About Us

Stepping Stones of Hope

Mission Statement

Stepping Stones of Hope is dedicated to providing comprehensive support-based programs, continuum of care and education to grieving children, teens, families, adults and communities.

Our Vision

Stepping Stones of Hope is Always Up For The Challenge

Who We Are

Our organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1999 to address the shortage of support-based programs and education. Originally named "Camp Paz" (Paz being Spanish for peace), the organization evolved to become Stepping Stones of Hope in 2003.

Why Offer Such Programs:
  • 3.5 percent of children under the age of 18 experience the death of a parent annually. The number of children affected in Maricopa County is conservatively 86 children a day! This figure does not include the death loss of siblings, relatives, friends or other significant loved ones.
  • Stepping Stones of Hope programs have historically served children and families who experienced a death loss due to cancer (26%), suicide (21%), heart (17%) motor vehicle accidents (24%) and violent crimes (10%)
  • Death loss of a parent is one of the top five risk factors for children who experience certain behavioral problems.
  • 86-92% of young people in drug and alcohol rehab treatment programs have experienced the death of someone important. –Virginia Simpson, Ph.D. The Mourning Star, Palm Desert CA
  • Studies of prison populations show that 85% of all inmates on death row experienced the death of a parent during their childhood. –Virginia Simpson, Ph.D. The Mourning Star, Palm Desert CA
  • Arizona is experiencing the highest growth rate in the country among children under 5, and the second highest population growth among children 5 to 17. The number of children enduring the death of a parent or loved one is sure to rise in the years to come.


In order to fulfill our vision and our mission, we must first embrace the primary objectives of Stepping Stones of Hope which are as follows:

Primary Objectives:
  • Respect all children and families who are grieving regardless of culture, values or socioeconomic status.
  • Provide comprehensive support, understanding and education about grief and bereavement.
  • Uphold confidentiality and integrity in all situations and circumstances.
  • Commit to a high level of internal and external client service.
  • Work with other agencies to provide the best level of care and continuum of care for grieving children and families.
  • Serve the community, work with stakeholders to provide services, and educate the community about the needs of grieving children and families.


With a focused approach, Stepping Stones of Hope programs aim to:

Primary Focus
  • Teach about four dimensions of grief: physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.
  • Help participants build self-esteem.
  • Reduce feelings of guilt and anxiety about showing grief emotions.
  • Teach skills to help diminish profound sense of isolation and loneliness.
  • Introduce healthy coping skills and appropriate ways to cope with anger.
  • Increase participant's understanding about causes of death.
  • Eliminate fears that loved ones will be forgotten.
  • Help participants understand that everyone's grief is unique.
  • Increase friendships with peers who share a common experience.
  • Introduce Worden's Four Tasks of Grief for adults, and Goldman's Four Psychological Tasks for children.

Our People

Are Always Up For The Challenge

Board of Directors

Working hard to get the thing done

Charles Finch, D.O.

Interim Board President

Steve Leonard


Edward Nelson


Diane Raden

Certified Bereavement Specialist

Jules Sack

Retired Sales and Technology

Larry Waldman, Ph.D., ABPP

Psychologist, Speaker

Stepping Stones of Hope, 4000 North 7th Street, Suite 108 Phoenix, Arizona 85014, (602)-264-7520

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