MerchantPro Express proudly announces its selection of Gold Star Teen Adventures as the first of many charities to receive contributions from its new Patriot Payments program.
MPX launched Patriot Payments earlier this year, with the mission of supporting veterans and military families by providing fulfilling career opportunities, and donating portions of its revenue to charities benefiting this special community.
MPX is honored to be standing by that promise and making its first donation to Gold Star Teen Adventures.
Fayetteville, N.C.-based nonprofit Gold Star Teen Adventures provides summer adventure opportunities—such as boat trips, scuba diving and other outdoor activities—to the children of fallen U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel.
This extraordinary group's story begins in 2007, when U.S. Army Green Beret Kent Solheim was seriously wounded in combat while serving in Iraq and lost his right leg. Upon returning home, Kent realized that an important part of his physical and emotional healing process was connecting with others who had experienced similar traumas.
The father of two also contemplated how his death would have affected the lives of his children. Kent wanted others to share his experience of communal compassion, and all the children of his fallen comrades to know their special bonds of brotherhood.
The U.S. military has used gold stars to symbolize and honor service members who've been killed in combat since World War I, and issues Gold Star lapel pins to immediate family members of the fallen.
So in 2013, Solheim founded Gold Star Teen Adventures.
The organization has served hundreds of teens since its inception and organized adventures all along the East Coast, and even in the Caribbean. These have included such activities as marksmanship and survival training, gun safety education, hunting, and more.
But Gold Star Teen Adventures isn't just fun and games.
While these summer adventures are a lot of fun, the nonprofit's mission at heart is to provide these Gold Star Teens with mentorship and character development through participation in leadership and team-building exercises, while also helping them heal and build relationships with other teens experiencing similar losses.
The choice wasn't easy.
"There are so many great organizations available to support," explains MPX Managing Partner Amy Briller, who oversees the Patriot Payments program with her husband Brad, a retired U.S. Navy F/A-18 pilot.
Gold Star Teen Adventures was selected based on the strong recommendation of a friend, whose children had attended the camp, and who stressed its positive impact on her children.