About Us


Compassion. Passion. Empowerment. Education. This is how we make an impact in this world.

Compassion drives everything we do. As young widows or friends of young widows we can relate to the challenges widowhood can have on families.

Passion drives us to make a difference for families in our world. We know we cannot prevent tragedy from occurring, but we can use our collective knowledge to help families prepare for life after death. Beyond prevention we strive to support widows in their darkest time – a time filed with fear of the unknown, parenthood challenges, and paralyzing grief.

Empowering widows to take control of their life after death is the way we build our widowed community. The Young Widow Living community offers support, resource recommendations, mentoring, and coaching. Most importantly, we are a group of people that raise each other up on our most down days.

Education can change the world. Children from single parent families can fall more than a grade level behind their peers within a year of losing a parent. We use all of our resources – compassion, passion, and empowerment – to make a difference for these children that have lost so much. Together we provide tutoring opportunities to those in need. We assist widowed parents in pursuing additional education so we can break the cycle of poverty and grief. Almost 40% of young widows (age 25-54) live in poverty – we have to do better. We also offer resources to help non-widowed families plan for the loss of a spouse to help reduce the financial impact of a tragedy.

About The Founder

Erin WelkenHello! So this part of the site is all about me – Erin Welken.

I became a widow on August 24, 2013 at the age of 29.  My husband, Steve, died in a car accident. Steve was more than my husband – he was my best friend, coach, mentor, cheerleader, and biggest fan. He was also the most amazing father to our daughters – Reanna and Kaelyn. My world fell apart that August day. Everything I knew changed. My dreams for our future vanished. I wasn’t given a choice – I had to start over.

Starting over meant finding my passion – leaving a legacy by meshing my knowledge with the skills and drive Steve had taught me. Young Widow Living is a blog born from conversations with friends and quickly realizing that not a single person had planned adequately for their death or the death of their spouse. Sharing my horror stories around this topic seemed to drive people to action and I knew it was making a difference. I started to find my voice.

The Young Widow Living Foundation was launched in 2016 to turn my passion for helping others into a platform for change. Steve believed with all his heart that education can change the world – and I do too. Together we are going to make a difference for current and future widows and widowers.  This is my passion and I hope you will join me in making a difference.

Still want to know more about me?  Here are some quick facts:

My children are my world. Yes, I realize that is a typical parenting statement, but honestly, they keep me sane. They are my purpose in life. I am determined to show them how to overcome adversity and any challenge they face in a way that gives them strength of character. I want to live life in a way that models how I hope they live their life – with passion, purpose, hard work, and a little fun thrown in. My girls make me a better person.

I love anything that gets my adrenaline going. Forcing me to overcome fear and take control of my mind is exhilarating, freeing, and makes me feel like I can achieve anything. I love to ski, snowboard, and ride [fast] horses.

Ensuring my children are not orphans is at the top of my list of priorities so I’ve also added some other activities to my life that are more mellow. I love to play golf, ride bike, run (I prefer a 10k), cook, bake, and watch my daughters play sports.

Travel ignites my love for the world. I love adventures, being outdoors, and am typically up for anything. Exploring a new culture, experiencing new food, and trying new activities remind me of how great it is to be alive. There is still life to live – and I intend to live every day to its fullest.

I’ve become a pretty open person through this process. If there is more you want to know about me please drop me an email – who knows, maybe the answer to your question will be added to my list!

I truly appreciate the time you took to read this page about the Young Widow Living Foundation and about me. If you read this and it started a little passion fire within you that is AWESOME! We could use more passionate people to help grow this foundation.  Please consider what you could add – is it your time, your talent, your treasure?  We need you. If you are a widow and need us – that is what we are here for!  Please use the “Contact Us” page to let me know how we can support your needs.

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