Susan Miles Gulbransen and Gary Gulbransen – Family Legacy Gift
My family has a unique attachment to CALM. While growing up, my mom Claire Miles would talk about her nursing experiences including hidden child abuse situations. In those days, she met and married my anesthesiologist father Dr. Harold B. Miles, who often worked in emergency rooms unable to treat emotionally miserable children. I would ask about what happens to the kids he encountered and learned how helpless he felt about not being allowed to get involved with the parents or step in due to legal concerns. Doctors and nurses, Mom and Dad, were frustrated. The general sentiment of some was "What goes on behind someone's front door is nobody's business."
Then late one night in 1968, a distraught 19-year-old worker, college student and new father was studying and ended up shaking his crying eight-week-old baby, fatally breaking his neck. The social worker told Mom that the father had said he had "nowhere to turn" during his trial.
Less than a year later, I returned home from college to find an old-style black phone sitting on a chair in our dining room. It had a hand-written sign "Do not answer!" This was the beginning of my mom's commitment to creating a nonprofit to serve as a resource for emotionally stressed parents. That black phone in the dining room received nearly 40 calls for help in the first month.
When seeing the black phone, I was still Susan Miles, single and living in San Francisco, but Mom kept me aware. By 1970 she had started CALM and formed different ways to help thousands of families and traumatized children. Little did I know that the rest of my life would be committed to supporting CALM. Pan Am pilot, Gary Gulbransen and I married and moved to Santa Barbara in 1978 with our two daughters. The following year I was asked to serve on the Board and became Board President for two terms. Gary continued supporting me and CALM, overseeing our efforts and donations.
In 2016, I was asked to return to the CALM Board of Trustees – CALM had grown beyond anything I could have imagined. Its work and efforts today continue to astound me and encouraged our family to join the Children's Legacy Society. Keen interests along with our daughters and my siblings deepened not only because of CALM's growth, but their impact, doing more than ever to reduce and prevent childhood trauma throughout the county now ---and well into the future. Gary and I consider it an honor to support my mom's original vision which continues today by pledging a substantial gift to CALM from our estate.