By Jamie Zananiri
IdealCharities is back with 4 new organizations they’re supporting in 2022! IdealCharities is an IdealTraits employee-driven charitable fund, used to support charities and organizations important to our employees. Participating employees vote on a charity to support for each quarter of the year. T.A.P.S. was suggested to the IdealCharities team by Client Support Educator and frequent blog post contributor, Kellie Lail. I asked Kellie to share why T.A.P.S. was her charity of choice.
Why did you feel it was important for IdealCharities to support T.A.P.S?
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.) is an awesome organization that provides the families of fallen heroes with grief counseling and other resources to support them as they handle the loss of a loved one. They offer a variety of programs for children and adults including their annual Good Grief Camp held in Washington D.C. over Memorial Day weekend. At the Good Grief Camp, children of fallen service members are paired with an Active Duty or Veteran military member “Mentor” and attend youth programs, seminars, and fun activities so that they can learn how to grieve and remember their loved one in healthy ways. They end the ceremony each year on Memorial Day by going to Arlington National Cemetery with their Mentor to lay a wreath of remembrance on their loved one’s headstone. T.A.P.S. offers comfort, programs, and resources for over 100,000 survivors, growing at the average rate of 21 survivors a day. These families have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and T.A.P.S. is able to provide a positive impact on these bereaved families every day, all over the country. If you or someone you know is struggling with the loss of a service member, you can reach the T.A.P.S. hotline 24/7 at 800-959-8277 to receive valuable resources for free.
What is your connection to T.A.P.S?
My older brother and best friend, Drew is a disabled veteran who served Active Duty in the Navy for 4 years and in the Naval Reserve for another 4. He was one of three honor graduates at Recruit Training Command, United States Navy and won multiple service awards throughout his time in the Navy. He currently works under a civilian contract for the Coast Guard, retrofitting and rebuilding Blackhawk Helicopters. We both grew up in a family that was heavily influenced by the military, with a majority of our relatives serving in the Army and Navy. We also grew up in a military town, right off of an Army base. Drew has always been passionate about serving our country in any way he can and when he found out one of our good childhood friends who lost both of her military parents served with T.A.P.S., he knew he had to get involved. Since the first year that he joined T.A.P.S. as a mentor in 2018, he has been nominated as Mentor of the Year three times.
Do you have any personal anecdotes you’d like to share about T.A.P.S?
Since Drew was paired with his “mentee” Nicky, the both of them have grown an incredible friendship and trust between one another. He helped Nicky go from a quiet and reserved kid, to really opening up and learning to enjoy life despite missing his dad. Drew has become Nicky’s confidante and they are truly the best of friends. Since becoming his mentor, both of our families have also become the best of friends and enjoy time together even outside of T.A.P.S. events. Being able to see the benefits of this program first hand have made it even more valuable and such a special part of my heart.
IdealCharities was able to make a cash donation of $1,920 to help support T.A.P.S. in their ongoing mission of supporting the families of fallen heroes.