Many people have come through a difficult life experience and, upon recovery, were moved by generosity and inspired to help others. Over the span of sixteen years as Executive Director of Bread for the Journey, I have observed that there is a natural relationship between grief and generosity. And if the inspired impulse toward generosity is noticed and nurtured, it leads to an experience of belonging, connection and love that is life-changing and transformative.
Join me this week for a talk on Grief, Generosity and Love which will be the subject of my next book. I’d love your company!
Marianna Cacciatore is Host of the Voice America radio show Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Deeds; Chief Inspiration Officer at Bread for the Journey a non-profit philanthropic organization with 20 locations in North America. She was the Founding Executive Director of Bread for the Journey and started her tenure with BFJ in 1998 as it was transforming from a single chapter in Santa Fe, NM to a national organization with the capacity to create affiliate chapters throughout the United States. Today Bread for the Journey supports 120 volunteers, and has given away nearly $4.5 million dollars.
She is also an author and public speaker. Her book, Being There for Someone in Grief, is being used as a guide for hospice volunteers, and as a textbook for those learning to work with people in grief. Having suffered a childhood tragedy, she created a grief center that has brought healing to thousands of people. Today, she serves as a Lifetime Emeritus Board Member of Tu Nidito in Tucson, Arizona, the parent agency for the organization she founded in 1988 called Children to Children, a Center for Children and Families in Grief.
Marianna writes a weekly blog for Bread for the Journey and speaks to audiences on the subjects of grief, generosity, resilience, resourcefulness, perseverance, hope, recovery from homicide and the power of love. She loves to write and read poetry.
Marianna’s two careers — one in the field of grief, the other marked by kindness and generosity — found common ground inside her heart. She feels they can be best explained in the words of poet Naomi Nye in her poem, Kindness. “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing… Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread… ”