TAPS seeking military and veterans mentors for Memorial Day Weekend

NOW SEEKING: Service members and veterans to change the life of surviving military children

MISSION: Volunteer as a military mentor in the TAPS Good Grief Camp, May 25-28, 2018 in Arlington, VA

BACKGROUND: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national non-profit providing care and support to families and friends grieving the loss of a member of the armed forces. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief programming and resources at no cost to surviving families. TAPS was founded on the principles of best practices in peer-based support for bereaved survivors. The organization has assisted more than 75,000 surviving families, casualty officers, and caregivers.

From May 25-28, TAPS will hold its 24th National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp (GGC) in Arlington. We expect over 500 children from across the nation to come together and connect with others who have experienced similar losses. At the camp, children honor their loved ones, learn coping skills, and find support systems. What makes the GGC unique are the active-duty and veteran men and women who volunteer to mentor the children of our fallen service members. Our goal is to pair each child with their own military mentor so that we have a 1:1 ratio. You and your mentee will be working alongside other pairs in a small group lead by a trained and experienced group leader. It’s no small favor to volunteer your time, but bringing smiles to these children by creating an environment of care and support is the greatest gift a mentor can give. A feeling of camaraderie and shared purpose pervades the camp, and many mentors return year after year and will tell you that the experience is life changing.

MENTOR’S ROLE: Each mentor is matched with a military child who lost a loved one. Children range from 4 to 18 years old; you may select the age group with which you prefer to work. The pairs are placed in a group with other mentors and their mentees led by an experienced and trained grief facilitator. Then the good times begin with activities, games, and team building. That sets the stage for the grief work ahead. When military mentors connect and companion a child, they provide them with the safe environment to honor their fallen loved one and work through their grief. Mentors must attend a training session Saturday morning and participate in the camp the remainder of Saturday and Sunday through lunch. More information about this volunteer role can be found on the military mentor page of our website.

Wednesday, May 23 from 1800-2100, or
Thursday, May 24 from 1300-1600

Friday, May 25, 0730-1730
Saturday, May 26, 0800-2200
Sunday, May 27, 0830-1730
Monday, May 28 (Optional),

LOCATION: Marriott Crystal Gateway, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202

UNIFORM: Casual (shorts, jeans, closed-toe shoes). TAPS mentor t-shirts and name tags are provided and are to be worn for all activities.

COST: There is limited lodging available to those who need assistance and live more than 45 miles away. All meals will be provided at no cost. Free parking is available at specific parking lots for training brief and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the GGC. Restrictions apply.

REGISTRATION: To volunteer, follow these steps:
1. Go to taps.org/militarymentor and create a military mentor account.

2. When you’re done creating the account, log in again, and fill out the background check release.

3. After you receive a confirmation email of a completed background check, log into your account and register for the National Good Grief Camp in Arlington, VA.

Questions can be directed to mentors@taps.org or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).

3033 Wilson Boulevard, Third Floor ✯ Arlington, VA 22201
800-959-TAPS ✯ 202-588-TAPS (8277) ✯ www.taps.org