In May at the Erin’s House Common Bond Breakfast, keynote speaker Mina Starsiak Hawk shared her reality television story and voiced her own personal grief journey to the 450 in attendance at the Parkview Mirro Center. With all her relatable stories, Mina brought the same energy and enthusiasm for the cause that she portrays on her HGTV renovation show, Good Bones. At the breakfast, our supporters raised over $76,500 to enable Erin’s House to continue providing exceptional services and programs to children and teens who are grieving. We appreciate all the support from those who purchased a ticket, bought a book, donated during the event, or mailed back a remittance envelope. You helped impact a young heart that is hurting.
Mina Starsiak Hawk: “Talking about the uncomfortable things is so important.”
Linda and Krista’s Story
This year, our very own Board President, Linda Jackson, and her on-air colleague, Krista Miller, shared their respective grief stories on the death of a sibling. Linda experienced the death of her twin brother unexpectedly at the age of 17 in a car crash. “It was sudden and so difficult for our family and friends.” Linda said. “Since then, I've always said I wished every community in the country had an Erin's House. Grief is difficult at any age, but it's especially difficult for children because they haven't lived life very long and hurt in unique ways.”
Linda has been on the Erin's House Board of Directors since 2020 and Board President since 2021. “I appreciate the staff so much and how the people there help children and teens at crucial times of need.”
Krista didn’t know anyone her age who knew what she was going through after the death of her 15-year-old brother to cancer in 2006. “After losing Bryan, my parents, grieving the unimaginable loss of a child, worried about me.” Krista’s parents registered her for the teen peer support programs at Erin’s House that year. In these groups, Krista felt like she could finally let her guard down and “just feel normal” with teens and kids going through similar situations. Krista expressed, “My feelings were validated, and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone.” The two co-anchor together at 4 and 5 P.M. on 21Alive News that focuses on community and family.
Why do we call it Common Bond?
Krista: “It's hard to put into words how meaningful it is to have this common bond with Linda. She is my mentor, my colleague, and my friend. But because of the loss of our brothers, Linda is so much more than that. She ‘gets’ it, in a way not many people do. Just by a squeeze of my hand across the anchor desk, Linda reassures me when something in the news triggers my grief.”
Linda: “Having that kind of loss in common with her created a bond that touches me, deeply. Krista and I are both from small towns, and often times, stories really touch our hearts. Our common bond helps us communicate better with our viewers.”
In our community, Common Bond is more than a breakfast with a featured speaker–it’s a reason to get together, talk about your story, and share memories. For more event photos, please visit our Facebook page: Erin’s House for Grieving Children.