Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse reaches past county borders

July 4, 2018 GMT

HORICON – A Horicon woman who suffered the loss of her 10-month-old son is the backbone of a organization put together to help others who have suffered from child loss.

Days may go on after losing a child, but they are never easy, Amanda Hartwig said. July is parent bereaved parent awareness month. Hartwig saw the need for more local services for bereaved parents and created Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse after losing her son Bo.

Bo died unexpectedly on Sept. 4, 2015. At the time, Amanda and her husband, Wayne, had a kindergartner and she was pregnant with River.

The Hartwigs created Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse, a nonprofit organization that offers support to parents and families who are suffering through child loss.

Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse hosts a child loss support group from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of every month at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop in Beaver Dam. Hartwig said a second group has formed in Washington County called the Adeline Chapter. It meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at Alarus Healthcare in West Bend.

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“We’ve done the child loss support groups in Beaver Dam for the last two years,” Hartwig said. “We average 10 people going to it, give or take.”

The West Bend group was started about six months ago and has about half the regular members as the Beaver Dam group.

“It’s insane how many people really need our help,” Hartwig said.

The support groups are safe places, Hartwig said.

“You can scream, cry, yell or stay quiet,” Hartwig said. “They are there and trying to put positive grieving tools in their grieving toolbox.”

Hartwig said members of the group try to come into lives of the parents who lost children as soon as possible and work with area hospitals to begin offering support and positive grieving tools like books by child loss authors and coloring books and utensils to help parents cope.

“We provide them to keep the parents grounded and in the present time,” Hartwig said.

Bibles flagged with uplifting scriptures also are given to the families.

Hartwig said they created Bo Lions and AddiePhants out of the child’s clothes and give them to the bereaved families. They also donate $250 to children ages 0 to 18 for final expenses and have done other fundraisers to help raise money for those in need.

Hartwig said they donate to funeral homes that have “infant and children funds” and send flower memorials. Memorial plaques also are given to the families.

“We celebrate angel-versaries and strive to keep a child’s memory and legacy alive,” Hartwig said.

The group has partnered with Angelcare to provide monitors for children that are born to a couple that has experienced the loss of a child. The monitors measure the breathing, pulse and temperature of the little one so parents have extra assurance they are safe.

Mostly Hartwig said they are there to be a comforting shoulder when others deal with loss. Board members also help bereaved parents deal with addiction struggles after losing a child.

Hartwig said they offer 24-hour support on their Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse Facebook page.