Comfort Zone Camp
6606 W Broad Street
Suite 401
Richmond VA 23230
Mission Statement
Comfort Zone Camp's mission is "to provide grieving children with a voice, a place and a community in which to heal, grow and lead more fulfilling lives." 
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Alesia Alexander
Board Chair Mr. Rick Long
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cigna
Contact Information
Address 6606 W Broad Street
Suite 401
Richmond, VA 23230
Telephone 804 377-3430
Fax 804 377-3433
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1998
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $2,735,545.00
Projected Expenses $2,730,470.00
Comfort Zone Camp's mission is "to provide grieving children with a voice, a place and a community in which to heal, grow and lead more fulfilling lives." 

Comfort Zone helps transform the lives of grieving children by providing them free therapeutic services, resilience programs and ongoing support. Unfortunately, the death of an immediate family member is all too common. One in seven children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before the age of 20. The almost-universal response in children to a loss of this magnitude is extreme emotional isolation. This isolation negatively impacts school functioning, social relationships, and emotional and physical well being.  

To illustrate, children with unaddressed grief are:

·         5 x more likely to commit suicide (USDHHS, Bureau of the Census)

·         9 x more likely to drop out of high school (National Principals Association)

·         10 x more likely to engage in substance abuse (Rainbows for All God’s Children)

·         20 x more likely to have behavioral disorders (Center for Disease Control)

Comfort Zone Camp fills the void by providing children with the tools they need to manage their grief in a healthy way. We provide an ongoing, strong support network and multiple opportunities to tackle grief-related issues as they arise, increasing each camper’s likelihood of maintaining sound mental health and remaining positive contributors to their families, schools and communities as they transition into adulthood.

Children are not financially responsible for themselves and grief knows no economic boundaries; therefore all of our programs are offered free of charge. To accommodate the free price tag of our programs, financial donations and volunteers top our list of most pressing needs.
$55,000: 1 weekend camp program for up to 60-65 children.

$35,000: Volunteer screening and training costs for 1 full year.

$25,000: 1 day camp for up to 40 children and their parents.

$17,000: Facility rental for one 3-day camp

$10,000: Camper giveaways (t-shirts, theme pins, etc.) for 1 camp location for 1 year.

$5,000: Professional therapeutic services for 10 children.

$2,500: 25 camp application screenings.

$1,000: Travel scholarship and parent lodging for 1 camper/parent.

$500: The cost of sending one child to camp.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT: Volunteers are the backbone of our operations. In addition to the 15-20 volunteers that help each camp run smoothly, all campers are paired 1:1 with volunteer mentors (Big Buddies) throughout the entire camp weekend (approximately 65 per camp). Many buddies suffered the loss of a parent or sibling as a child and enrich the camper's experience through the sharing of their own grief journey. All volunteers receive 6 hours of training, and are thoroughly screened prior to camp.
TECH SUPPORT: To increase our reach and widen the comfort zone, CZC has recently launched the online community and bereavement resource, allowing us to provide a place, a voice and a community to bereaved people all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. $5,000 covers the maintenance and upkeep of this web site for one year.
Founded in 1998 in Richmond, VA, Comfort Zone offers free grief resources, resilience training and ongoing support to children who have suffered the loss of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. Our programs focus on the strengths of each child, empowering them to grieve, heal and grow in healthy ways. To do this, we implement a number of child-focused strategies. First, we offer age-based support groups that address grief according to each child’s developmental stage. Second, we provide children with individual mentors whose purpose is to set children up for success as they learn to manage their grief. Third, we offer services in a fun, safe, camp environment that helps remove the stresses of daily life. Fourth, we offer ongoing support so that children may continue to adopt new coping strategies as they grow into young adults.

Comfort Zone serves children from across the nation at locations in Virginia, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and through collaborative partnerships that fund Comfort Zone camps in additional communities.
Areas of Service
Areas Served

There are no geographical restrictions on our camps. Children are admitted from the entire United States and beyond. Camps are currently offered in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Our camp programs are also funded in additional communities across the United States through collaborative partnerships. When possible, Comfort Zone does offer travel scholarships and, when warranted, parent/guardian lodging.

Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Rick Long
Company Affiliation Cigna
Term Jan 2016 to June 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Kimberly Beck Ridgefield Public Schools CT
Karen Bouchard Racepoint Global
Steven D. Brown Isler Dare
Jill Coleman The Cameron Foundation
Toni Cook AECOM Technologies
Ginger Drysdale CPC Childrenswear
Elaine Haney
Carla Harris PwC, LLP
Dr. Mekel Harris Psychologist, author, professor
Rick Long Cigna
Chris Mooney University of Richmond
Josh Parsley Brown Distributing Company
Sue Paternoster Community Volunteer
Todd Purich LEGACYpsc, LLC
Elizabeth Sullivan VCU Healthsystem
Dan Tarantin Harris Research, Inc.
Andrew S. Weinman The Riverstone Group
Christine Williams DurretteCrump
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 11
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Alesia Alexander

Former CEOs
Mrs. Lynne B. Hughes 1998 - Mar 2010
Ms. Lloyd Osgood Oct 2010 - Aug
Senior Staff
Mrs. Amy Messer Director of Finance and Operations
Ms. Abby Moncrief AVP Program, Clinical
Ms. Jessi Schmale Lead National Community Facilitator
Mrs. Martha Schley Smith Director of Development
Full Time Staff 20
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 1600
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes

Our primary objectives are to break the severe emotional isolation children experience in the wake of a parent or sibling death, to provide an immediate and sustained emotional lift that will improve their quality of life, and to teach healthy coping skills that will assist campers throughout their lives. To achieve our objectives, we offer a combination of traditional camp activities, trust-building and team-building activities, grief counseling and individual mentorship.

Campers are paired 1:1 with dedicated mentors, or “Big Buddies,” throughout the entire camp session. Campers often come to camp starved for attention because the parent or guardian in their life is consumed with handling their own grief, and the 1:1 pairing model provides a dedicated mentor, friend and "anchor" for each camper. Many of our volunteer Big Buddies also suffered the loss of a loved one as a child and are able to add a unique element to the camper's experience through the sharing of their own grief journey. The matching process happens prior to camp, after campers and volunteers are thoroughly screened. Matches are based on compatibility of personality, grief experience, hobbies and cultural backgrounds.

Unlike traditional therapy, campers become members of a peer community where everyone understands their experience, and campers learn firsthand that they are not alone. Mentors and repeat campers model healthy coping skills, and new campers learn first-hand how to take personal responsibility for improving the quality of their lives once they leave camp.

After camp, CZC provides the means for campers to stay in touch with their mentors and draw support from and lend support to their new peer community through our secure online bereavement community and resource, Campers may also return to camp every year until they graduate high school, and after the age of 15, may return as volunteers.

Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success
When children come to camp and find themselves surrounded by peers who can personally understand what they are going through, they experience an immediate emotional lift at camp. Camp teaches them that it is OK to mourn their loved one AND continue having fun and being a kid. Mentors provide the safety net camper's often need to take the next steps in their grief journey while at camp, and our wonderful camp staff and volunteers provide the framework for the amazing amount of fun campers will have.
Long Term Success
Children are taught individualized, healthy coping skills to manage their grief, and are provided with an ongoing support network and multiple opportunites to address grief episodes as they arise. Children may return to camp once per year until they graduate high school, and may stay connected to their camp community throughout the year on
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $2,735,545.00
Projected Expenses $2,730,470.00
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$769,455$2,573,354$1,442,173
Investment Income, Net of Losses$145$6,412$14,838
Membership Dues------
Special Events$135,810$224,826$343,253
Revenue In-Kind--$6,381$258,393
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$888,128$2,214,483$2,335,395
Administration Expense$72,684$131,797$307,488
Fundraising Expense$209,358$564,359$640,275
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.790.980.83
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%76%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue23%20%26%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$563,237$775,216$996,062
Current Assets$313,966$605,612$412,026
Long-Term Liabilities$1,341$0$7,177
Current Liabilities$275,277$241,807$391,525
Total Net Assets$286,619$533,409$597,360
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.142.501.05
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%1%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application Confirmation 12/2015View
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 and audit prepared by Lane & Associates, P.C.
  • Financial information provided by audit