About Us

Mission Statement

The Compassionate Friends is a mutual assistance, self-help organization offering friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved families. The primary purpose is to assist them in positive resolution of the grief experienced upon the death of a child and to support their efforts to achieve physical and emotional health. The secondary purpose is to provide information and to educate about bereaved families. The objective is to help those in their community, including family, friends, employers, and co-workers to be supportive.

The Steering Committee

Chapter LeadersErin Koepp, Lorie Haacke
First Contact Shannon Westerman, Carol Keenan
TreasurerErin Koepp
Chapter AdvisorArlene Priest
Newsletter EditorLorie Haacke
LibrarianCarol Newman
Activities Coordinator(Open)
OutreachPeggy Mills
Men's SupportPat Mills



   The Billings Clinic for your continued support, for giving us a place to gather each month, and for providing assistance with newsletter productions (printing & mailing).  Your compassion is deeply appreciated.

   Billings Gazette for providing us with complimentary newspapers and for being our fundraising partner throughout the year.

   Love Gifts and individual contributions via the charitable giving campaign through United Way.

We couldn't do it without friends like you!

Why Butterflies?

Since early times, the butterfly has symbolized renewed life.  The caterpillar signifies life here on earth; the cocoon, death; and the butterfly, the emergence of the dead into a new, beautiful and freer existence.  Frequently, the butterfly is seen with the word “Nika”, which means victory.  Elisabeth Kûbler-Ross movingly tells of seeing butterflies drawn all over the walls of the children’s dormitories in the World War II concentration camps.  Since Elisabeth believes in the innate intuitiveness of children, she concludes that these children knew their fate and were leaving us a message.  Many members of The Compassionate Friends embrace the butterfly symbol—a sign of hope to them that their children are living in another dimension with greater beauty and freedom—a  comforting thought to many.