As many of you know, I had severe COVID in October, 2020, and have been recuperating from the lingering effects of the disease since then. I am one of the lucky ones. So many of our neighbors across the world didn't benefit from the excellent medical care, or the impeccable support system, or the boundless love and prayers, or the simple good fortune that spared my life. We have already lost nearly 3.5 million people to this dreadful virus. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers estimate that one of every thirteen lives lost to COVID results in a child under the age of 18 losing a parent. That means that in the US alone, 45,000 children have lost a parent due to this virus- forever altering the path of their own lives.
There is nothing we can do now to bring their parents back, but we do have ways to support them in their grief.
Experience Camps are no-cost, week-long, summer camps for kids between the ages of 9 and 17 who have lost a parent, sibling, or caregiver. These camps provide a safe space for grieving children to be among others who truly understand, and support these vulnerable kids within their camp community. Experience Camps were already experiencing a surge in applications in the years leading up to COVID. They estimate that nearly 5 million children in the US are navigating the loss of a close family member; the need is enormous.
With deep gratitude that I am here to celebrate my 50th birthday, please join me in supporting this profoundly valuable and necessary program.
If you are able to participate in my birthday 5K- either in person on July 10th or virtually before then- please make a donation in lieu of race registration fees.
If your life was touched by COVID and you were lucky like me, please make a donation in honor of those who were not.
If your heart hurts to think of kids marching through life without their loved ones, please make a donation in honor of someone who guided your way in this life.
If you're just sick of COVID, please make a donation reflecting the joy these kids are feeling to know that camp can take place again this summer. (Yay, vaccines!)
Thank you very much,
For more about Experience Camps, please read below:
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."
Also watch this great video (copy and paste into your browser):