We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Amanda Drews a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Amanda , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Two words: Uncontrollable Circumstances. 6 years ago I unexpectedly lost my son Hudson he was 13 months old. We recieved a lot of family support and I couldn’t imagine any family going through the loss of a child with even a fraction of the support. Thus, Buzzy’s Bees was born we started out giving low barrier unrestricted financial gifts. Other foundations money to bury a child out financial gifts could be used for anything quick cash in hand for counseling, groceries, and of course if needed funeral expenses. Through this program I began talking to many bereaved parents who didn’t need financial support but wanted to talk about their child and longed for a new memory. I came up with the idea to offer the ability to tell their story (talk about their child) have it professionally written and then commission art pieces (a new memory) based on the story. The project is called Give Grief a Voice and is the problem that we are solving that no one else is.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I never wanted a nonprofit. But, from formation to now the execution of 3 programs Buzzy’s Bees has been a part of my healing. And definitely an extreme act in Altruism. The Buzzy’s brand is mission lead, Buzzy’s Bees mission is To change the grief culture surrounding the unexpected loss of a child (stillborn to 12 years old) through outreach, education, and programs offering emotional and financial support.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
Since Buzzy’s Bees is founded on the death of my son. And it supports families who also have dead children. I exercise resilience every day. I would have to gain skills of resilience in order to walk this earth without my child with or without Buzzy’s Bees. However, having a hive of other bereaved parents makes this impossible life possible. I’d be lying if I said I’m always strong and resilient. Sometimes a family story can put you back into a tidal wave of grief and it knocks you out. Self care is extremely important in my line of work.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
That you have to help everyone. Our organization is very niche. Initially my customer service background coupled with my bleeding heart wanted to support every family regardless of the circumstance. Today, I know that in order for the nonprofit to survive I cannot support every family in any circumstance. Consistently bringing myself and my board back to the mission helps me say your not a good fit but here are some resources that might be.