2000

Children to Children merges with Tu Nidito and brings grief support Tu Nidito’s services. The merger brings a rich history of Children to Children’s beginnings by founder Marianna Cacciatore, as well as an expanded mission for children grieving the death of a loved one as well.

Marianna writes this about the program’s beginnings.

More than four decades have passed since I last saw Susan Brady. As kids we were inseparable; best friends from the moment we met. Adventurous and impulsive, Susan made me laugh about all the weird and wonderful things we were learning about this unpredictable world. Then, in 1965, just a few days before Christmas in our sixth grade year, Susan disappeared. Two months passed before her body was found.

Grief and loss are inevitable. They are part of life’s journey. Yet in 1965, in a small town in the Midwest, no one spoke the word grief; no one expressed the emotions of grief in public. Alone with my sorrow, I grew into adulthood before beginning the journey to healing.

In 1988, my sorrow and the healing of it had found its next path. I dreamed of a place with a beautiful home-like atmosphere where young people who were grieving would have someone to talk to as close to the time of the death as possible. I suppose I wanted to give kids the help that I didn’t get. And I wanted to give their parents a place to grieve and learn to help their children through the maze of feelings that kids experience when someone has died.

I imagined a whole community – my Tucson community – in which grief was a household word instead of a hidden thing. A place where everyone understood that grief, in its purest form, was simply an expression of love for the one who died. In the end, I wanted to do something that would honor Susan and her family and bring the tragedy of her death full circle. And so I founded Children to Children which, today, is a flourishing program within the family of services offered at Tu Nidito.