Rainbows for All Children (Rainbows) is dedicated to being the premier source of support for all youth as they navigate grief and heal from loss, whether from death, divorce, deployment, or other trauma. Rainbows fosters awareness that youth require support to heal. We nurture a community of effective Rainbows-trained Facilitators, supported with a repository of resources designed to guide youth in their grieving process.
Rainbows for All Children began as a grass roots mission founded by Suzy Yehl Marta, a divorced mother of three boys. In the Mid 1970's, Suzy was devastated by the end of her marriage. She quickly realized her sons were hurting as much as she was. Suzy tried to locate a support group for them, similar to the group she joined, but none existed. She refused to believe her children would “bounce back” on their own without a place to comfortably share their feelings about what they were experiencing. Working with other concerned parents, Suzy began organizing weekend retreats for the children in single parent homes. In three years, more than 800 youth benefited from the retreats. Suzy knew more needed to be done. She started working on a curriculum, the foundation of Rainbows for All Children, for children who experienced loss. The curriculum was designed to provide grieving elementary school children with an understanding of their new family unit, to help build a sense of self-esteem and to give them the tools to properly cope with their loss.
In 1983, three Chicago area private schools piloted the Rainbows curriculum. Over the next 30 years, this grass roots program expanded throughout the United States and into 16 countries, serving nearly three million youth.
In 2003, Suzy published her book Healing the Hurt, Restoring the Hope to assist parents and caregivers guide children through death, divorce and other trauma.
In 2013, at the age of 67, Suzy lost her fight with cancer, but her mission continues on through the dedicated team at Rainbows for All Children, her family, friends and volunteers. Suzy said she would never stop until every grieving child had a voice. Rainbows for All Children is committed to ensuring her mission lives on with the same compassion and commitment.