In 2018, at the age of 52 my dad, Don Weidenfeld passed away from a spontaneous heart attack while on vacation in Park City, Utah. Dad was everyone’s superman. He would go out of his way to help solve everyone’s problems, could befriend anyone he met, and knew how to put a smile on anyone’s face even during the down times. He was my rock that would help me with all of my tough decisions and cheer me up whenever I was down. He is and always will be my hero!
When my dad died, I was a Senior in college at the University of Florida. During that Senior year, everything got a little more difficult from walking to class alone with one less person to call to just hanging out with my friends and trying to be myself. I felt like no one understood what I was going through and this added weight on my shoulders was holding me back.
It took me until I found Experience Camps, to realize I was not alone in these daily struggles. Experience Camps has provided me a tremendous community of support. It’s a place where we can all be ourselves and talk openly about our memories of our lost loved ones and moving forward with the added weight of grief on our shoulders. Furthermore, it’s a place where I get inspired from the bravery and courage from all the incredible kids. It’s a place of transformation through love, support and hope. At Experience Camps, everyone ‘gets it’ and no one is alone!
This coming summer will be my 3rd year volunteering with Experience Camps, and I can’t wait to go back and be with all the kids again! Additionally, I have made it my goal to bring a few new faces along with me.
This holiday season, I am fundraising for Experience Camps to raise money in order to bring more children to our camps next summer. 1 in 5 children in the U.S. will experience the death of someone close to them by the time they are 18 years old. In 2020 alone, over 1 million children have been impacted by grief due to COVID-19 related deaths. Unfortunately, the need for our camps are bigger now more than ever.
I would be humbled and honored if you would consider supporting this amazing cause on my behalf by donating to my campaign. Thank you so much in advance for you love and support!
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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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."