The Remarkable Celebration

Each spring Tu Nidito honors mothers in our community who speak to the heart of our mission. These mothers also reflect the beauty and diversity of our Southern Arizona community. Whether it’s overcoming their own obstacles in the face of a serious medical diagnosis or death or making a difference in the lives of our community’s children, Tu Nidito’s Remarkable Moms are a role model not just for her own children but for our community as well.

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Father’s Day: Supporting Grieving Hearts

 Like many holidays and milestones, Father’s Day can be tricky for those grieving a loved one. For some, it brings a day of celebration and togetherness; for others, a poignant reminder of loss and grief.  If you have a child in your life who is grieving a dad or father-figure, here are some meaningful ways you can offer support.

For more information about programs or resources relating to bereavement support for children, please contact Tu Nidito (520) 322-9155.

13 Tips to Support Grieving Children and Teens for Children’s Grief Awareness Day

13 Tips to Support Grieving Children and Teens

Children’s Grief Awareness Day is Thursday, November 17, 2022

In Arizona, 1 in 12 children will experience the death of their parent or sibling by the time they reach adulthood (Judi’s House Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model, 2022). So today, in recognition of Children’s Grief Awareness Day, we are sharing 13 tips to consider when supporting grieving children and teens. Grief is the normal and natural response to loss or change, such as the death of a loved one or the diagnosis of a serious medical condition.

  1. Listen; give them opportunities to share how they are feeling about the loss they have experienced.
  2. Talk about the person who has died or is sick; share memories, stories, or photos as you are able. By doing these things you give children permission to share their own memories and feelings.
  3. Remember, it’s important to remember that grieving children and teens want: To understand what has happened when a significant death or diagnosis has occurred, and to be able to express their feelings.
  4. Be honest and clear; Explain the circumstances using age-appropriate language and let the child’s questions guide what else to share.
  5. Avoid using euphemisms when someone dies, such as “passed away,” “lost,” “crossed over,” or “went to sleep,” as these can confuse children.
  6. Answer their questions; sometimes you may have to answer the same question over and over to help them make sense of what is happening.
  7. Children may respond to grief in several ways, including emotional reactions, physical reactions, cognitive reactions, behavioral/social reactions, and spiritual reactions. Characteristics of grief can be similar within particular age groups, but everyone still grieves differently. Read more about these various grief reactions in the Childhood Grief brochure.
  8. Admit when you don’t have an answer; saying “I don’t know” is OK! And, find the answer for them when possible.
  9. Offer consistency in routines to create predictability.
  10. Provide physical outlets to release energy and big emotions.
  11. Be flexible in your expectations at school and home because grief takes tremendous emotional and physical energy.
  12. Instead of saying “I know how you feel,” consider saying, “I’m very sad too.” Similarly, instead of saying “You’ll be okay,” consider saying, “Your thoughts, feelings and reactions are okay just so long as you are not causing harm to yourself or others.
  13. Remember, grief is not linear. There is no timeframe; each individual person has their own unique grief journey.

These tips have been pulled from Tu Nidito’s brochure, Childhood Grief: Tips for supporting children grieving a serious medical condition or the death of a loved one. For FREE printed copies of this brochure, please contact Tu Nidito at (520) 322-9155 or [email protected].

Virtual Día de los Muertos Ofrenda

Virtual Community Ofrenda

(Ofrenda de Comunidad Virtual)

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated on November 1 or 2 in Mexico and other Latin American countries and communities. It is a day to remember and honor the dead and welcome their spirits home for a night. The emphasis of this tradition is on the joy of life rather than the sadness of death.

An important part of this celebration includes creating an Ofrenda or Memorial Table. In short, this is a beautiful culmination of photos and mementos to remember and honor loved ones who have died.

Tu Nidito invites you to join us in participating in our Virtual Community Ofrenda! With this project, Tu Nidito’s hope is that together we can honor and remember the special people in our lives who have died and celebrate the joys of life. You can participate by submitting a photo of a special loved one in your life who has died, or a picture of an object or memento that reminds you of them. We’ll include your submission in the gallery below.

If you have questions or need assistance with submitting your image, please contact Dana at [email protected] or (520) 322-9155

Día de los Muertos se celebra el 1 o 2 de noviembre en México y otros países y comunidades de América Latina. Es un día para recordar y honrar a los muertos y dar la bienvenida a sus espíritus a nuestra casa por una noche. El énfasis de esta tradición está en la alegría de vivir más que en la tristeza de la muerte.

