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In August of 2007 Heather and Jerry Mullin heard the terrible news that no parent should ever have to hear. Their beautiful, sweet and bright daughter, Joanna, had been killed at the tender age of 6. Such devastating loss is unfathomable to most of us. It is difficult to imagine how a family could survive such a tragedy.

Joanna’s Place was founded in loving memory of Joanna Mullin. Joanna’s Place offers services to families for free so that everyone has access to the help they need, when they need it most.

(Joanna's place is fully qualified as a 501(c)(3) entity; therefore all donations are tax-deductible.)

Our efforts are made possible by a tremendous group of volunteers from the South Shore community in Massachusetts.

Joanna’s Place leadership includes:

Heather Mullin, Founder of Joanna’s Place – Heather is the mother of Joanna, and three surviving siblings – Jeffrey, James and Jayne.   Since Joanna’s death, Heather and her husband, Jerry, have been working with Maria Trozzi (renowned expert on family bereavement) to help their children learn the coping skills they need to survive the loss of their sister.  Throughout the process, Heather and Jerry have become acutely aware of how tragic loss or unexpected change can disrupt the lives of children and have longstanding impact.  It is their hope that through Joanna’s Place other children and families will be better able to master some of life’s most difficult challenges.

Maria Trozzi, M.Ed., Program Director – Maria is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, Director of the nationally renowned Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center, consultant to the Child Development Unit at Children’s Hospital Boston, and an author of several books and numerous articles.  One of the foremost experts on child and family bereavement in the country, she has served as consultant at Littleton, Colorado in the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School; at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11; and in Grenada following Hurricane Ivan. Since 1991, she has lectured nationally to professional audiences in every major city with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton as a regular faculty member of the National Seminar Series.   For nearly 20 years, she has been teaching educators and health professionals how to promote resilience in the face of loss by strengthening the coping skills of families, institutions, and communities.

Irene McCarty – Volunteer, Director of Marketing & Development  – Irene is a marketing professional with over seven years’ experience in online marketing for The Boston Consulting Group; she has also worked extensively with grassroots non-profits to help them raise funds and grow their organizations.  Professional criteria aside, as the mother of three wonderful children and a friend of the Mullin Family, she has been inspired to work with the Mullins, their family and friends to help raise funds for Joanna’s Place.