At Widowed Persons Services of Greater Mobile, our mission is to support and encourage persons who are grieving the death of a spouse as they journey into a renewed life of purpose and fulfillment.
The Widowed Persons Service of Greater Mobile is a non-profit organization serving Mobile, Baldwin & Escambia Counties in Alabama, offering newly widowed men and women of all ages without regard to race or religion. The services of its volunteers are free.. We are sponsored by local agencies, businesses and churches along with one big fundraiser per year. We have nothing to sell and there are no dues.
Many volunteers serve by making one-to-one contacts with the recently widowed. Whatever their role, the most important function of each WPS volunteer is active listening.
The primary function of the grief group is sharing of feelings. The memories associated with the loss and the problems of adjusting to life as a single person are expressed in the supportive setting of a group of individuals who have all had similar experiences. Healing comes through telling your story, each time with new details remembered, each time with new feelings faced.
The grief group is also a place for sharing information and inspiration. They can also be a place of making new friends- friends who understand. It must be understood that these support groups are NOT matchmaking or dating organizations. Dating as an exclusive couple while hurting is strongly discouraged. The discussions are confidential and are not to leave the room.
The primary function of the grief group is not socializing….it is healing.
Join a WPS Support Group When You Are Ready
WPS sponsors a variety of efforts, including one-on-one volunteer outreach and referral, telephone service, weekly support group meetings, workshops, seminars, newsletter, volunteer-contact monthly educational resource programs, a bi-monthly Meet to Eat dinner and special support for the holiday season with our annual “Hope for the Holidays” memorial candlelight service and catered holiday dinner. Members have the opportunity to provide a quilt square, to be incorporated into a Memorial Quilt.
June 2, 1993 was the first Community Meeting and the first Steering Committee Meeting was held on July 9, 1993. The first training session was conducted during August 8-12 of that year, with 19 volunteers being trained. From that beginning a total of over 600 volunteers have been trained and these volunteers have made over 300,000 contacts in the efforts to meet the needs of widowed persons in the Mobile and surrounding areas. Any person who has been widowed 18 months or more and has participated in a support group is eligible to train as a volunteer.
The Widowed Persons Service of Greater Mobile has collected an impressive array of local and national awards in its short history. A collection of plaques, certificates, and trophies from such diverse sources as the Mayor’s office, the Alabama Governor’s office, the J.C. Penny Company, and the Greater Gulf State Fair, all recognizing the program’s unique contributions to Mobile and Baldwin counties is on display at the WPS office. Mobile was also selected by AARP as one of five pilot locations for its “From Loss to New Life” program.
AARP recognized WPS of Greater Mobile as the most outstanding program in the nation in 1995 and 1997 with our Program Director and Founder, Mary Yarber Quinnelly being recognized as an Outstanding Individual at the WPS National Convention. The Mobile area WPS has received the AARP Community Spirit award in 1998.
2013 Southeast Grief & Loss Conference
WPS co-sponsored this conference, along with The Compassionate Friends and Bay Area Grief Coalition. It was held August 15-17, 2013 at the Ashbury Hotel & Conference Center in Mobile. It included sixteen workshops and a keynote speaker to provide information on specific topics and issues for the bereaved and those who seek to assist them.
It was also the time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of WPS and to honor our founder and Program Director, Mary Yarber Quinnelly. Proclamations were read from Gov. Robert Bentley and from City Council Member Ms. Bess Rich.