Voices of Grief: The Film and the Organization
Voices of Grief’s primary program is grief education and support:
- Offering film-based grief education through Voices of Grief community screenings and discussions, nationwide.
- Offering all US and Canadian hospices complementary streaming access to the film and discussion materials for in-house use by hospice staff, volunteers and client families.
- Delivering customized grief support education “on request” to hospices, medical communities, senior communities and faith-based organizations including Stephen Minister and lay minister training.
- Facilitating eight-week grief education and support groups in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, utilizing the widely acclaimed Dr. Alan Wolfelt model of “companioning.”
Voices of Grief (VOG) was established as a component fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF) in 2012 supporting the creation of our film.
In 2018, From the Heart Productions, a 501(c)(3) organization became the Fiscal Sponsor for Voices of Grief, supporting our efforts to distribute our documentary film to Hospice and Faith-based organizations. From the Heart Productions is also classified as a public charity under section 509(a )(2) of the Code. As such, any monetary donations to their Fiscal Sponsorship Program qualify as charitable contributions under the U.S. Tax Code.
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.
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.
- Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce’s Nonprofit of the Year.
- Charleston International Film Festival – Best Documentary, Audience Choice Award.
- Hudson Valley International Film Festival –Best Documentary Short Nominee.
- Official film festival selection: American Psychological Association Film Festival, Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival, Lyons Film Festival.
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.
Our goal to provide 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 developed an online system to provide complementary access to the film and discussion materials to all hospices nationwide. Together, we can help heal hearts broken apart with grief. Any amount you can give is helpful and greatly appreciated.
Meet the Film Team
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 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.
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.