Una parte importante de esta celebración incluye la creación de una Ofrenda o Mesa Conmemorativa. En resumen, este es un hermoso conjunto de fotos y recuerdos para recordar y honrar a los seres queridos que han fallecido.

¡Tu Nidito te invita a unirte a nosotros para participar en nuestra Ofrenda de Comunidad Virtual! Con este proyecto, la esperanza de Tu Nidito es que juntos podamos honrar y recordar a las personas especiales en nuestras vidas que han muerto y celebrar las alegrías de la vida. Puede participar enviando una foto de un ser querido especial en su vida que haya fallecido, o una foto de un objeto o recuerdo que le recuerde a el/ella. Incluiremos su envío en la galería a continuación.

Si tiene preguntas o necesita ayuda para enviar su imagen, comuníquese con Dana en [email protected] o (520) 322-9155.

Click on a photo below to read its description.

Selecciona una foto para ver la descripción. 

Giant Jenga: A Game About Grief

Giant Jenga

A Game About Grief

Throughout the summer months of 2021, we have hosted outdoor, monthly intergenerational groups here at Tu Nidito. Rather than dividing up into peer-to-peer groups, families stay together as a unit for the duration of the group to participate in a guided activity that relates to grief. August curriculum at each intergenerational bereavement group gathering included a game of Giant Jenga! 

Like the traditional game of Jenga, each player removes a block from a tall tower, then carefully places it at the top until the stack inevitably comes crashing down. However, Giant Jenga at Tu Nidito includes a special twist and each Jenga block is marked with a number, and every number corresponds to a question that the player may answer. Once the player who drew their block answers the question or passes, other participants and family members can share their response to that question, too. Of course, any player is invited to say “I pass” if they’d prefer.

You can design your very own version of Giant Jenga for your family and share it with us! Simply label a set of Jenga blocks with numbers and write out a corresponding question list. To ensure that questions are age appropriate for each player, we’ve put together separate question lists to encourage sharing for Littles (3.5 – 7 year olds), Middles (8 – 12 year olds), and Teens/Adults (13 and older). You will see the topics on these lists include fun “get-to-know-you” questions, and deeper questions including some about what your special person was like, and your personal grief experience. Here are some examples to get you started, so that you may play your own game of Giant Jenga – grief edition, at home!

1. Do you have any pets?
2. If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?
3. What makes you feel worried?
4. Did you get to say goodbye to your special person before they died?
5. Where do you think your special person is now?

1. If you were invisible, where would you go and what would you do?
2. Do you ever dream about your special person? What are these dreams like?
3. What is your favorite snack food?
4. What did your special person look like?
5. How do you feel about going back to school?

1. What is your favorite type of music or favorite song?
2. What do you wish you could have said to your special person before they died?
3. What do you wish other people understood about grief?
4. What is something that you do really well?
5. What do you miss about your special person?

What questions would you add to the list? Show us what you come up with by tagging us on Facebook ( or emailing [email protected]

Durante los meses de verano de 2021, hemos organizado grupos intergeneracionales mensuales al aire libre aquí en Tu Nidito. En lugar de dividirse en grupos de diferentes edades, las familias permanecen juntas durante grupo para participar en una actividad guiada que se relaciona con el duelo.

¡El plan de estudios de agosto en cada reunión de grupo de duelo intergeneracional incluyó un juego de Giant Jenga! Como en el juego tradicional de Jenga, cada jugador quita un bloque de una torre alta, luego lo coloca con cuidado en la parte superior hasta que la pila inevitablemente se derrumba. Sin embargo, Giant Jenga en Tu Nidito incluye un toque especial y cada bloque de Jenga está marcado con un número, y cada número corresponde a una pregunta que el jugador puede responder. Una vez que el jugador que sacó su bloque responde la pregunta o pasa, otros participantes y miembros de la familia también pueden compartir su respuesta a esa pregunta. Por supuesto, cualquier jugador está invitado a decir “paso” si lo prefiere.

¡Puedes diseñar tu propia versión de Giant Jenga para tu familia y compartirla con nosotros! Simplemente etiquete un conjunto de bloques de Jenga con números y escriba la lista de preguntas correspondiente. Para asegurarnos de que las preguntas sean apropiadas para la edad de cada jugador, preparamos listas de preguntas específicas para los Littles (de 3,5 a 7 años), los Middles (de 8 a 12 años) y los adolescentes / adultos (a partir de 13 años). Verá que los temas en estas listas incluyen preguntas divertidas para “llegar a conocernos” y preguntas más profundas, incluidas algunas sobre cómo era su persona especial y su experiencia personal de duelo. Aquí hay algunos ejemplos para comenzar, para que pueda jugar su propio juego de Giant Jenga – edición de duelo, ¡en casa!

