Kae Buelow, bereavement outreach volunteer, Horizon Hospice-Grief Resource Center

Kae Buelow understands grief first-hand. She is the only surviving member of her family. Her personal losses and commitment to make a difference have inspired her to attain a Grief Counseling Certification from Marquette University.

Upon her retirement, she wanted to continue her involvement helping others, stating, “I wanted to do something meaningful.” She has been volunteering for the past three years as a bereavement outreach volunteer at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee County Hospice and at Horizon Home Care & Hospice.

Buelow is a bereavement missionary. Since January 2009, she had dedicated more than 600 hours of her time to make phone calls and talk to family members who have recently lost a loved one.

“I just want you to know that we haven’t forgotten about you. If you need a listening ear, I am here…” she shares over the phone.

Buelow believes in the mission and the difference the resource centers make. It is the only drop-in resource center in Wisconsin. Buelow and the team are dedicated to healing people who are grieving. The Grief Center provides resources for individuals and families that have suffered a significant loss, including the death of a loved one or a pet, and other life-changing events.

Horizon is also a resource center for professionals, including physicians, nurses, teachers, and social workers who are seeking information in the grieving and healing processes.

Over the years, Buelow has come across many personal stories of families and individuals from all walks of life who have shared a loss in common.

Buelow still remembers her first volunteering experience as she met with a single mother whose only daughter had passed away.

Kayla Waldschmidt, Horizon’s bereavement coordinator, said, “Whenever someone she speaks with on the phone comes into our center, they always ask if they can meet Kae. She has an indescribable way of putting people at ease, allowing them to express their grief. She gives hope that they will be able to heal from their loss and has inspired many to attend support groups and continue to take care of themselves.”

Buelow was nominated for the Health Care Hero Award by Katy Corey, hospice development coordinator at Horizon.

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