When 20-year old Christi Lanahan was tragically killed by a drunk driver in 1985, life was permanently altered in an instant for her mom and stepdad, Susan and Don Cox. In a state of shock and consumed with grief, they found few community resources to support grieving families. Drowning in grief and facing great personal and marital challenges, the Coxes (along with Christi’s brother, Sean) decided to reach out to others instead of retreating.
On the two-year anniversary of Christi’s death, they founded nonprofit “For the Love of Christi”, with a mission to provide free, ongoing grief support to Central Texans who have experienced a loss of a loved one, regardless of circumstances. Recently re-branded as The Christi Center, the organization provides peer-based support groups information/referral, outreach and education on grief issues, and limited individual counseling.
At the heart of the organization is the Center’s peer-based grief support group model, which “normalizes” the grief experience by connecting the bereaved with others who have experienced losses of a similar nature, showing them that a “new normal” is possible after loss. The Center serves children, teens, and adults, and is constantly conducting outreach to better meet the needs of grieving people.
In 1993, we began partnering with Austin Independent School District (AISD) schools to serve children on site-at schools. In 2010, we opened a satellite office in Williamson County at the Georgetown Community Resource Center. We offer groups for children (ages 5-12), teens (13-18), loss of a child, loss of a spouse, adult general loss, men’s/women’s groups, loss to suicide, and loss to violent crime.
We have a 25-year legacy of providing love, hope, comfort and support to people of all ages in a warm and welcoming environment. Many who come here say that we saved their lives, and stay with us for years as volunteers and donors, becoming part of our Christi Center “family”. Although we come together out of sadness, the Center breeds friendship and hope for a new life after loss. We’re always here for you.