Ethel Gardner, Kennedy Austin Foundation International Family Institute founder and executive director, center, holds half a pair of scissors to celebrate the grand opening of its newest Pomona, California location Thursday, May 30, 2019. Gardner’s daughter Linda Jones, third from left, holds the other scissor.
(Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Ethel Gardner came from humble beginnings and has endured many tragedies. She grew up without a mother, a grandmother, or a female mentor, and this had a significant impact on the life she would live. She was subjected to domestic violence, but which created the opportunity for Ethel to not just survive, but to thrive.
Through the help of a friend, Ethel found the courage to change her circumstances and pursue her destiny. Ethel realized she was called to a greater purpose and it could only be manifested by perseverance, so Ethel stepped out on faith. But during her journey of freedom and discovery, tragedy once again visited.
One sad day in March of 1992, Ethel received a call that her teenage son had been killed in an automobile accident. The pain Ethel endured was inexplicable, unbearable and completely life-altering. How could she ever get beyond this agony?
With help from God, the support of her daughters, and ultimately the birth of her granddaughter, Kennedy Austin, life after loss became Ethel's objective. Ethel decided to empower herself by using her experiences to support others dealing with grief after loss. On March 13, 1993, Ethel established the Kennedy Austin Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing education, support, and resources to women and families whose lives have been impacted by the loss of a child or domestic violence. Ethel made it her mission to show women and families that they too have the means to turn tragedy into triumph.
The foundation provides all resources and support free of charge by bringing together community resources and donations. The foundation also works with a team of volunteers who share a passion for people and she invites others to support the foundation’s mission.
As part of the foundation's community outreach effort, the Kennedy Austin Foundation International Family Institute has partnered with the City of Pomona to be a “first responder” to those in crisis, by providing food, clothing, shelter, and end of life planning resource services.
The Foundation has also partnered with Tri-City Mental Health Services to provide grief counseling and support.
Can Good Come from a Broken Heart? The book portrays the life of the main character, Ethel, in a beautifully written narrative that will capture the readers hearts. She is a woman of strength and courage, sometimes coming across as witty in overcoming her obstacles. She is placed in a position where choices must be made from challenges during her childhood, the tragic loss of her only son, and dealing with peace within by giving into a Christlike life.
This is a story of women who as they discovered themselves began to emerge and break the curses off their lives while they embraced the word of God "The Torah" they became powerful women of the word and embraced their Jewish roots.
Our communities need more people to be active in the change we want to see. The Kennedy Austin Foundation International Family Institute stands in the gap as a champion of change.
Contact us to find out how you can make an impact with us.
Through the years, Kennedy Austin Foundation International Family Institute has been recognized as a responder to tragic situations, and the organization has received awards and recognition for its achievements.
Building stronger communities together
Courage Awards Honorees