Dear Friends of 180,
We recently lost a treasured member of the 180 family – Cindi Westendorf, Program Director of 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program. Cindi has touched many of you over the years, and we are terribly sorry to have to share this sad news. It is incredibly hard for all of us to imagine our lives without Cindi’s bright light shining in it.
Cindi spent the last 25 years of her life at 180, ministering to the emotional and psychological wounds of children that have experienced the trauma of domestic violence. Cindi was an expert counselor to the thousands of children she impacted during her time at 180. She was also a wonderful mentor and friend to her colleagues. If you knew Cindi, you knew that some of her greatest qualities were being able to empathize, listen, and observe with an extraordinary, laser-like focus. Cindi took those observations and then applied her own special form of “medicine” when counseling children who had witnessed domestic violence. Her medicine included kind words, a simple understanding, special care & actions as well as an innate ability to ease discomfort and help children and their parents visualize a path forward. These special gifts made her an exceptional therapist and also profoundly loved by everyone she met.
We will never forget her beautiful smile, her soft brown eyes, her funny facial expressions, and the immense beauty of her spirit which always shined through. Her cruel cancer diagnosis took her from us way to early, but it can never erase her legacy which we hold dear.
We know you join with us as we try to set aside our grief and take care of each other with tenderness and compassion, and continue to honor her life’s work and mission of caring for hurting children. Nothing would honor her more than making sure that the children in our care receive the transformative healing “medicine” of the Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program and we are committed to doing so.
Cindi’s legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in the hearts of thousands of children and families that she touched. We continue to send sincere condolences to her husband and children, and we reassure her family that the lasting impact Cindi has left here at 180 will never be forgotten.
Anna Diaz White, Executive Director
Brian M. Nelson, Board President