Jan Owen is helping widows get through the holidays.
She started the “Widow2Widow” project 4 years ago after her husband passed away. She says the first Christmas after her loss was very hard, but she was inspired to start the Widow2Widow project.
She received names from her Facebook friends of men and women who had recently lost a spouse or partner and sent personal gift boxes to each person.
Four years later, she is still putting together the gift boxes. She packs the boxes with books on grief, a blank journal, a remembrance ornament, chocolates, and other personal items.
She donates copies of her book, Fighting Forward: A Widow’s Journey from Loss to Life, to put in each box as well. She began journaling and wrote the book to help her process what she was going through.
The boxes are shipped to people across the United States who are facing their first holiday season post-loss. Owen hopes her project will take off and says anyone can take it on.
“I would love to see it multiply across the nation as people kind of take it on as a project within their churches or whatever. We’re doing 35 boxes this year, but you could do 5 or 2,” said Owen.
She worked many years in ministry, but after her husband passed away, she felt like she needed to do something else to make a living.
“I didn’t know what to do. I prayed and cried and thought, ‘What am I going to do?’. I knew I needed to make a living, but I wanted to do something I felt called to do,” said Owen.
Today, she is a student at the University of Alabama working on becoming a counselor to help others through hard times.
Owen says she will take monetary donations and items for the boxes from people or businesses to support the project, but she urges others to start the project in their towns.
Help fund the Widow2Widow project by donating to the GoFundMe page.