Hospice and Bereavement Training

Reaching with My Open Hands and Heart.

Please help me to follow my call to hold space and be support for those who are experiencing trauma or are in hospice/end of life processes and their families as a Hospice/Hospital Interfaith Chaplain.

You may know me by one of many names: Ciara, Riley, Starfish Songweaver etc. And many of you know my story.  After 8+ years of doing space holding and presence work with my community from a mind/body/spirit perspective through my sliding-scale massage practice and also years of supporting many of my friends and loved ones through the loss of their family members and friends, I felt a strong call to shift the focus of my life work to hold space for and be spiritual support for those who are dying and their family members.

The call started out quiet and slowly started to speak more clearly and audibly until it felt like I needed to answer.  The way that I found was most likely for me to be able to do this work in a presence and space holding focussed way was to obtain training as an Interfaith Chaplain, one who understands the varying religious and spiritual beliefs of others and honors the diversity of these paths while holding space for people in trauma, end of life, and grief, and supporting them exactly where they are at. 

The training in order to become a Board Certified Chaplain is rigorous and very expensive, especially because I am not affiliated with any particular religion and so am attending both a Unitarian Universalist grad school (Starr King) and an Interfaith Chaplaincy Institute where my varying beliefs around social justice, acceptance of diverse spiritualities, love, the Divine, and the earth are accepted and welcomed. In order to follow this call, I am going into at least $100,000 dollars of school loan debt and have relocated to Berkeley.  I am willing to do Whatever it is that I need to do in order to offer this good work.

And now, more expenses are showing up, more then what my school loans can cover.  I have to get a work/psych evaluation (vocational assessment) that costs $1500 dollars. I am required to get monthly spiritual direction for 2 years that comes to over $1200.  I need to pay $600 towards a 5 month CPE/Chaplain Internship. And I have to pay $2175 towards my Interfaith Ordination and all of its varying requirements.  All of these costs are beyond what I am able to get in student loans that barely cover the costs of my tuition, school supplies, living expenses in Berkeley and monthly bills. I am asking if you can help me to cover these extraneous costs so that I can continue to move forward. 

If you feel so moved, if you can, if you are able, if this is a way you can offer me support, please help me to reach for this calling with my open hands and heart, to listen and respond to this good work. 

Please give what you can, even $1 will do, as even the tiniest bit will add up, just as a teensy raindrop becomes a tiny trickle of a stream which leads to a middle sized river and becomes a part of the vast ocean (which then returns the gift with the blessing of rain!). 

I trust that I will have all that I need and am grateful for each of your willingness to read my story.
  • Dennis Dentoni 
    • $30 
    • 69 mos
  • Carol Carmick 
    • $100 
    • 69 mos
  • rain crowe 
    • $20 
    • 69 mos
  • Toews & Matoske Families 
    • $1,250 (Offline)
    • 80 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 81 mos
See all


Riley Sophia 
Berkeley, CA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more