A Message From Our Board of Directors in Response to COVID-19

Dear Friends of the Travis Mills Foundation, 

Here in Maine, it is finally starting to feel like summer. Trees have bloomed, gardens are planted, and birds and fish have returned to our skies and waters. Although it looks and sounds like summer, there is a key piece of our world that is missing, and that is seeing the smiling faces of our participants at our Retreat. Though our world has changed drastically over the last three months, we are committed to keeping our staff, participants, volunteers, and donors safe, while continuing our mission of supporting recalibrated veterans and their families. 

While we cannot continue our standard order of business, as always, we are adapting, and rising to the challenge. This pandemic has proven to be more dangerous and damaging than anyone could have initially predicted, which has caused us to continuously update our schedules and processes. Here in Maine, we have entered phase 2 of a staged reopening plan set forth by our Governor. This includes a 14-day quarantine for all out of state visitors, masks, social distancing and more. In order to stay aligned with our goal of providing an exceptional experience for our participants, we have decided to suspend all programming through the summer and are reviewing limited reopening options in the fall of 2020. To reopen safely, while providing top quality experiences is at the forefront of our planning, which we will continue to adapt as our guidelines change. 

In the meantime, our Program Director has been continuing to creatively work with our veteran families. Kelly has developed a virtual program that allows us to support veterans and families by identifying areas of assistance and connecting them with the correct tools. Some examples of the support we have already provided are workout equipment and weekly classes, funding for household repairs from wheelchair wear and tear, connecting participants with grocery delivery to keep them safe during this pandemic, and support for finding and continuing activities that allow for safe social distancing. Beyond this virtual program, Kelly and her team have been engaging with participants via our alumni page with virtual cooking classes, live feed yoga, and starting in June, a book club. As we shift our attention to our virtual programming, we will continue to identify areas of support and develop a more robust online presence. 

The safety of our staff and volunteers has also been a high priority. We have initiated a remote work program, that allows our team to continue to do all of the great things they do supporting our mission, but from the safety of their homes. We have begun to allow limited volunteer access to the grounds, under Chris’s watchful eye, for outdoor upkeep and maintenance, that also allow for social distancing. We have been working diligently to make the most of this downtime, to update and improve our grounds. Currently, we are installing a new tennis and basketball court, which will surely be a highlight for participants upon their return. The team has been busy, as the grounds look beautiful, with the freshly mowed lawns and flourishing flower beds, and we will continue to be prepared for the day when we can resume activities.  

While we continue to look toward a brighter future for all, we want to also take a moment to stop and thank you for continuing this journey with us. We recognize that these are hard times for many, and knowing that you are supporting our mission, makes it that much easier to keep moving forward. We will wade through this high water and come out on the other side, stronger and more versatile than before. We are grateful for all the wonderful people that make the Travis Mills Foundation family such a unique and meaningful organization.


Travis Mills Foundation Board of Directors