First American’s Volunteer Spotlight program recognizes employees who are active in their communities. Each month, employees record their volunteer hours, and one employee is selected at random to receive a donation to the charity of their choice.
We are excited to announce that Jamie Nail (pictured on the right), VP, North Florida Agency Operations Manager in Stuart, Florida, volunteers with Operation 300, an organization that hosts adventure camps for children who have lost their fathers as a result of military service. The camps provide an opportunity for children to participate in activities that embody the spirit of adventure that characterized the lives of their absent fathers while fostering a culture of courage, strength, freedom, endurance, and honor.
How did you get started with Operation 300?
On August 6, 2011, one of my best friends, Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, was killed in action when a Chinook chopper carrying 30 American troops was shot down in Afghanistan. The crash took the life of Aaron and 29 others on board. Like Aaron, most were members of the SEAL Team Six. In that one incident 40 children were left without fathers, including Aaron’s two young children.
Aaron’s sister Tara Baldwin had the inspiration to host adventure camps for children like Aaron’s, creating a place where they can heal from having lost a father, while also learning things their father is no longer there to teach them. I am an avid outdoorsman and love children, so it was an easy decision to join the mission
What do you find most rewarding about your volunteer work?
I did not serve in the military, so I see this as my opportunity to give back to those that have served our country. The most rewarding aspect is getting to become a part of the kids’ lives, creating lifetime memories for both sides. Furthermore, I get to share a few things I learned from my own father and grandfather along the way.
What has surprised you most about your time with this group?
How little it takes to make a massive difference in a child’s life. It doesn’t require anything elaborate; it only requires time, patience and simple fun.
What do you hope to accomplish with this group in the future?
I hope to see the camp grow and eventually have our own property to host camps with more established resources. To find out more and support this great cause follow this link.
What advice would you have for another First American employee who’s interested in donating his or her time?
I highly recommend all employees look for opportunities like this where they live. I was surprised to find that there aren’t a large number of organizations that serve the children of the fallen, but they do exist.
As for assisting Operation 300, I would hope that everyone goes online to check us out and support us in any way possible. We fly the families in from all over the U.S. at no expense to them, meaning airfare is one of our largest expenses. To offset those costs, we are in the process of making it possible for people to donate frequent flier miles. Any assistance or ideas to make this a better organization are welcome!
Check out this incredible video on the home page that says it best!