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Jacoby’s Shield is a public non-profit healing organization that inspires and empowers the hearts of bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.
Jacoby’s Shield accomplishes its mission primarily through hosting Camp SHIELD family bereavement retreats. Camp SHIELD combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. Camp SHIELD will be an opportunity for the entire family to remember and honor their loved one, to grieve together outside of the funeral in a relaxed, safe and supportive setting. Families will be allowed to express emotions, share their grief, connect with others and learn positive coping skills.
Jacoby’s Shield was born from a tragic event. Co-founders Stuart and Xaviera Latta lost their firstborn son Jacoby in 2014 from injuries he received while playing on a playground. Although losing Jacoby is a tragic event, the Latta's do not want Jacoby’s life to be remembered as a tragedy. This is why Jacoby's Shield was created.
Jacoby’s Shield is unique. In the cases where a family suffers the death of a child, there are long term effects on the surviving family members. Children who lost a sibling have a mortality rate two and a half times that of other children. One factor is the emotional impact and its effects on mental health, especially in the short term. For parents, research has shown that losing a child increases the mortality rate in mothers more than a decade later, both from natural and unnatural causes. It increases the mortality rate in fathers, too, but only from unnatural causes. Child death is a profound loss for parents, resulting in elevated rates of marital disruption as well as depression and health problems persisting decades after the child’s death.
The loss of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare, and when a family member dies the whole family grieves and each family member needs support. Oftentimes the fathers grieve differently than the mothers. And the surviving siblings are “the forgotten mourners.” The strain on a family as a result of a death of a child is high. Jacoby’s Shield is unique in that in brings the entire family unit together to heal in a safe place with their peers, parents with other parents, and siblings with other siblings.