You know your community is strong when you come together to process a loss. In February 2018, we lost a longtime volunteer and friend Lynn Hinerman. Lynn was involved in BARCC since its early days and was an active member of the Community Awareness and Prevention Services (CAPS) team. Many staff and volunteers wrote to share a memory of Lynn, please scroll down to read these messages and if you would like to share your own, please comment below. Thank you to her family and friends for sharing her time on earth with us. Lynn is part of the fabric of BARCC. We will hold her generous, kind, hopeful, fun, caring, and clear spirit on matters of justice with us at BARCC always.
Gina Scaramella, BARCC Executive Director
I met Lynn probably 15 years ago at a volunteer appreciation event that was in a cooler than cool, hipper than hip apartment in an industrial area of Allston. I will say that I think Lynn and I both set off alarms for being over 30 years old. It was a lot of fun though because the volunteer coordinators has, as usual, outdone themselves in ensuring everyone felt personally thanked. I went and introduced myself to her and unsurprisingly to anyone who knew her, I liked her at once. After that, I would often get kind notes after events and other BARCC events that were so encouraging such as this one after our 2015 gala “ Congratulations on a beautiful night. I have to say, you looked so wonderful, and your message was so heartfelt. We are lucky to have you!” And I know I am far from alone in benefitting from her thoughtfulness. She embodied so much of the spirit of BARCC’s community and she will be missed.
Kim Sebastiao, BARCC staff member
When I think of Lynn I think of someone so full of energy and positivity. My first encounter with her was at 5 a.m. setting up for our annual South Station day of awareness. There was a lot of heavy lifting involved in the set up and I was struggling to carry one sandbag meanwhile Lynn was hustling past me with two! Every encounter after that was filled with smiles and thoughtful, kind words. She was always one of the first people to email me a note of congratulations and appreciation after one of our big events, which always meant a lot to me. Her love for BARCC and its mission were evident . . . here's an e-mail she sent me following last year's Walk:
So nice to see you today. Your dedication and hard work was so evident. Best Walk ever!
I've been on leave, but will be returning in the next few weeks. Seeing so many beautiful people only affirms why I am so grateful to have the opportunity.
Her smile and spirit are already greatly missed . . .
Rachel Newborn shared a portion of an e-mail that Lynn sent to her after her last CAPS peer supe about two years ago.
These are Lynn’s words:
“But what I really want to say is how meaningful it has been to have you as a fellow volunteer. I know you cringed when I called you a mentor, but I really mean it. You modeled so much of what I aspired to become. And you would be the first to say you have to keep at it, keep learning, keep working to improve, and that's what I intend to do.”
My last CAPS peer supe was bittersweet. Many of the volunteers I had worked with for years had recently left the group, and I was about to start a rigorous graduate program. Lynn was one of the only volunteers who I felt that I really knew at that time. We volunteered together from 2012-2016. Lynn was always incredibly positive and throughout her time in CAPS maintained a sense of awe at the work we were doing. She inspired us and she nurtured us with delicious baked goods. She kept us striving to do our best as leaders, even when events were difficult to manage, there was low attendance, or we didn't feel that we successfully connected with the audience. I will miss her.
Lynn was always a calming presence with a sharp wit. She'd have you perking up to really listen to what she had to say one minute and have you laughing so hard the next. She is loved and missed.
Lynn was simply lovely. She was all warmth and kindness and support and every memory I have of her is of all of those things.
Cassie Luna, BARCC staff member
When I became the new CAPS Coordinator, Lynn welcomed me with a warmth I'll always remember. From her thoughtful emails after trainings and meetings, to her check in calls and visits to my office (often with some baked goods and a tight hug!), Lynn made it clear how much she cared for BARCC, reaching our communities, and her commitment to supporting survivors. I miss her very much.
