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Compassionate service

Chaplaincy works with local funeral home

Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy works with Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory in easing the grief of veteran and first responder families. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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To be compassionate is to see suffering and then work to alleviate it.

"It takes a deep-rooted level of compassion to train for and respond to the needs of those who are suffering at all hours of the day," explained Ben Harris, chaplain and executive director of Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy (TPCC).

"Chaplaincy is a living illustration of compassion."

Formed by chaplains in 1971 who served the Tacoma Police Department, TPPC's mission is to provide crisis support services to the first responders and citizens of Pierce County.

"Every single one of our 54 chaplains are genuinely driven to serve others in some of the darkest moments of their lives," Harris said.

A Christian faith-based organization, TPCC trains, supports and works alongside chaplains from all denominations.

After incorporating in 1979, TPCC began serving police and fire departments throughout Pierce County.

"Our mission is to provide crisis support services to and for those in need," Harris continued.

TPCC's chaplains assist victims of crime and their family members by providing help and support for the healing of the mind, emotions and spirit.

Annually, TPCC responds to more than 1,000 crisis incidents to include homicides, suicides, threatened suicides, fatality accidents, domestic violence situations, and the providing of in-person death notifications.

"While we are primarily focused on serving first responders," said Harris, "we do offer our services to everyone in the community."

Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory is a recipient of TPCC's acts of compassion.

"The chaplains at TPCC are exceptionally caring and compassionate individuals," commented Clarke Thomson, the General Manager at Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory. "They bring a sense of solace to those who have suffered a loss, and for that we are thankful."

Mountain View and TPCC have worked together for over 20 years, and TPCC values this relationship.

"Our missions and values bring us together, both on-scene and behind the scenes to show compassion to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one," explained Harris.

He went on to say that Mountain View has a particularly strong connection to the public safety community due to their dedication to recognizing and honoring the service of our fallen first responders.

"Mountain View has earned our trust based on their years of compassionate service, and they have been especially supportive of our work by providing us with space to conduct training exercises on their campus," concluded Harris.

Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy is located at 6312 19th St. W. in Fircrest. Its services are free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information about TPCC, call 253.564.7848.

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