Every morning someone wakes up in the Rogue Valley with an ache inside because a loved one has died. Sometimes people run from that ache. Sometimes they meet it heart first. People overwhelmed by loss often can’t believe healing is possible. When the pain gets bad enough, people find WinterSpring. When they do, they discover people who are not afraid to be with loss for as long as it takes to embrace life again.
WinterSpring is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We help children, teens and adults, who are experiencing the pain of loss, to embrace life again.
- We know that obstacles to healing can open into pathways for healing.
- We have the stories and the experience with loss that everyone who is grieving either needs or is going to need.
- We know that it’s in the telling of our stories of loss that people come back to life.
- We train people to help others through the doorway to the next part of life.
OUR SERVICES AND RESOURCES
Our services include peer-to-peer support groups for adults, kids programs, community outreach, and training.
Our online library is available to help you immediately.
To learn more about our Wall of Remembrance, click here.
Julie Lockhart is our Executive Director. Because of Julie’s own story of loss, she is passionate about our mission and committed to revitalizing WinterSpring in ways that best serve the Rogue Valley and beyond. Julie has significant leadership background for managing the operational, financial and outreach aspects of the organization. Before moving to the Rogue Valley in 2008, she was the Chair of the Department of Accounting at Western Washington University (2002 – 2008) in Bellingham, where she spearheaded a successful donor relations and fundraising initiative and implemented a new graduate program. She has two accounting degrees from the University of Illinois.
Anya Neher, WinterSpring’s Program Manager, meets people with an open heart when they reach out to us for help. She coordinates all the adult support groups as well as educational outreach and bereavement support events in the schools. She oversees WinterSpring volunteers, interns, and volunteer training. Anya has over five years of experience as a Hospice volunteer in California, along with two years as a volunteer with the Threshold Choir in Southern Oregon, which sings at the bedside of people who are dying. Before coming to WinterSpring in March of 2011, Anya was a career counselor and adjunct faculty at Southern Oregon University and a career development specialist with the Santa Cruz City School District. She earned her B.A. degree from Macalester College in Minnesota.
Jenna Benson keeps the office humming as our Office Manager. She’s great at getting our mailings out, the accounting records collected, and the website up to date. She also has led a support group in a volunteer role. Jenna loves the artistic parts of her job the most – flyers, brochures, and pictures. And mostly, she loves what WinterSpring does to help people move through their loss.
Paul Gibson’s father died when he was 13, before WinterSpring existed. He especially understands the value of our services and says that “the support provided by WinterSpring has empowered me to begin the journey to understand my grief and move in a positive direction towards healing.” Paul started with us as an intern from SOU’s nonprofit management certificate program. He has since been an avid volunteer and will now serve as our Teen Program Coordinator.
We have amazing volunteers at WinterSpring, who give over 3,000 hours of their time every year. It would take pages and pages of our website to introduce them all. Click to find out more about volunteering!
Shirley South attributes her high quality of life to her connection and volunteer work with WinterSpring. She currently serves as our Board President. In 2003, she lost her husband and attended two WinterSpring support groups. She now leads groups and will meet with people one-on-one. Shirley is a happy, healthy, functioning person in spite of the deep loss she lives with every day. A native of Medford, Shirley graduated from Medford High School and Southern Oregon College. She is a retired school teacher, spending most of her career in Ontario, Oregon.
Chuck Ross came to WinterSpring a year after he lost his oldest son in an automobile accident. He has a passion to help others with their loss that may not have had the support system that he had been blessed with. Chuck will reach out to talk with other parents after they experience such loss. Chuck has lived in the valley his whole life and has coached his boys and volunteered for a number of other organizations. He is currently employed by Columbia Distributing and has been in the beverage distribution business for nearly 30 years. Chuck serves as our Vice President.
Jim Titus will tell you that WinterSpring saved his life after the death of his wife from cancer. He believes that: “Living with loss is the best fuel for awakening to our true humanity.” Jim will talk about grief and the depth of his learning with anyone who asks. He is a former professor and now that he’s retired spends his time golfing, traveling, hiking and being a grandpa. Jim serves as our Treasurer.
Jan Murphy has been with WinterSpring since its inception. She knows the history and she knows the people in this valley, which is such a gift to the organization. She works as the Office Manager at Douglas Snider, Architect and cares for her aging mother. Jan serves as our Secretary.
Angel DeShane loves WinterSpring and has served many roles over the years, including Office Manager, Bookkeeper, and now Board member and Children’s Program Coordinator. If we need food for an event, Angel is our gal – her culinary skills and creativity have made our events truly special. Angel currently works as a bookkeeper and computer tutor.
Jennifer Downs feels very honored to be a part of this organization that provides such a needed service in the community. She loves to support others who are experiencing grief and loss. Jennifer completed a bereavement training with Hospice in Boulder, and is currently a counselor in private practice in Ashland. She enjoys hiking, travel, cooking, exploring new ideas and dancing.
Lisa Norvell has spent the last 5 years searching for meaning around death, dying and how to find a place of embracing life after tremendous loss for herself and her immediate family. She spent 4 years serving hospice in a volunteer capacity and also completed a 2 year course out of Bend, Oregon called the Sacred Art of Living and Dying. She is our newest board member, joining us in July 2012.
Thomas Russell is the youngest member of our board, coming through the ranks as an SOU intern, volunteer for Children’s Program, and now Board member. Thomas loves being with the kids. He currently works at US Bank in Medford.