Pequeños (Littles):

  1. ¿Tienes mascotas?
  2. Si tuvieras tres deseos, ¿qué desearías?
  3. ¿Qué te preocupa?
  4. ¿Llegaste a despedirte de tu persona especial antes de que muriera?
  5. ¿Dónde crees que está tu persona especial ahora?

Medianos (Middles):

  1. Si fueras invisible, ¿a dónde irías y qué harías?
  2. ¿Sueñas alguna vez con tu persona especial? ¿Cómo son estos sueños
  3. ¿Cuál es tu botana favorita?
  4. ¿Cómo era tu persona especial
  5. ¿Cómo te sientes al volver a la escuela?


  1. ¿Cuál es tu tipo de música o canción favorita?
  2. ¿Qué te hubiera gustado haberle dicho a tu persona especial antes de que muriera?
  3. ¿Qué te gustaría que otras personas entendieran sobre el duelo?
  4. ¿Qué es algo que haces muy bien
  5. ¿Qué extrañas de tu persona especial?

¿Qué preguntas agregarías a la lista? Muéstranos lo que se te ocurrió etiquetándonos en Facebook ( o enviando un correo electrónico a [email protected]

Making a Referral

Making a Referral

How to Get Started in Tu Nidito’s Programs

Tu Nidito provides comfort, hope and support to grieving children, teens, families and young adults through an array of programs. A family or individual can get plugged into whichever services are most suitable for their unique needs by completing a referral form online – or by having a professional complete a referral on their behalf. Services (offered at no cost, in English and Spanish) include:

  • Peer-to-peer support groups for children and teens 3.5 – 18 and their caregivers grieving the death of a loved one
  • Peer-to-peer support groups for young adults 18 – 39 grieving the death of a loved one
  • One-on-one support for children, teens and families experiencing a serious medical diagnosis of a family member
  • Peer-to-peer support groups for children and teens 3.5 – 18 and their caregivers experiencing the serious medical diagnosis of a parent/caregiver

Self Referral

If you or your family are grieving the death of a loved one or a serious medical diagnosis, we invite you to complete the Self Referral Form online, or give us a call at (520) 322-9155. Completion of this form does not immediately enroll you in a program, but it is the first step to get you connected with a trained Support Specialist on staff.

Professional Referral

Teachers, medical professionals, counselors, pastors, therapists and social workers often meet or serve families or individuals who may benefit from Tu Nidito’s services. If this describes you, we invite you to complete the Professional Referral Form online or give us a call at (520) 322-9155. We will connect with you if we have any further questions about the family or individual you are referring, then reach out to them directly to introduce ourselves. Please note that you must have permission from the party you are referring prior to completing the Professional Referral Form

Lesser Known Resources

Lesser Known Resources

Tu Nidito Services You May Not Know About

Tu Nidito provides one-on-one and group support programs for children and families grieving the death of a loved one or a serious medical diagnosis, but did you know that we have several additional programs too? Together, this array of services help ensure that no child grieves alone in Southern Arizona. To learn more about each of these offerings, reach out to us by email ([email protected]), online or by calling 520-322-9155.

Community Library

The Tu Nidito Community Library is a free resource available to anyone in our community! We have hundreds of grief-specific books in English and Spanish. The collection covers a range of topics and types of losses, and is organized by audience. Whether you’re looking for a book that explains a serious medical diagnosis to a child, or equips an adult with coping skills following a death loss, the Community Library has something for you!

Reach out today to schedule a time to check out a book in person. Our staff team is happy to help you find the right book for your unique needs.


Grief Tip Brochure

The Childhood Grief brochure was developed by Tu Nidito in 2021 with support from TMC Foundation. It includes helpful tips for supporting children grieving a serious medical condition or the death of a loved one. In practical ways, this resource answers the questions, “What are common characteristics of grief?” and “How can I help a child navigate their grief?”

If you, your family, or your staff team might find this brochure useful, contact us to pick up a bundle or have one mailed to you.

Referral Resources

At Tu Nidito, we recognize that we aren’t the only organization in Southern Arizona providing valuable tools and resources to the community! That is why we provide referral services by phone to anyone seeking:

  • General information about the grief process
  • Details about Tu Nidito’s grief support programs
  • Support resources outside Tu Nidito
  • Contacts for local counselors, therapists and more

Experienced professionals on staff are available to answer inquiries regarding grief and loss of any kind. Calls are answered promptly or returned within 24 business hours.

