The Gift - A Volunteer Story

  • November 16, 2016
  • Source Eluna
  • Author Eluna
  • Type Blog

What do you give your father for Father’s Day? Frank Amato, Sr., a New York Life agent in Pittsburgh, PA, has told his son the perfect gift for every year: to volunteer with him as a camp buddy at Camp Erin Pittsburgh.

Frank lost his father when he was a child. He knows first hand how sad, confused and anxious a child can feel after a death. According to Frank, “had I been able to go to something like Camp Erin when I was a kid, I would have found the comfort and hope I so desperately needed.”

Frank has volunteered as a camp buddy at Camp Erin Pittsburgh for 4 years. He has seen Camp Erin work magic to help kids heal time and again. One instance in particular stands out to him:

“I had noticed one boy who was completely silent all weekend, he just wouldn’t open up. I went up to him and said ‘come on, you can talk about this’, and then gave him a big hug. He broke down in tears, and sobbed on my shoulder for 10 minutes. He had finally let himself express what was bottled up inside. I knew that was the beginning of his healing.”

Each year Frank and his son work together at Camp Erin Pittsburgh, and honor his deceased father and father’s everywhere, by bringing comfort, hope and healing to youth grieving the death of someone special in their life. Frank and his son, like all of the devoted New York Life volunteers that help make this transformative weekend possible, are a gift to Camp Erin and Eluna – together we’re able to bring healing to thousands of youth nationwide.

*Frank Amato, Sr. - pictured far right in photo above.


To commemorate Children’s Grief Awareness Month, we share this and other stories of dedicated and compassionate New York Life agents and employees who bring comfort, hope and healing to grieving children in their communities through Camp Erin. Supporting bereavement services for children has become a part of New York Life’s culture and an issue that its employees and agents embrace as their own -- over half of Eluna’s Camp Erin locations have the support of their local New York Life office. Eluna is proud to partner with New York Life Foundation to raise awareness for the issue of childhood bereavement and the importance of supporting families experiencing grief across the country. Together, we deliver the gift of healing to children nationwide.