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National Bereaved Parent, Sibling Organization Recognizes 81 Compassionate Employers

Contact: Wayne Loder, Public Awareness Coordinator, The Compassionate Friends, 866-964-4000, wayne@compassionatefriends.org

OAKBROOK, Ill., Mar. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- Eighty-one employers, representing 33 states, are being recognized by the Board of Directors of The Compassionate Friends for showing extra sensitivity to bereaved employees following the death of a child. The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is the nation’s largest self-help bereavement organization with nearly 600 chapters serving all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Generally nominated by the persons they have directly helped, these employers are receiving Compassionate Employer Recognition in 2007 for going above and beyond the normal policies of most companies in helping their employees when the death of a child occurred.

Criteria for Compassionate Employer Recognition include, but are not limited to:
1. Policies that reflect a compassionate attitude toward bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.
2. Additional time off beyond the familiar three days.
3. Flexibility in work assignments and evaluation of job performance.
4. Providing support services and/or time off to obtain counseling or seek a support group
5. Other acts of compassion.

This is the seventh year for recognition of employers, with recipients jumping from three the first year, to the current 81 for 2007. Employers being recognized range in size from small companies such as MD Ilja J. Weinrieb, MD with two employees in Williamsville, New York, to FedEx in Memphis, Tennessee with 250,000 employees. To view a complete list of companies receiving Compassionate Employer Recognition, visit www.compassionatefriends.org.

“When a child dies, families begin a grief journey that follows them through all parts of their lives,” said Patricia Loder, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends. “Today the need for support in the workplace so often takes a back seat to the demands of the marketplace. These 81 employers, large and small, public and private, are being recognized for providing the compassion and understanding that is vitally needed in the bereavement process.”

The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. To contact The Compassionate Friends, call toll-free 877-969-0010 or visit the TCF national website at www.compassionatefriends.org.  Nominations for the 2008 Compassionate Employer Recognition program will be accepted starting July 23, immediately following The Compassionate Friends 30th National Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.