History

THE ORIGIN STORY

When Jason was nine, his father died suddenly. He recalls, “One of my favorite memories is of my time sailing with my dad. Whenever the weather got rough, we would go into a cove to take shelter. It was in those calm waters that I felt most safe.”

In the stormy, emotional times that followed his father’s death, Jason longed for the safety and peace of those calm waters again. It is for Jason, and all the other children who have endured loss, that Calm Waters was founded.

ABOUT CALM WATERS

Founded in 1992, Calm Waters Center for Children and Families is a nonprofit and non-faith organization dedicated to helping bereaved children and families in their grief journey after a death, divorce or other significant loss by providing FREE support groups at our center and in schools, private pay counseling and consultation, parenting seminars, professional trainings and workplace crisis services.

Our research-based curriculum is designed to encourage you to share your experiences in a safe environment as you process grief and navigate feelings such as sadness, loneliness and anger.

Support Group attendance at our center starts and stops according to each person’s situation and needs.

THE FOUNDING OF CALM WATERS

Calm Waters began in 1992 at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center under the leadership of Charlotte Lankard, LMFT, Jason Woodruff, and Sondra Woodruff. Lankard and the Woodruffs founded the nonprofit grief center and it was first chaired by Mr. Gene Rainbolt. In 1994, Calm Waters added support groups for families going through a divorce.

Since then, Calm Waters has expanded to provide support groups for families impacted by community disasters, such as the 1995 Murrah Building bombing, May 1999 tornadoes, and May 2013 tornadoes.

In 1997, the “Parenting Through Divorce” seminars were added. These seminars meet the court requirement for divorcing parents of minor children in Oklahoma.

In 1999, Calm Waters added School-based Grief Support Groups to its repertoire of free services offered to the community. Since then, more than 150 public schools in over 20 public school systems have been served. Calm Waters School-based Grief Groups annually serve 1,500+ students, Pre-K through 12th grade.

TODAY, Calm Waters Center for Children and Families provides FREE grief support services for children and families on their grief journey caused by death, divorce or other significant loss. Since beginning in 1992, Calm Waters has served more than 50,000 individuals across the Greater OKC Metro Area through their Center and School Support Groups. Calm Waters is a proud United Way of Central Oklahoma Partner Agency.