Grief Education

Tu Nidito’s Grief Education Workshop is for schools and community agencies who desire education regarding how best to support the social-emotional needs of children and teens as they navigate life’s many losses and changes, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Grief support, not just bereavement support, is needed now more than ever. This workshop is designed to provide tips and resources to help adults who work closely with the youth in our community learn how to be present and supportive to grieving children and teens. It is available in either on-site or via video conferencing.


Tu Nidito’s Grief Education sessions can be scheduled online or by contacting Tu Nidito at 520-322-9155.

As a reminder, we have several resources available here on our website, including a digital resource library with reading recommendations and relevant articles. Also, the Tu Nidito Blog is home to monthly program updates and educational materials.

2021 Remarkable Volunteer: Anthony Cicchino

Anthony Cicchino

2021 Remarkable Volunteer

Anthony is a dedicated and passionate Tu Nidito volunteer. He facilitates support groups with great care, while also furthering Tu Nidito’s mission in other personal and professional spheres. As 1 of over 115 Tu Nidito volunteers, he was selected by peers and staff to receive this honor. Read more about Anthony and watch the recording from his award presentation at Tu Nidito below!
Anthony Cicchino was born in New Jersey but has called Arizona home for the past twenty years. He works in the field of education as a curriculum developer, and enjoys working with and learning from different groups of stakeholders. He also appreciates being the Youth Task Force Leader for Help and Hope for YOUth, presenting on mental health and self-care for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), writing poetry, and pursuing his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction.
Regarding his time at Tu Nidito, he says,
“I became a volunteer at Tu Nidito after they presented at my workplace. The passion, dedication, and energy they give the community of Tucson emanated from the presentation and drew me in. I started with one group, Middles, and was quickly drawn in by the welcoming staff, the wonderful families, and the inspiring youth. The Middles amazed me in their ability to be so articulate with difficult emotions. I soon after became involved with a Teen group and the Young Adult Group. My time at Tu Nidito has provided me with some of the best and most genuine memories of my life, and I feel grateful to be able to participate in a local organization that is truly making a lifelong difference in the lives of so many. I know what I do is valuable because of the energy I feel from families and children each night; it’s almost tangible.” 
In July of 2020, Anthony wrote an article about his experience volunteering at Tu Nidito. It was featured on Channel Kindness, a digital platform created by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. Read his article here:
Thank you, Anthony, for providing excellent support to Tu Nidito’s children, teens and young adults, and for carrying Tu Nidito’s mission with you wherever you go!
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Tu Nidito, click here

Meet Tu Nidito’s 2020-2021 Remarkable Moms!

Meet the Moms

Tu Nidito’s 2020 – 2021 Class of Remarkable Moms!

What is a Remarkable Mom?

A Tu Nidito Remarkable Mom is someone whose life and community contributions speak to the heart of Tu Nidito’s mission. Each year, a select group of mothers are celebrated among friends and family at Tu Nidito’s signature fundraising gala, The Remarkable Celebration, which raises essential funds to help ensure that no child grieves alone. As our community navigates unprecedented grief, Tu Nidito is able to serve and support Southern Arizona’s grieving children and families, thanks to the generosity of our REMARKABLE community. 

After the cancellation of this annual gala in 2020, we are looking forward to coming together on May 8, 2021, with even more to celebrate at The Remarkable Celebration: A Night Under the Stars! 

Learn more about the upcoming hybrid (in-person/virtual) event here. Virtual attendees will enjoy live raffle prize drawings, special tributes, guest appearances, and of course, the highlight, a live honoring of our Remarkable Moms. 

See our full list of event sponsors here

Without further ado, meet this year's Remarkable Mom Honorees!

Donna Crawford

A Legacy of Giving

Donna Crawford is a Tucson transplant originating from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. However, this hasn’t stopped her from being fiercely devoted to our community since she and her husband Mike made Tucson their home in 2004. From an early age, Donna’s mother inspired her to do as much as she can to help others with her time, gifts and talents. And now, as a mother to her three wonderful children, Emily, Jack and Molly, Donna is proud to see her mother’s legacy transcending time, as this tradition of giving is emulated in her own children. Donna glows with pride to see her children thrive and succeed not only professionally and academically, but in their character as they become amazing and generous young adults. Tu Nidito was fortunate enough to have Donna’s vision and leadership for the Remarkable Celebration, serving as chair of the silent auction for seven years and three years as the event chair. She has served Tu Nidito in many other capacities as well, including as an executive board member. But, her work in the non-profit world doesn’t end there. Donna has helped improve the lives of children in our community through her dedicated volunteer work with the Tucson Ladies Council, The Christina Taylor Green Memorial Foundation, First Tee of Tucson, and Angel Charity for Children, to name a few. Above all else, Donna serves her family, friends and community with a spirit of gratitude – seeing each and every day as remarkable in itself.

