Purchase gifts that give back!

Below are some ways that you can give thoughtful gifts to friends and family (or yourself!) while giving back.  Shop our partners who support the military widows we serve!

Pura Vida AWP Bracelet– 100% waterproof and ready for summer! Pura Vida directly translates into “Pure Life”, simple as that. What better way to show your support for the AWP than living life to the fullest with a bracelet that embodies our motto! $1 from every bracelet benefits our programs.

 

Her Hero AWP Lucite PendantHero Hero’s mission is simple…to give military spouses, moms, and sweethearts a fashionable way to showcase their pride. 25% of sales benefit our programs. 

 

AWP Bravelet– Bravelet bracelets are made to help you be brave during tough times. Wear it proudly for yourself or for a loved one!

The bracelet for women is made of 316L stainless steel and genuine leather, the men’s bracelet features dark brown bolo leather and smooth colored leather and the adjustable bracelet is made of braided cord and stainless steel . With every bracelet purchased, $10 will be donated to the AWP!

 

You can also shop our AWP store! Each of the items sold from our store  are a DIRECT (100%) donation to the American Widow Project’s programs and all the military widows we serve. From showing your support by wearing our official pin to sporting a shirt that shows your pride in your survival, each item shows your support and has been created with love from those who know this reality all to much

 

 

“Widow Doesn’t Have to Be an Ugly Word.” -Women in the World Foundation/Newsweek

CHECK OUT THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

“My husband was killed on May 21, 2007. I was twenty-one years old and he was 22,” says Taryn Davis, recalling the death in Iraq of her Army corporal husband. “I was a senior in college, getting a degree in criminal justice. When I was notified that night, in a way I literally died; it was a loss of identity; it was a loss of the dreams and hopes. I really never felt so alone.” Davis also realized she wasn’t the only military widow experiencing these feelings and set out to do something about it. So far her American Widows Project has offered support to more than 1,500 widows and held 35 events around the country. She took our questions from her home in Buda, Texas.

What was the moment that made you start the American Widows Project?

Three months after Michael died, I truly hit rock bottom and started to consider thoughts of suicide. I thought of what Michael wanted more than anything and it hit me that I needed to try and live for Michael until I could find a way to live for myself. First step was embracing this taboo word and title widow. I went onto Google that night, typed in “widow” and the response was “Did you mean window?” I saw that response as a catalyst for change.

How did you get it off the ground?

Every resource out there for military widows seemed so candy coated and cheesy. I wanted to film a documentary that was more raw and candid. I called the only other military widow I knew, Jessica, and asked if I could interview her. When I flew out to see her three weeks later, it was the first time since Michael’s death that I felt connected to someone.

There was an instant camaraderie between us. When I finished the documentary we invited 30 military widows for its premiere and to launch the organization. Rather than having counselors come and teach them how to grieve, we took them zip-lining, tubing, and really allowed the widows to get to know each other. I saw them come to life and I felt myself to come to life as well. And it all snowballed from there.

How are women changed by the Project?

We have so many widows that come to our organization and right from the get-go say “please don’t call me a widow.” We try and let them know that the title didn’t have to be this ugly word; that it could embody the sacrifice made by our husbands and ourselves. It could be a title that we could be proud of. But the only way we going to be proud of it is to embrace the word and make the world know that military widows aren’t a group of people we should feel sorry for, but a group of people we can learn from. We try to show those women this and by the end of the weekend, it’s amazing to see that change from women who originally said don’t call me that to embracing that word and screaming, “I’m a widow! I’m a widow! I’m a widow!”

Is there a particular story that makes you the most proud?

Tara had reached out to our organization two years after her spouse died in Afghanistan. During the retreat, she was very quiet and stoic. At the end of the weekend, she gave me a hug and asked, “Can I change my flight and stay at your house a couple of days?” She was a stranger, but she was a widow so I said, “Of course.” At my house, she pulled out her computer to show some pictures. Right off the bat, the first thing we noticed was that she was in these photos in uniform.

We asked, “Tara, were you serving out there with him?” and she said, “Yes.” She went on to explain that she was there in Afghanistan serving with her husband, when she learned he had been killed. When the helicopter landed at their base, she was the person to identify his body. After her time of service ended, she went straight into a military contracting job. When we met her two years later, she had never talked about her own story. She had a severe post-traumatic stress disorder and this was her first time sharing with anyone. Fast forward five years later, she eventually quit her military contracting job, now works for the Project and has become one of my closest friends. She has been a key component to our own program’s success.