I can't call to mind my time at BARCC without thinking of Lynn. I recall her beaming face, glowing presence, great sense of humor, generous spirit and impeccable fashion sense. She was so passionate about BARCC's mission. We were often partners at events. Outside of BARCC we bonded over our love of vegetables and herbs. Before our Monday group meetings in Central, I often bumped into her at the farmers' market across the way. We walked around scouting out fresh things. The light from the setting sun cast the memories in golden hues. She gave me tips on growing basil, and we talked recipes. Simple but lovely memories. I'll always think of her when I go there.
Cathleen Bonner sent these thoughts from Seattle:
Lynn was a bright, glowing friend who spread her generous love with twinkling eyes and lemon bread.
Her passion and out-spoken words in support of freedom and against sexual violence was an example we all needed in our lives when I was feeling down.
She always had a great sense of style!
She shared out love and compliments that always felt like a big, warm hug.
Her sense of humor despite the oppressiveness of the world persevered and helped us all to breathe a little bit easier.
She was a lifelong learner, always gracious about wanting to hear and understand more about the world around her.
Dave Rini, BARCC staff member and former CAPS volunteer
Lynn was always so good at making human connections with people, with reminding the rest of the CAPS team that all of us are multi-faceted people. I don't think she meant to do this intentionally; she was just really good at doing it naturally. I remember one of our first tabling events together as volunteers - I'd already been around CAPS for a while by that point, and this was my first time doing a multi-hour event with Lynn. We were at Simmons or Emmanuel for a health fair, and we got a bit of an awkward table location towards the back of this multi-floor student center where the fair was happening. We did see some students come up to us, and Lynn was great at talking to them about BARCC and what we did. About 20 or 30 minutes into the event, when it became pretty clear that we weren't in a super high-traffic area, Lynn turned to me and asked me if I was a fan of basketball at all. Although I'm not a super well-versed fan, I'm a supporter of anything Celtics related, and this was maybe a few years after the C's won the championship in 2008. We got to chatting for a long time about her love of the Celtics, Paul Pierce, who they should be trading with, and what gaps they had in their roster. Some of the students tabling for other organizations wanted to chime in too, and came over to our table to talk with us. It's a great scene - I'm the 6'5" guy, who most people would probably think is the big sports fan in the group, but it's Lynn and a bunch of early 20's women, talking excitedly about whether Pierce has the legs for another season, or whether Shaq was a good trade for the C's or not. She made everyone feel like they could join in on the conversation.
They all went away with BARCC brochures and business cards, and a realization that we can support survivors, we can care about weighty issues, but we can also be huge basketball fans. It made that event move so much faster for me, and then, for years afterwards, I'd ask Lynn what she thought of a game or a season when we saw each other at Peer Supe.
So much of our work can be really heavy, and it can be hard to remember that sometimes, what survivors might want is the chance to feel like they did before they were assaulted, or to have the freedom to laugh or get excited about something as normal as basketball. Talking about basketball certainly wasn't the only way that Lynn helped survivors get that freedom, but the memory of that event has stayed in my mind for a long time. It felt like a good indicator of what made her such a good ally to survivors and so fun to work with as a fellow volunteer: she was able to connect with people about the things that didn't always feel so weighty, so that by the time someone did want to talk about those issues, they didn't feel so scary any more.
Lisa Peterson, BARCC volunteer
I would emphasize I never worked with anyone through CAPS or otherwise who was such a devoted and dedicated team player. Lynn put 100% into every facilitation she delivered with me. I was always in awe of her commitment to get everything right, to practice, to prepare, and make sure she did her very best job. Despite all the years I delivered workshops, I was always hard on myself afterward of what I could have done better, and Lynn never failed to make me feel like a million bucks afterward. She had this incredible way of making people feel seen and appreciated. I will be forever grateful to her for the confidence she instilled in me as a young professional. Sitting beside her at CAPS meetings, filling my face with whatever delectable treat she had baked for us, she radiated support and positivity. She could always be counted on to say something positive and helpful in her quiet, assuring way. I had so much respect for her, I can remember meeting Jay and feeling the excitement I can only imagine one feels after a brush with celebrity - it was that much of an honor to get a glimpse into her life outside her time with us.