New York Life Volunteers Make the Magic of Camp Erin a Reality in Tampa Bay
Camp Erin was created to provide comfort and hope to grieving children, to give them a place to feel less isolated and empower them with skills to cope with their loss. During the two-night and three-day camp, trained and devoted volunteers lead age appropriate groups through bereavement activities such as art therapy, journaling, facilitated discussions, and remembrance ceremonies. This transformative weekend empowers youth attending to heal, and move forward in their grief journey.
But where do the volunteers that work this magic with these kids come from? In Tampa Bay, the answer is the New York Life Direct office. Over half of the nearly 100 volunteers needed to run Camp Erin came from the New York Life Direct office in Tampa, FL
What did this amazing group from New York Life do at camp?
"We saw tears, heard laughter, made s’mores, smashed plates, created luminaries, listened to cherished memories and created bonds with the kids" -- New York Life Tampa Bay Camp Buddy Volunteer
And how did they overcome their own hesitancy and fear of spending a whole weekend supporting grieving kids?
"This is my 3rd year volunteering. I look forward to Camp Erin weekend all year!! People ask me all the time how I do it, I tell them you find out that you are stronger than you think you are… Camp Erin brings out the best in us all!" – New York Life Tampa Bay Camp Buddy Volunteer
More New York Life Direct employees – close to 80 -- were involved in creating blankets for each camper, as well as nightlights, chalkboards, and memory boxes that were used throughout the weekend. The leadership of the New York Life Volunteer for Good program and the Latino Employee Resource Group led this incredible effort to engage so many volunteers, which surely brought out the best of New York Life.
During this season of Thanksgiving, a huge thank you to New York Life Direct volunteers for making the magical life-changing power of Camp Erin a reality for over 60 campers this year.
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.