Annette March-Grier, RN, CFSP (Certified Funeral Service Practitioner), is the Founder and President of Roberta’s House, a family grief support center that offers a place for children and families to mourn and heal after the death of a loved one. The center offers services for all age groups, a number of different support and grief programs, educational workshops and community support programs. The facility boasts a number of professional counselors and trained volunteers, as well as a comfortable and safe atmosphere to heal. Since 2008, more than 4,000 children and individuals have benefited from the services Roberta’s House offers.
Ms. March-Grier’s vision for Roberta’s House stemmed from her childhood. She grew up at March Funeral Homes—her family’s business. As a young girl, she used to sit at the top of stairs and watch the families gather around their deceased loved ones. Over the years, she met thousands of grieving families and children struggling to cope with their loss, and she wanted to help them.
To prepare for her career, Ms. March-Grier graduated from the University of Delaware School of Nursing in 1982, and worked at John Hopkins Hospital for three years before returning home to help with the family business. For a while, during this time, she also worked part time with the Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore, and she also obtained a degree in mortuary science from the Community College of Baltimore County in 1985, and became a licensed mortician.
As a woman in today’s world, Ms. March-Grier attributes her success to the inspiration and example of her parents. In fact, Roberta’s House is named after her mother, who passed away in 2006. Ms. March-Grier’s compassion and love for people, as well as her desire to help families in need have helped her to give back to her community and touch the lives of people who need it most.
Ms. March-Grier is a member of a number of professional associations in the funeral and bereavement care industry. In addition to Roberta’s House, she also helped with the launch of the Homicide Survivor Advocacy Program in Baltimore City, which was established in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and the Baltimore City Police Homicide Division. She is a pioneer in creating bereavement education and support services for underserved communities addressing unresolved grief and trauma. Ms. March-Grier is a national speaker and workshop presenter.
In recognition of her achievements and hard work, Ms. March-Grier was included amongst a prestigious list of Top 10 CNN Heroes in 2014. That year, she was also honored with the Maryland Top 100 Women Award from The Daily Record, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum Community Award, the Governor’s Victim Assistance Award, and the Bethel AME Fannie Coppin Community Empowerment Award. This year, 2016, Ms. March-Grier has been selected as one of five winners of the National Caring Award with the Caring Institute, which brings with it an induction into the Caring Hall of Fame located in the Frederick Douglas Museum on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
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