Okay so I got some terrific news today! I connected recently with a camp I volunteered with while I was in college known as Special Days Camp. It's based in Michigan and was closely connected to Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan. It is a camp for kids who have or have had cancer and their siblings. They have a summer program and a winter program; I was fortunate enough to have been a part of both camps numerous times. I sent out an offer to Special Days to send them hats for their upcoming winter camp and they accepted. The woman I am in contact with said they are planning on 115 kids for winter camp and she figured that I probably wouldn't be able to send them that many hats but I would like to do just that!! So I guess by now you have figured out that they money we make from the bow sales is going to buying hats for Special Days. I would like to offer up this challenge to those of you who are supporters of this project. Please help me in getting hats for all of the campers at this years winter camp...if you are knitting hats for Christmas maybe you could knit a couple of extras or if you see a good deal on winter hats maybe you could pick up a few for our kids. If you indeed would like to help us with this mission, email me at email@example.com and I will send you my address.
Let me tell you a little bit about Special Days from my experiences. Special Days is the second oldest oncology camp in the world and was started by a father of a daughter with cancer. They have kids come from Michigan mostly but also from Chicago and Indiana; they are ages 5-18. Special Days does 3 different programs: they have Special Days Summer Camp for kids who have or have had cancer, Special Days Partners Summer Camp for the siblings of cancer patients, and Special Days and Partners Winter Camp which includes everyone. My first summer at Special Days was right after my grandma passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to go and be around a whole camp full of people with cancer given our family's recent loss. I was sure it was going to be so very sad...sick kids, sad stories, limited activities, etc. Boy was I WRONG...nothing could have been further from the truth. The kids who come to Special Days are full of spirit and energy, if they feel poorly you would never know it. These kids are treated to some amazing adventures...hot air balloon rides, horse back riding, small plane rides, swimming, tent camping, all sorts of things. There really is no sadness only joy and love. That's not to say that they don't acknowledge the reality of cancer, they do have a night of remembrance for the campers who lost have their battles but mostly that night is a celebration of the love that surrounds this camp. The campers are just wonderful. If they are currently on treatment there is a dedicated medical staff there 24/7 so those needs are always taken care of. I learned how much it takes out of a parent to leave their child who is battling cancer with a camp counselor for a week but I can assure you the staff take such loving care of these special campers and partner campers. Special Days is really a special place and I am so excited to be able to give something back to them. Special Days gave me a great deal of healing and hope that first summer and to be able to give back is really important to me.
Soo...if you are up for the challenge to get 120 winter hats (so they have a few extras) to Special Days I'd be so grateful!! If you are interested in helping, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
So, this month we have made a donation to Central DuPage Hospital's Cancer Center and on Friday will be making a donation to the Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital at Loyola! Pretty excited about that! We received a wonderful donation of hats and headbands from one of my cousins (thanks Jacquelyn) and we were interviewed for another blog - Tiny Blue Lines (thanks Chaunie). We are also getting ready for a sale of hair bows at St. Petronille Catholic Church's Christmas Craft Fair!! I have lost count as to the number of bows I have to sell but I'm hopeful we will be making a lot of money! If you are in the Glen Ellyn or surrounding area please stop by and say hello! Maybe pick up a bow or two! The craft fair is happening November 13, 2011! Things are going well and I hope that everyone who is reading this has a wonderfully fun Halloween! Thanks again for all the support!