Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight Barnard Mthembu

I had the opportunity to talk with Barnard about volunteering with Tu Nidito and what drew him to our organization. Barnard is studying to become a social worker because he is committed to helping people who are struggling. His focus is on clinical therapy and supporting families. 

“I couldn’t think of a better place to do my internship than Tu Nidito,” he shared after his experience here. “I want to be part of their journey and healing. Humans are so unique and deal with their trauma in different ways.”

Barnard views Tu Nidito kids as courageous. He found it rewarding to see how strong they are and how willing they are to come to Tu Nidito and ask for help. “I am inspired and encouraged by the kids.” He believes he is a bridge between caregivers and kids, both can come to Tu Nidito and get the support they need. Caregivers have someone to be with, to share and to be heard, while their kids are in a safe space.

Volunteering with Tu Nidito gave Barnard the chance to look kids in the eye and earnestly say, “I see you, I am here with you, I want to know how you are doing.” 

Barnard will be an impactful social worker; his compassion and empathy shine when he speaks about his work and his love of volunteering with Tu Nidito. Barnard and his wife, a resident at Banner University Hospital, are expecting their first child this year. Barnard will complete his degree and pursue clinical practice.  Barnard, thank you for sharing your time, your talent, your wisdom and heart with all of us at Tu Nidito.

The Remarkable Celebration 2023 Wrap Up


The Remarkable Celebration is Tu Nidito’s largest fundraising event, raising critical funds for our programs and services that serve more than 700 grieving youth each year. This year’s event raised more than $230,000, thanks to the generosity of individuals like you.

The Remarkable Celebration honored five Remarkable Moms, who through their life experiences advance Tu Nidito’s mission of creating a community of acceptance and understanding for those grieving a serious medical condition or death.

This year’s honorees were: Laura Baker, Linda Hardy, Ann Lovell, Sylvia Quigley and Laurie Nelson Wetterschneider.  These women are pillars of strength and resilience for their children and our community.


Laura Baker

Linda Hardy

Ann Lovell

Sylvia Quigley

Laurie Nelson Wetterschneider

Thank You Sponsors!

Mamma Mia! Presenting Sponsor

Dancing Queen Sponsor

Jim & Vicki Click

Take A Chance on Me Sponsors

SOS Sponsors

Larry Wetterschneider

Super Trouper Sponsors

May Newsletter

April Newsletter

March Newsletter

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Golf Tournament

Saturday, May 20, 2023 

7am Registration

8am Shotgun Start

6200 N Club House Lane, Tucson, AZ 85750

We hope that you will consider sponsoring and/or playing in the event once again this year. This will mark the 33rd Annual Enterprise Rent-A-Car Golf Tournament benefiting Tu Nidito. Last year we raised close to $22,000 to support Tu Nidito’s efforts in the community. 

-Glenn Z

February Newsletter

January Newsletter

Volunteer Newsletter

Mary Wallace “Arms Wide Open”

Volunteer Spotlight:
Mary Wallace “Arms Wide Open”

By Debbie Rich

Have you ever felt someone’s energy through a phone call? It is rare for me, but when I spoke with our Tu Nidito volunteer, Mary Wallace, I felt her energy – and her warmth, compassion and sense of humor.  Mary came to Tucson after having lived 30 years in Los Angeles as a television reporter, producer, director and writer. Her work took her on travels around the country, meeting real life people and sharing their stories through segments and series on HBO, NBC and PBS.  She loved her work and shared “I had fun almost every day.”

Mary came to grief work after having her best friend die from breast cancer. Although she had experienced grief before, the death of this friend moved her to explore grief support groups in her area. She landed at one in at Glendale Adventist Hospital. During her 8 months with the group she grew into the role of facilitator.  She found grief work extremely fulfilling and helped to start a group for adults grieving a death by suicide. 

Fast forward to Mary’s retirement to Tucson. She found Tu Nidito after exploring volunteer opportunities to work with those grieving. She shared, “while at Tu Nidito’s one night, I spotted someone who was so familiar to me and I asked if she had attended a grief support group at Adventist Hospital in Glendale?”  She had! This person was Tu Nidito’s Support Specialist (now Bereavement Programs Manager) Serena Sahajian.  Mary was so happy to see Serena and shared that it gave her the strength to go forward through the world with her arms wide open. 

Mary values Tu Nidito’s grief support programs because they are experiential and not just rhetoric. She found her heart with the Middles and shared, “I love the Middles because they are ages 8-12 and so am I. It is a high honor to walk with these kids and it means so much to be with them – to giggle with them and cry with them.” Completing her thought with, “we cry because there isn’t a definitive answer.” Mary ended the conversation with, “in many ways my heart would sometimes miss a beat without Tu Nidito.”

Mary is enjoying her retirement. She fills her time with art of all kinds. Once a year she finds herself in the small town of Dillion Montana fly fishing, which is her passion. She has only missed one season in the last 20 years. She describes her time there as spiritual “there is so much room for me there and we have a million laughs together as we fish the clear fresh waters.”

Mary is a Tu Nidito treasure. Her energy is effusive. Her passion and compassion are contagious. It was an honor to learn her story and to share it with all of you.