Remembering Loved Ones with Community Grief Support

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Special Feature

This holiday season, Community Grief Support (CGS) is celebrating the lives of those we’ve loved and lost in our community. At a time when there has been such exacerbated grief due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other losses, the Homewood community is finding hope and healing in an uplifting and positive way.

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Save the date for the “Tree of Lights” event on November 20 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

The “Tree of Lights” Memorial, taking place in November and December, will honor our late loved ones with the lighting of a 12-foot holiday tree in Homewood’s Central Park. In addition to the memorial tree, this year we will celebrate with an official “Tree of Lights” event on Sunday, November 20 from 3:30-5:30pm at Homewood Central Park. The family and pet-friendly event will include Santa and Mrs. Claus, caroling, refreshments, and a bounce house. “We believe that the “Tree of Lights” will bring the community of Homewood and Birmingham together to provide a much-needed memorial and balm for our losses,” said Catherine Pittman Smith, Administrative Director of Community Grief Support. Sponsor a light on the “Tree of Lights” by making a donation at different levels and receive gifts to commemorate lost loved one(s):

$25 donation. Illuminates one memorial light and sponsorship card will be sent to up to three addresses.

$75 donation. Same as $25 donation, plus an antique gold memorial ornament calligraphed with the loved one’s name.

$100 donation. Same as $25 donation, plus a hand built memorial luminary to light in honor of the loved one.

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Hope for the Holidays community workshops will take place on Saturdays throughout November. Register for these free workshops at

All proceeds go to provide completely free individual, couples and family grief counseling; loss-specific grief support groups; and community grief education programs such as the annual community service program, Hope for the Holidays. This year, CGS is hosting four free Hope for the Holidays community workshops throughout Birmingham on November 5, 12, and 19 from 9-11:30 a.m. A virtual option is available on November 5. These programs are designed to prepare you for your first holiday season without your loved one. This year’s speakers include bereavement care expert and counselor Steve Sweatt, LPC/LMFT and Pastor Leanne Reed from Southminster Presbyterian Church. The speakers will provide information on coping tips such as planning ahead for your holiday season, informing others of your needs, and more. At the seminar, participants will be given an outline for making your own holiday plan so that you are more prepared for dealing with the feelings you will experience.  You’ll also receive a keepsake booklet with ways to memorialize their loved one. For more information about Hope for the Holidays or the “Tree of Lights” and to register, call CGS at 205-870-8667 or visit †

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On April 30, 2022, in conjunction with St. Elias Lebanese Food Festival, the ‘9th Annual Cedar Run 5K & Cedar Shake Fun Run’ will take place. All proceeds from the run for three years will go to Just Keep Smiling. Consider signing up to participate, whether it is running or walking in the 5K or Fun Run, creating a team or securing a sponsorship with a wide range available. Invite your company to support the JKS mission. Details can be found at

Regardless whether running is for you, make plans to enjoy and support the St. Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival on April 29-30. There are other opportunities for supporting Just Keep Smiling as well. Just Keep Smiling ‘Auction & Appetizers’ on Thursday, September 29 at Regions Field is a great night for a great cause. Visit for more on the 501(c)3 and these events.


SafeShelby Wellness Trail

Visit a variety of health and wellness booths to learn new approaches to conquer your health concerns and find new ways to enhance your physical fitness, financial wellness, safety, and nutrition. Event takes place on May 1 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Veteran’s Park Alabaster, 7305 Hwy 119, 35007. Learn more here.

  • Free Admission
  • Food Trucks
  • Free Health Screenings
  • Physical & Behavioral Health
  • LifeSouth Blood Drive
  • Exercise Demonstrations
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