What advice do you have for young woman wanting to make a difference in the world?

Don’t doubt yourself. I had everyone and their dog telling me not to make this organization. It’s the moment when we feel the most uncomfortable and when we start doubting ourselves that the biggest changes happen.

When people finish this interview, what is one thing that you want them to take away?

To ask themselves if they are truly living or merely existing. Sometimes it takes a catastrophic event like losing a spouse to learn how to live fully. I learned so much about living life passionately and with purpose from Michael’s death. I wish I had known it before.

What do you want your legacy to be?

I would want them to say that I made one person’s life a little bit easier. I’ve had over a thousand widows make my life easier by allowing me to find courage through them.

AWP Founder Speaks at Bonfire Heights

Bonfire Heights was created to encourage entrepreneurship and movements– towards social goodness. Each of us holds keys, and has the intuitive skills, to make real change. We are here to encourage leaps of faith, passion, and most importantly… COMMUNITY!

Learn more about it HERE and Check out AWP Founder, Taryn, sharing her story.

AWP Founder to Speak Alongside Tom Brokaw and Colin Powell

Chicago Ideas Week: Military: From the Front Lines to the Home Front, Presented by Chase and J.P. Morgan

About this Talk

Approximately five million Americans have served in uniform since September 11, 2001 and nearly half were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. How are returning service members adjusting to life after war; and how are veterans acclimating to civilian life? With a stellar lineup of military leaders, heroes and advocates, CIW explores how you can help those who put their lives on the line to fight for freedom.

Speakers: Major General Marcia Anderson, Tom Brokaw, Taryn Davis, General Stanley McChrystal, General Colin Powell, Paul Rieckhoff, Melissa Stockwell

Read More Here:
http://www.chicagoideas.com/talks/28

AWP Heads To Boston- San Marcos Daily Record

Members of the American Widow Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to this generation’s military widows, gathered recently in Boston, Mass.

The organization hosts events throughout the country uniting military widows to celebrate their survival, honor their loved ones sacrifice and provide a healing environment with others who share their journey.

The weekend was aimed at creating new bonds and promoting healing in a relaxed atmosphere at a vacation rental in Concord.

Activities included a day in Boston participating in the Boston Mad Dash and attending a Red Sox game, and a day in historic Concord.

In 2007 Michael Davis lost his life while serving his country in Iraq. At a mere 21 years of age, Taryn Guerrero Davis of San Marcos became a widow. In the wake of this tragedy, Taryn began to discover that resources were scarce for young military widows.

To reach out and support other young women who had lost a husband in service, Taryn began the American Widow Project (AWP). To date, the American Widow Project has served more than 1,100 military widows across the U.S.

In 2011, the AWP was recognized as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, awarded the Diane Von Furstenberg People’s Voice Award, and was a recipient of VH1’s Do Something Award. Founder, Taryn Davis, was also named one of Newsweek’s 125 Women Who Shake the World, Glamour Magazine’s 21 Amazing Young Women, and was nominated as Texan of the Year.  The American Widow Project is currently nominated as Small Charity of the Year for the 4th Annual CLASSY Awards.

 

 

Read More Here: http://www.sanmarcosrecord.com/features/x143111758/Group-holds-weekend-gathering-in-Boston

Overcoming tragedy and finding a purpose: Interview with Taryn Davis

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Not always. Sometimes one gets depressed or stuck or plainly ‘not over it’. Taryn Davis lost her husband when she was 21 years old. He died died in Iraq.

Talking about death is hard. I don’t know what to say or how to be with someone that faced a tragedy. When I was about to interview her I felt nervous. There was no need, really: Taryn is easy to talk to and fun. So please, don’t be nervous now to read about death – please read on and get some of the energy that Taryn has. She turned a tragedy around into service, love and purpose.

Nicole: Describe the moment you knew that you would like to create an organization to support widows.

The moment I decided to create it was when I had hit rock bottom. Living was an idea I was losing faith in but I knew I had to live for Michael until I found a reason to live for myself. The first step, I knew, would entail embracing the title I’d been given unwillingly: widow.

I went on to google for the answers. Typed in “WIDOW” and got the response, “Did you mean: WINDOW?”. That was the catalyst to it all.

