We’re working to find alternative ways to help families
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of our annual summer camp program. The program has been in place for many years and uses charitable dollars to send the kids we serve to camps around our region. Last year we sent a record 145 kids to camp. But this year, because of COVID-19, we will send none. Most of the funding for our Camp program comes from our annual holiday appeal – the Tree of Hope.
We have been closely monitoring camp operators and other CAS’s who run similar programs since early March. Many camp operators have now cancelled. Many of our sister agencies have already made the decision to cancel. Even though COVID-19 re-opening may be around the corner, the new environment in which camps operate and most of all the timing of the Pandemic has made it difficult if not impossible to run our program this summer.
We have already been using charitable dollars to help families with things they need. Since January, we’ve spent almost $10,000 on baby gear, car seats, technology, food assistance and rent support for families who would not be able to get what they need without our assistance.
Our plan going forward is to do more of the same. These would be non-contact activities that directly support children, youth and families – everything from baby gear and clothing to online educational tools and books. We’ll be asking our workers to determine what families need and be creative with how we help them.
We’re saddened by this turn of events. Our years of experience show very clearly that Summer Camp is beneficial to the kids we serve. They get physical activity. They make friends. They get a chance to learn new things, especially about themselves.
If and when summer camp becomes viable and safe, we will start the program again. Until then, we’ll be doing the best we can.
We appreciate the support of the donors who have helped our Summer Camp program, especially through the Tree of Hope. We commit to do the best we can with your donations to help the families we serve. Thank you for your generosity.
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