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Although there are valuable professional counseling opportunities and helpful programs in the Waukesha area public and private schools, there is a significant need for peer-support groups provided to children in our community who need a safe place to meet, express their feelings and work through the grieving process with others experiencing the loss of a loved one (death, divorce, separation, abandonment, deportation, incarceration and military deployment).

In October, 2009, a group of concerned individuals representing six Waukesha churches and two funeral homes began meeting to address this community need.  By April, 2010, this community-based group established Healing Hearts of Waukesha County, Inc. which offers a guided peer-support program for children and significant adults in their lives who are dealing with grief.

The supporting membership continues to grow to reflect our community.  As of Summer of 2018, Healing Hearts has 25 Supporting Partners!

Listen to our story!



Mission Statement

Healing Hearts of Waukesha County is a community-based organization whose mission is to serve and support grieving children and their families.

Celebration of Hope 2016


Participants describe how the Healing Hearts program involves peer-to-peer support, age-appropriate curriculum, and special projects. “It’s a fun, heart-warming place where you can express your feelings.”

What Do Kids Have to Say?

 What would you tell a friend about Healing Hearts?

  • It helps you with your situation.
  • It’s awesome!
  • On your worst day, you can look forward to Healing Hearts. It gives you a bit of light.
  • Things kept deep inside can come up.
  • Even if you are having a bad day, you feel better.

Contact Us through this form.  We’ll respond to you via email

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Supporting Partners

American Legion Auxiliary (D.J. Martin Post #8)

Ascension Lutheran Church*

Cesarz, Charapata and Zinnecker Funeral Home*

Church and Chapel Funeral Homes*

ComForCare Home Care

First United Methodist Church*

Gethsemane United Methodist Church

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, Oconomowoc

Krause Funeral Homes

Oconomowoc Breakfast Kiwanis

Pewaukee Kiwanis Club

Randle-Dable Brisk Funeral Home

Redeemer United Church of Christ, Sussex

St. Anthony on the Lake Catholic Church

St. Francis Episcopal Church

St. John Neumann Catholic Church

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church & St. Luke’s Child Life Ministries

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

St. Mary Catholic Church*

St. William Catholic Church*

Salem United Methodist Church*

Southminster Presbyterian Church*

UMC EL BUEN Samaritano

Waukesha Kiwanis Early Risers

Waukesha Noon Kiwanis


* Indicates Founding Member

If you are interested in becoming a supporting member, please contact Melissa Minkley, Executive Director.

262-751-0874 or

Board of Directors

Board meetings are held the 1st Monday of the month, 9:00 AM, at First United Methodist Church, 121 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha, WI 53186


President – Marquita Cooper, Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home

Vice President – Courtney Stangl, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

Secretary – Jill Thurow, Gethsemane United Methodist Church

Treasurer – Bob Vrakas, First United Methodist Church


Board Members

Paul Becher, Salem United Methodist Church

Cathy Brisk, Randle-Dable Brisk Funeral Home

Claire Beutler-Cruise, Redeemer United Church of Christ

Liz Kendellen, St. William Catholic Church

Sue Remfrey, St. Marks Lutheran Church

Karen Thimmel, First United Methodist Church

Dave Wolken, Redeemer United Church of Christ

Janet Yahnke, St. John Neumann Catholic Church


Melissa Minkley, Executive Director

Morgan Griffin, Program Director

Cheryl Printz, Executive Assistant