D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery®, announced today it will donate $50,000 to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) as part of its Lagers For Heroes program and to further aid the military community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many military members and veterans are called onto the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, TAPS is increasing resources, services, and support to all those grieving a military loss as they navigate the additional challenges of the pandemic, including grief, isolation, stress management, and financial challenges.
“Through our Lagers for Heroes program, we continue our strong commitment to enriching the lives of our nation’s military heroes, and we recognize that our support is needed even more during these trying times. As a long-term partner of TAPS, we are helping to identify new ways to use their resources to assist, not only the military community, but the American public struggling to deal with the pandemic’s impact on their lives,” said Debbie Yuengling, Employee Engagement & Culture Manager and 6th generation family member, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. “We are proud to work alongside TAPS to help military veterans, survivors, and families suffering from loss, as well as those who are impacted emotionally and financially by COVID-19.”
From military personnel on the front lines, to at-risk veterans and survivor families facing financial hardships, the public health crisis has affected the entire military community. According to TAPS, every state in the country has mobilized the National Guard and the military is activating Reserves and retirees to support COVID-19 response efforts. Additionally, more than 80 percent of TAPS survivors have reported an increase in feelings of grief, anxiety and depression as a result of COVID-19.
Bonnie Carroll, Founder and President of TAPS, sent a virtual hug to everyone at Yuengling. “There is strength in being together and having a supportive community surrounding us,” said Carroll. “Everyone associated with Yuengling – from Dick Yuengling to each of his daughters to the workers in the breweries to the truck drivers – have shown their selfless dedication to nurturing their communities and our military families. We are so grateful to them.”
To assist with the increased need for support, Yuengling’s grant to TAPS supports the organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts including:
- TAPS Talks – TAPS is holding daily virtual video gatherings hosted by experts in grief and stress management. Topics include eating healthy in a time of crisis; discussion on helping kids cope in this time of uncertainty; and advice for communicating via online social platforms.
- Survivor Care Team – the Survivor Care Team is made up of TAPS staff members and peer mentors who are responsible for engaging all available resources to expand connections to TAPS families, support an increased call volume to the National Military Survivor Helpline, and facilitate the needs of those facing unmanageable anxiety and stress.
- TAPS Casework Assistance Team – due to unprecedented requests for guidance and assistance with emergency financial support, TAPS is exhausting every resource available to help military families and put survivors on the path to long-term stability and self-sufficiency.
- TAPS “Caregiver to Survivor” Program – this newly-launched program consists of special outreach and connection with survivors who have experienced a loss related to illness, including COVID-19.
In the weeks preceding Memorial Day, consumers are invited to join Yuengling by “Grabbing a Lager & Toasting a Hero” to help support these efforts. Yuengling will donate a portion of their gift shop proceeds from the Heroes Collection merchandise purchased in the month of May. Donations can also be made directly to TAPS at TAPS.org/Donate.
In its fifth year, Yuengling’s Lagers for Heroes program runs year-round and enables the brewery to work with charitable partners in an effort to support veterans and their families, especially in times when help is needed most. The $50,000 donation to TAPS’ COVID-19 relief efforts is an increase in Yuengling’s commitment to COVID-19 relief, which included a $100,000 initial pledge in April 2020 and grants to the Gary Sinise Foundation to support first responders, and to the Hospitality Assistance Response of Pennsylvania (HARP), which provides emergency funding to Pennsylvania’s hospitality workers impacted by the abrupt closure of bars and restaurants.