Competition with En el Nombre de Dios.

Her goal as a writer is to tell stories that matter in ways that move. She brings her understanding of story craft, organization, and the mind-body connection to the production and is enjoying cutting her teeth in directing.