2020 has brought a year of hardship for all and grief for many. 1 in 5 children are grieving the loss of a parent, sibling or caregiver. And over 1 million children have been directly impacted by a COVID-related death.* With grief support needed more than ever, we must come back bigger and better in 2021 and meet the anticipated increase in demand due to COVID-19. To make that happen, we need your help.
From November 16th - December 31th, we are running a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Experience Camps. But this is no ordinary fundraising campaign. It’s also a way to share the stories of loss that so many of us have experienced. It’s a way to show grieving children that they are not alone. And to ensure that we can send as many grieving kids to camp in 2021 as possible.
We’ll be looking to you, our supporters, to join together to fill the funding gap created by COVID-19 and ensure that we can fund 1,200 campers to attend camp next summer. That’s a 33% increase from last year to help meet the demand we’re seeing for our programs.
You have the power to make a real impact in the lives of grieving children and have your friends and family rally around a cause that you care deeply about.
*Source: COVID-19 and Grief
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Now, about me;
Experience Camps are nationally recognized summer camps for grieving children, ages 9-17, who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or caregiver. We give grieving children experiences that will change their lives forever. With nearly 5 million children in the US currently grieving the loss of a close family member, the need is enormous.
Experience Camps operates summer camp programs in 10 locations nationwide, and provides ongoing opportunities throughout the year for support, connection and community. We reframe the experience of grief and empower our campers to develop invaluable coping skills that enable them to move forward with their lives.
Since 2009, Experience Camps has transformed the lives of thousands of children by bringing light to the profound darkness of grief. We offer a community where kids can laugh, cry, play, create, honor the memory of the person who died or forget the grief that weighs them down. It's a home away from home. And just about everyone will tell you... "It's the best week of the year."
As far as my story goes, I lost my sister Jenna just over 3 years ago. It is amazing to think that it was that long ago when it still feels so fresh. Jenna had an asthma attack when she was home alone and they were unable to bring her back. To make my loss that much deeper, Jenna was roughly 6 weeks pregnant. Jenna was a life long chronic asthmatic. One of the worst cases in the country in fact. Many doctors believed she would never make it onto a kindergarden bus. She laughed in the face of death for 3 decades, living her life her way, and never really giving a shit what anybody told her. I guess she just woke up every day with a "sweet, here is another one" sort of mentality. I find it difficult really, to actually, talk about it and usually cover my wound with a happy face and a positive attitude. I crack jokes and share insults about her all the time (She would do the same!) but, the truth is, it always always subtly hurts. I've been blessed though and found a way to heal, and in my healing I am helping others do the same. At 27 years old I experienced the greatest tragedy of my life, but i also found a life calling. Funny how thats seems to work sometimes. Greif is difficult as an adult, but i could not imagine it as a kid. I couldnt imagine being surrounded by my peers in school and no one understanding what i was going through. Sometimes i feel that way as an adult! Thats what makes experiece camps so special. This is a place where everyone has been through something similiar. A safe place where everyone can relate and share, free of judgement. A place that feels like a home in a way because you are not alone. This is the most special place I have ever been in my entire life.
I share all of this with you because I am asking for donations. Donations to help a child who is going through the unimagineable, find a little bit of light in this sometimes cruel and unforgiving world. Everything counts, every penny. I struggle to put into words the magic that exsists in this camp, but I am telling you with all my heart and soul it is one of the best things on this planet. Please help us out by donating to the camp so we can help more kids experience the literal BEST WEEK EVER!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!