SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -
Lost & Found is a local non-profit group that offers grief support services for those who are grieving the loss of a family member or a primary caregiver. Its support groups offer services for family members of all ages, in a unique environment where people can be around those going through similar journeys.
Lost & Found is serving more people than ever before, especially as crime rates in the area rise and families of victims seek support. Lost & Found ran out of room in its current office, so it's moving to a space at 1555 S. Glenstone Ave., in the former Jones & Co. Realtors building, across the street from Car-Fi and Cartoons Oyster Bar & Grill.
The new space will let Lost & Found more than double the amount of groups it can offer.
"It allows us to provide multiple age groups on the same night, which is a great service for families that are driving a long distance to come to our groups," said executive director Karen Scott. "It provides us greater visibility. We're so excited about that. The community has been unbelievable generous, so we've almost reached our goal of raising a little over $2 million, work has started and we hope to be in the building by October."
All the organization's services are provided for free, so its staff raises money throughout the year so it can keep providing those services to families. One of the biggest ways for them to do that, and to offer support to families at the same time, is their annual Memorial Event.
The event will be in its sixth year this year, but it will be coming with some changes.
In the past, the event has been a balloon release, where friends and family wrote their loved ones names on balloons and sent them into the sky.
Environmental concerns caused Lost & Found to regroup and reorganize, so the event this year will instead plant a garden of silk tulips in Nathaniel Greene Park's botanical garden.
Even though the details have changed, the goal is the same. Lost & Found hopes that anyone grieving the loss of a loved one can break away from the feeling of loneliness that often comes with grief, and find support in those going through a similar situation.
"It's a very public way to say someone I loved is gone and they really mattered to me, and so it allows them to come together as a group and remember those people," Dr. Scott said. "Our focus for the program is on the healthy grieving, coping skill of remembering and holding on to happy memories."
As part of their increased services, Lost & Found is now partnering with Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis to offer support to families of organ and tissue donors.
Most of the tulips in the garden Tuesday will be purple, but families of organ donors will be given a red tulip to honor their loved one.
Flower pick-up and sales begin at 5:30 on Tuesday, with the garden dedication program starting at 6:15 and the 5K Run/One mile walk kicking off at 7 p.m.
You can purchase a flower in memory of someone and sign up for the run or walk through Monday morning by clicking here.
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