Nicole: What is the American Widow Project. Why did you create it?

The American Widow Project is the first and only non-profit dedicated to serving the new generation of military widows through our alternative peer to peer programs created to overcome grief, embrace survival, and create a future. I created it out of my own necessity to want to survive my husband’s death in Iraq. My need to connect with those like me.

Nicole: What changed for you when you met other widows?

My life. They gave me a reason to live. They ignited my passion to breathe, persevere, and explore all that was before me.

Nicole: What’s the thing we don’t know about widows?

Their scars can’t be seen with the naked eye, but they are some of the largest wounds carried by those affected by war. Embrace them. Empower them. Learn from them. They understand how finite life is. They understand true love.

Nicole: Why did Michael want to serve?

He wanted to feel he was making a difference in the lives of others. He wanted to feel challenged and that his life was more then for just himself.

Nicole: What were your plans before Michael died? Did you have a career in mind? What was it?

I was a criminal justice major who planned on having a boring desk job that would suffice as long as I got to return home to Michael. We wanted to travel the world, start a family. Live and love with all of our being.

Nicole: It seems that you found a way to serve a cause bigger than yourself as well. Would you agree?

Undoubtedly. It is the goal that every human being should have.

A quote I always remember is:
I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody.

Nicole: What’s next for you and your organization?

Our main goal os to reach every military widow in the Nation. After reaching them it is our goal to provide them with resources and events that allow them to not only see that they can survive such a catastrophe, but thrive afterwards! Our goals are lofty, but attainable with the amount of passion behind it.

Nicole: How can people get involved? How can we support widows in our community?

Donations are always needed and appreciated, but our volunteers are just as necessary. Email tabbatha@americanwidowproject.org or visit: http://americanwidowproject.org/volunteer/ to find the best fit and use of your
talents to support the new generation of military widows.
To do what you love is to never work another day of your life.

Nicole: What was the best job you ever had? Why?

The job I have now: Executive Director of the American Widow Project. To do what you love is to never work another day of your life.

Nicole: Why did you say YES to speak at Bonfire Heights?

As humans, it’s necessary that we evolve, grow, learn, become inspired daily. Bonfire Heights is the sum of all those things.

CHECK OUT THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE.

AWP In Seattle- King5 News

by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News
Bio | Email | Follow: @MimiJungKING5

Even though they’ve never met, they feel like they’ve known each other forever. Among military widows, there’s an unspoken bond that ties them together. Losing your husband in a war is the kind of grief that no understands but them.

“It really is good to be around people who understand,” said Jennifer Funk.

Funk is one of 10 widows who are spending the weekend together in Seattle to remember their spouses’ sacrifices, celebrate their legacies and make new friends. They’re part of The American Widow Project, a national non-profit organization started by Taryn Davis, whose husband Michael died 5 years ago in Iraq.

“We’ve had well over 6,500 casualties, so at least from those conflicts, there are at least 3,000-plus Iraq and Afghanistan widows,” said Davis.

After her husband’s death, Davis felt alone. It wasn’t until another military widow reached out to her that she said she felt someone truly understood her grief.

Some 1,300 widows are now part of the American Widow Project and there have been 25 weekend events over the last five years.

This weekend, the women are staying in a house on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. They’ll be kayaking and zip-lining and enjoying special dinners together.

“Even though I’m quiet, it’s like going into a room with your closest friends and family, even though we’ve never met each other,” said Emily McGarrah.

Just 4 months after McGarrah’s husband Clay died in Afghanistan, she reached out for help. She said the healing will never end, but for a few days, McGarrah and the 9 other widows can laugh, cry and share the joy and the pain of being a military spouse.

To find out more about the American Widow Project, visit www.americanwidowproject.org.

Check out the video HERE.

SPIbelt Debuts a New Design for the “American Widow Project”

Mmall personal item belt (SPIbelt). were created by Kim Overton. Shewas out on a run one day, keys tucked into her bra top, and thought, “there’s gotta be a better way!”. She went home that night and sewed the very first ever SPIbelt. Year one the company operated out of her apartment and eventually moved into a warehouse where the manufacturing continues.
A portion of the proceeds from this SPIbelt� and SPIband� will be donated to The American Widow Project. For more information, please click here.

ORDER YOURS HERE