The Brave Penny foundation was formed to help a parent suffering from the grief of losing a child or the dream of having a child; and seeks to provide, through publications, ministry and training, lasting solutions that lead to healing and contentment.
Brave Penny was founded by Sharon Fox, a Certified Grief Facilitator, and Heather Rodriguez, a birthmother who gifted her child through adoption. With Sharon’s 20+ years in grief ministry and Heather’s commitment to changing the face of adoption, the organization was named in honor of Sharon’s sister, Penny, and for the brave women who have chosen adoption.
Brave Penny is dedicated to the support of families and individuals who have experienced grief from a loss of someone or something that they have loved. This is done through event-specific publications, programs and training.
Embracing Those Who Grieve
Brave Penny is a Christian-based ministry whose purpose is to inspire hope for those who grieve.
Whether they are birthmothers who have chosen adoption or families that have experienced the loss of a child through SIDS, infertility, miscarriage, or the death of an adult child, Brave Penny seeks to provide, through publications and ministry, lasting solutions that lead to healing and contentment.
Brave Penny is dedicated to the support of:
- Birthmothers who have chosen adoption
- Families who have experienced sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Families struggling with infertility or miscarriage
- Families who have experienced the death of an adult child
A Birthmother is brave when she chooses life for her child. She is brave when she chooses to gift her child to another family through adoption. Seeing the decision as the best one for her child, she can find contentment in knowing that God heals wounded souls. Through our support of these courageous women, we seek to change the face of adoption.
Infertility or Miscarriages
Families that struggle with infertility or miscarriage experience the very private anguish of grief and loss. They bravely face feelings of isolation, the uncertainty of how and when to move forward, and sometimes a multitude of expensive medical procedures, often without anyone but those closest to them knowing their struggle. Understanding God’s model of grieving and seeking to learn to trust God helps to lift the burden of disappointment and longing.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
We support the families that have experienced sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as they face the complex emotions connected with the unexpected loss and their brave struggle to make sense of something so in contrast to their recent joy.
The Loss of Adult Children
The loss of adult children reshapes the sequence of life for grieving parents. We help parents brave the process of grieving their adult child’s death. God’s model of grieving his child, Jesus, applies to all parents who have experienced the death of a child.
All loss requires bravery to face grief and continue on in the aftermath. For those who look for help along the way, we are there.
Meet the Leadership Team
Sharon Fox is the Executive Director and co-founder with Heather Rodriguez of Brave Penny, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. With the support of a Board of Directors and other interested groups, the goal of the organization is to broaden, through publications, ministry and training, knowledge of the grief journey to those who grieve.
Sharon is a Certified Grief Facilitator though the American Academy of Bereavement and has over 20 years of experience in ministry to those who grieve from losses which would include death, diminished health, adoption, abortion, infertility, divorce, infant death, SIDS, pet death, death of adult child, job loss or any other type of grief event.
While leading a Grief Recovery ministry, Shadowlands, a six-chapter course based on Christian principles and the model of God’s grief for his own son, Jesus, her ministry has included teaching at seminaries in Peru, guest speaking events, training and support.
Reframing Adoption, her first book is specifically written for birthmothers and birth families that have chosen to gift a child through adoption to another family. A Precious Loss was written for families who have experienced miscarriage, SIDS and infant death. Both books are published in English and Spanish. All four of those books are on Amazon and available in electronic formats. Her third book, The Stone Carver’s Son is a children’s Christmas book about a shepherd who taught others about the prophecy of the birth of Jesus. That book is available through the Brave Penny website.
Sharon and her husband, Jim, retired in 2014 from ownership of their family owned business in Frisco, TX.
Heather Rodriguez is co-founder of Brave Penny. Birthmother is a very sacred and personal title. Those very words change you for a lifetime. Along with changing you, they weave together the fabric of another family – a family that has nothing to do with you or your child biologically but will forever bond you all together.
When I became a birthmother for the first time, it absolutely crushed my world. It changed me, but not for the better. When God asked me to do it a second time he promised he would redeem my story. He has held true to his word above and beyond what I could ever have imagined. Today the title birthmother is priceless to me.
Brave Penny is the promise that God made to me years ago, but only now has it taken on a life of its own through the works of this ministry.
God has redeemed my story and I know He will redeem yours too. I am now a mother, a wife and a leader in grief ministry.
God’s word heals beyond and above anything else this world has to offer. I hope and pray all who seek lifetime healing will be Brave enough to do the work it take to find abundant life after a grief experience.
Arnie Kuypers, President of Brave Penny Board of Directors, retired in early 2017 from a 36-year career in health care executive search. He earned an undergraduate degree in physical therapy from the University of Florida and both practiced and taught physical therapy. He also received a graduate degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and spent several years as a health care program planner and developer before becoming a search professional.
As a search consultant, Arnie worked with senior executives and boards of major nonprofit entities to help them grow and develop their organizations. In addition, Arnie has served on the Board of the North Dallas American Diabetes Association and as two-time Chairman of the Board of the Dallas Unit of the American Cancer Society.
Arnie and his wife, Deborah, have been married 42 years and have two adult children and five grandchildren. He currently serves on the Vestry of Christ Church Plano.
Paul Jones, Vice President of Brave Penny Board of Directors, is a retired attorney. He practiced law for forty-four year – thirty-one years in private practice and thirteen years in public law practice. He graduated with BA and JD degrees from the University of Texas in Austin. He served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a long-time member of the State Bar of Texas, the American Legion, USMC Force Recon Association and Christ Church Plano, TX.
He has co-facilitated the grief recovery program with Sharon Fox at Christ Church for the past eighteen years.
HB Bartz, Treasurer of Brave Penny Board of Directors, is retired after a forty-one year career in the information technology industry. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and served as an officer in the US Army for three and a half years. His work experience included customer and financial management, marketing and sales, business applications development, and people management. He and his family spent eleven years overseas managing customer accounts in Europe and Asia. HB has served his various church families in many roles, as Sunday school teacher, small group leader, lay ministry and lay church leadership. He and his wife, MaryAnn and son live in the Dallas area.
Laura Lee Scherer, Secretary of Brave Penny Board of Directors, has spent the majority of her career in sales and marketing for the food business, with Nestle, Schwan’s and Kellogg’s, with a focus on developing National Account business. Laura has served her church in many roles over the years, to include serving on search committees, being a member of various church board committees, as a Youth Group volunteer, serving as a Greeter, and as a long time Small Group Leader. She has served as a Collin County Master Wellness Volunteer since 2008 and is also a member of Women of Water Tower, an arts advocacy and fundraising group. Laura and her husband, Scott, live in Allen, TX.
The Rev’d Steven Saul, Board Member, was ordained as an Anglican priest fifteen years ago and has a heart for congregational care and ministry to those who are experiencing trials in life, including loss.
Steven+ is a board certified life coach for the Board of Christian Life Coaching. He has served the American Anglican Council as a coach for clergy and leadership seeking to revitalize and enrich Great Commission ministry. Currently Pastor Saul serves as the Associate Rector for Congregational Care at Christ Church Plano, TX. Prior to serving in ministry, Steven+ worked in the public and private sectors serving in banking, technology and systems management. Steven has an MBA from Dallas Baptist University and a B.A. from the University of Colorado.
He is married and has two grown sons. Steven has a heart for the grieving and hurting and is a strong advocate for supporting opportunities to equip those who are in a season of healing and restoration. He believes that “walking alongside others” and praying with them are essential next steps “for the days ahead.”