Make a donation to Tu Nidito in celebration of Donna here.

Serena Jain Scott

“Head Up and Hair Free”

Serena Jain Scott approaches her roles as mother, physician, educator, leader, and now after being diagnosed with breast cancer, patient, with the highest levels of dedication. Serena serves at Banner-University Medical Center where she practices as an Internist. She holds a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Medicine as well as a number of leadership and educational roles. Serena is well-respected in her field but her greatest joys are the roles of mom to her son Remy, age 3, and wife to her husband, Aaron. As a new mom Serena faced the unthinkable when she felt a lump and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer before Remy was even 2 years old. Serena’s life seemed to spin in an unplanned direction, yet she persevered with an infectiously positive attitude, always remembering that her diagnosis is just a chapter in her life, not the whole story. Throughout her treatment journey and after losing all her hair to chemotherapy, Serena’s motto has been “Head Up and Hair Free.” She continues serving as a mentor to medical students and residents, always challenging them to be not only better physicians, but better human beings. All the while, she remains enthralled with the “artistry” of motherhood; her role in shaping Remy into the young man he will become. She successfully models life as a working mom, while openly and honestly discussing the challenges that come with it. Through it all, Serena demonstrates profound empathy, and humanism. Her peers and co-workers state that she is a true role model, which she is—most of all to her son who absolutely adores her.

Make a donation to Tu Nidito in celebration of Serena here.

Kirsten Cloutier Grabo

The Dignity of Risk

Kirsten Cloutier Grabo is a proud member of the Tucson community, caring for friends, family and strangers in a diverse set of ways. As a former baton twirler and current coach for the Pride of Arizona marching band, she is ever growing in her role as a coach and mentor. She also works at the UArizona helping future scientists embark on careers and educators and researchers in the field of neuroscience. In 1994, while working for ReSolve, Inc., she collaborated with local nonprofit agencies to establish the nation’s first national Diaper Bank. Kirsten’s success in uplifting her community has always been profound, even in the face of grief. In 2014, she experienced the sudden death of her husband, John, due to leukemia. Around the same time, both of their sons, Beckett and Brady, were diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) for which there was no known treatment until 2016. Thanks to new medications and treatments that slow the progression of SMA, Kirsten has tremendous hope for her boys’ futures. Throughout her unique and multifaceted grief journey, Kirsten lives a joyous life, giving her sons the “dignity of risk.” Her demonstrable hope encourages Beckett and Brady to lead full, engaging lives. Her sons, friends and colleagues all look up to her. Kirsten’s life is a testament that each day is a gift and that there is power in fighting for the people you love.

Make a donation to Tu Nidito in celebration of Kirsten here.

Ellen Yasmer

Never Too Late

Ellen Yasmer is a mother to two fantastic adult children, Emily and K.C. She cherishes her grandsons Logan and Sawyer, as well as her amazing son-in-law, Adam. Ellen has made incredible contributions to our community over the years, volunteering her time with the Junior League of Tucson, Southern Arizona Dental Auxiliary, and the Tucson Festival of Books. She proudly served the Tucson Jewish Federation escorting Holocaust survivors to speak at various schools in Southern Arizona. Ellen’s desire to give back is inspired by her own experiences with grief, which began when she was just 10 years old when her father died tragically following a warehouse explosion. Years later, her mother died suddenly from a heart attack following an elective surgery. Ellen was devastated by grief once again when her husband died during an outpatient cardio catheterization when he was just 51 years old. Her life experiences have made Ellen not only familiar with death, but the emotions that come with a sudden death. She notes that her volunteer work with Tu Nidito has helped her navigate the unfinished business that remains when people die. Her favorite part of each month are the days she comes to Tu Nidito to do activities and support grieving children. In the midst of her grief, Ellen also started The Tucson Cinema Club – a movie group for divorced and widowed friends. Because of the support of her community, she understands loss in a new way that honors her 10-year-old self, recognizing that it’s never too late to grieve.

Make a donation to Tu Nidito in celebration of Ellen here.