Saturday Morning Message: Volunteer in service to others

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

TAPS is one of many rewarding organizations where you can volunteer your time. The opening picture is from this year’s 25th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar showing the bright yellow shirts and welcoming smiles of two volunteers who attended and shared their time.

TAPS Volunteers

One way to volunteer for TAPS is with the Peer Mentor ProgramCharlene, mother of Devin, wrote, “I’m a trained Peer Mentor. Although I’m not currently mentoring, I’m very interested in offering guidance, love and support to our TAPS family. I’ve attended the online class and am going to conferences to learn more about it.” To find other ways to contribute to TAPS, go to the volunteer portal on the website.

Remember, you can write to me anytime — to contribute, subscribe or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. I look forward to hearing from you.  My email address is

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week's question: What volunteer work have you done that has helped on your grief journey and how was it helpful to you?

From Robin, mother of Steven: My husband and I started volunteering with a local organization here in Virginia. Heroes on the River was started by an Army veteran. We met Adam in May 2018. He was walking with Terry Sharpe, also known as the Walking Marine, who walks to bring awareness to veteran suicide. Terry carries our Steven’s name on a red, white and blue ribbon. Adam and his group Heroes on the River organize outings for veterans at no cost. Annual picnics, deep sea fishing, skydiving and other outings give veterans of all branches of service a chance to connect with their brothers and spend time together. The events are free for veterans. Our family enjoys the time we spend helping them with the events.

From Beth, former spouse of Thomas: In memory and honor of my former spouse, I have donated some of his possessions to a family who lost everything in a fire; blood pressure machines to an acupuncture school; and computer speakers to classrooms that need it. I feel that some of his personal belongings will help others. I also have been working on resources to help K-8 students who may be experiencing grief, and also assisting school counselors with events for mental health awareness. Tom was a very caring person who would go out of his way to help others and I feel he would be happy for his possessions to be helping others. I feel that I am honoring his memory and it's also a release of peace and happiness for me to be letting go. It's not fair to keep his possessions as boat anchors when they could help others.

From Sharon, mother of Kevin: Immediately after our son’s death we were thinking of ways to honor him. He was a strong Christian and committed to three years of mission work in Belgium, so we set up an account with a ministry to help finance a church in Guatemala. Next year we will award a scholarship to a graduating senior from the class of 2020 at his high school to honor his memory. He was very active in high school and voted most likely to succeed. Success to him was doing God’s work, so he achieved the goal of leading a successful life.

If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to me at and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

I am at the Southeast Regional Seminar and Good Grief Camp in Jacksonville, Florida. Since travel can take up some of the time I usually use to put together the Saturday Morning Message, I will send a message composed from the archives for September 21 and use the same question for September 28, so you will have a chance to send a memory of your loved one to share. The question is: Will you share a memory of your loved one? It can be funny, sad, cute or one that is really important to you. We look forward to learning more about your loved one. 

Questions are the backbone of the Saturday Morning Message. In order to keep the Saturday Morning Message fresh, I am looking for more questions. If you have questions or topics you would like to see addressed in the Saturday Morning Message, you can email me at I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday morning. You are an important part of this message, and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have.


♫ Song for the Week

A survivor sent the song “Don't Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. I really like the message it brings, so it is the Song for the Week.

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at

Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  Connect With Your TAPS Family 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS Family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication contributed by survivors. The primary focus of the SMM is to foster peer-based connections for support and encouragement. It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive place where we can openly share in a nonjudgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable. Content submitted for the SMM is edited for space considerations and may be used in other TAPS publications. The loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please call 202-588-TAPS (8277).