In its on-going support of charities that assist military personnel and their families, DynCorp International is proudly sponsoring the 2012 Taste of the South event, which benefits Camp C.O.P.E., a Texas-based non-profit that helps military children handle the challenges involved in the deployment of a family-member.
Helping Children Cope
Standing for Courage, Optimism, Patience, and Encouragement, Camp C.O.P.E.’s programs help children of active military to better cope with the difficulties of deployments, including injury or death of a family member.
Founded in 2004, the mission of Camp C.O.P.E. includes providing age-appropriate therapeutic interventions where children can interact with small groups of peers who are dealing with or have dealt with similar issues related to military service of a family member. These interventions also provide information for parents on how to continue to help their children when they return home from camp.
The camps themselves are free of charge to children and family members of active military, utilize highly trained counselors, and provide an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding. As their website states, “Camp C.O.P.E. allows the child to tell their story and help put a voice to their feelings and concerns, while producing new ways to handle their experiences.” One of their basic core values is “Kids Serve, Too!”
A Giving Heritage
The Taste of the South (TOTS) was founded in 1982 by southerners who had relocated to Washington, D.C., from Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Wanting to share their traditions with new friends as well as each other, the group held their first party for $15 a ticket and then donated the proceeds to a southern-based charity.
Donations grew year after year, and even during tough economic times the group was able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to give away. In 2003, TOTS created the “Dixie Fund” to earmark funds from the annual event toward the charity of choice of one of its member states. Camp C.O.P.E. is this year’s designated charity.