Mentor Up: Spend time with families of the fallen this Memorial Day
Posted by Jason Hansman on May 4
Looking for a great way to give back this Memorial Day weekend? Our friends at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) are looking for military mentors to work with the children of fallen service members at their Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors in Arlington, VA.
Each Memorial Day, TAPS brings together children of all ages whose loved one died in service to our country. Participating children are paired with military mentors who accompany kids during this special weekend and learn how we, as a nation, honor their loved one's service and sacrifice. The youngsters also learn coping skills for handling their own grief and, through guidance from their mentors, how to build a foundation for a healthy future following a tragic loss.
Registration: For more information about the TAPS Good Grief Camp or to register as a Mentor, please go here and click “Event Registration.” Should you have any questions or need a letter requesting time off, please email TAPS at email@example.com or call 1-800-959-TAPS (8277). Your help will be greatly appreciated by TAPS, and more importantly, by these very special children. Deadline to apply is May 7th.
Background: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a nonprofit organization that provides immediate and long-term support and care to the families of our nation's fallen heroes. Over Memorial Day Weekend, the 18th Annual TAPS Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in the DC-area will be hosting children and teens from across the country. What makes this camp unique is the active duty men and women and recent veterans who volunteer to provide one-on-one mentoring to the children of our deceased service members.
They are expecting 475 children to visit the DC-area to learn coping skills and support systems. We know it is no small favor as you will be giving up your personal time over the holiday, but bringing a smile to the faces of our nation's youngest heroes and reminding them they will always remain a part of the military family is worth every minute you selflessly donate. Mentors frequently say that it is comforting to know that there is a program like TAPS available to provide continued support to our military families in their most challenging times - and is often a life changing event for the mentors themselves.
Mentors’ Role: Each Mentor will be matched with one child who has lost a loved one who was a military service member. The children range from 4 to 19 years old and you may select the age group with which you prefer to work. You will be placed in a group along with 25 or so other Mentors and their Mentees. This group will be led by an experienced and trained grief facilitator. Your only responsibilities for the weekend are to connect with the child with whom you are assigned and follow the lead of your group facilitator. Friday will be spent at the hotel getting to know each other and conducting grief work with the kids. On Saturday, we’ll take a fieldtrip around the National Mall, more grief work, and enjoy our giant “Bash” that evening. Sunday is another day of grief work before wrapping things up. Mentors must be available all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to the times listed in the schedule below. Monday is optional but encouraged.
- 23 May, 18:00-21:00 (or) 24 May, 10:00-13:00
Memorial Day Weekend
- 25 May, 07:30-17:30
- 26 May, 08:00-22:00
- 27 May, 08:30-17:30
- 28 May (optional) Arlington Cemetery Ceremony in dress uniform
Uniform: Casual (shorts, jeans, sandals, tennis shoes, etc.). Each Mentor will receive two (2) TAPS t-shirts to be worn for all activities Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Cost: None. During the camp, you will eat all meals with your Mentee. Although we do not provide parking at the hotel, we have a limited number of Metro passes available, if required.
Where: The training sessions and majority of activities will occur at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Crystal City, VA. For all other activities outside the hotel, bus transportation will be provided.
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