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Kids having fun at camp

Sending Children Experiencing Homelessness and Poverty to Summer Camps

Local Individuals, Companies and Organizations are asked to Support this Critical Effort

AUSTIN, TX (May 11, 2016) – More than 125 local children ages 5 through 16 who are experiencing homelessness or poverty will attend summer camps starting in June. Many of these children are living in Salvation Army Austin emergency shelters, and some are living at home but because of financial constraints would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend summer camp like other children. Camp is important for every child, but it is especially important for children who are facing great hardships. The Salvation Army is inviting individuals, companies, churches and organizations to help raise the funds needed to make summer camp a reality for all of these children.

Summer camp provides stability and structure in the midst of chaotic times for children. Activities include team building, swimming lessons, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports and games, studying nature and wildlife, talent shows, faith-building lessons and much more. Day camps for children living in shelter, and overnight camps for children from The Salvation Army service center run from June 13 through mid-August.

young boy happy at camp

“Sending all of our children to camp is a monumental and critical undertaking,” says Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director. “Without camp, they will have nowhere to go during the summer, and their moms won’t be able to go to work. Then if their moms can’t work, the families will not have the income to get housing and end the cycle of homelessness.”

In addition to providing wholesome and nurturing activities, sending these children to camp allows their parents to continue to work to provide for the family. While parents are working, going to school and taking necessary steps toward self-sufficiency and stability, they have the confidence of knowing that their children are being well cared for through meaningful and fun camping experiences.

One local donor, Anita Rodriguez, shares how attending Salvation Army camp many years ago with her brothers had a lasting impression on her. While her father was quite ill and often hospitalized, and her mother worked to support the family, she and her brothers were given the gift of Salvation Army camp. She donates regularly to The Salvation Army today because she wants to give other children the great experiences she had. Read her story and see pictures from her camp days, including a camp letter she sent to her mom and dad here: http://bit.ly/AnitasCampStory.

The community is invited help in the following ways:
· Donate online at http://bit.ly/DonateCamp2016.
· Text the word “LOCAL” to 91999 to make a donation of any amount.
· Donate by mail, and mark your check “Summer Camp”. Mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX, 78767.
· Purchase camp supplies and donate them at any of the four Austin area Salvation Army Family Stores. Get details here: http://bit.ly/CampForKids.

In addition to paying for camp registration, staffing and transportation, the funds will go to purchase basic supplies such as swimsuits, shorts, sunscreen, flashlights and all the small items children need to attend camp since these children may not have much more than the clothes on their backs. To learn more about the camp drive, visit http://bit.ly/CampForKids. The deadline for donations is June 15.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 127 years in the Austin area. Locally tens of thousands of people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org.

kids summer camp

Anita’s Story

As we continue to celebrate National Salvation Army week, we want to tell you Anita’s story.  Anita looks back to the three years when she was able to attend Salvation Army camp in the summer and what lasting impressions camp had on her.

Growing up in a poor, dangerous neighborhood, Anita and her brothers were not allowed to play outside because it wasn’t safe.  Their mother worked hard supporting the family and caring for their ill father.  “I remember my father being sick all the time…we spent a lot of our childhood in hospitals.”  When the boys started having trouble in school, a social worker suggested Salvation Army camp to Anita’s mom — a great benefit for the kids at no cost.  Going to summer camp opened a whole new world for eight-year-old Anita and her brothers.  At camp they were able to run outside and experience nature for the first time.  They learned to swim and fish, and Anita’s favorite activity was arts and crafts.

Summer camp letter from Anita to parents

Camp letter from Anita to her parents

Anita and brothers, with camp counselor at Camp

Anita and brothers, with camp counselor at Salvation Army camp

Anita and brothers at Camp

Anita and her brothers at Camp

 

Anita now owns her own business in Austin, and credits her time at camp for setting her on a path to success.  Years ago she received a Salvation Army appeal in the mail, and has faithfully donated since.

She said, “With the hope and joy that I still carry warmly in my heart for The Salvation Army, I decided thirteen years ago to pay it forward.  I donate to help send other children to camp so they can experience new adventures, grow, and have a little joy just as I did.”

Anita and her mom

Anita and her mom

“I’m grateful for what The Salvation Army did for my family.  It gave us hope…It made me the strong person I am today.”

 

Anita

Anita

Anita Rodriguez; Katrine Formby - Licarione Photography

Anita Rodriguez; Katrine Formby – Licarione Photography

Anita enthusiastically supports the work of The Salvation Army in our community and recently joined us, along with her friend, Katrine Formby, for our Doing the Most Good Luncheon.  Her faithful support ensures that many children like her and her brothers can have happy times attending camp even in the midst of challenging times for their families.  If you would like to help send a child to camp, click below to learn more.

kaylabanner

Learning to Give at a Young Age

Since the age of six, Kayla has been utilizing her birthday celebrations to collect gifts for charity.

Kayla is a part of the “small but growing group of children and teenagers who are engaging in charitable giving… at a time when most children their age are focused on sports, music or just themselves.” (Sullivan, The New York Times).

A few weeks ago Kayla Rogers celebrated her 12th birthday. Just like most kids her age, Kayla threw a party with friends, games, and gifts. However, the gifts her friends brought were not for her.

Kayla chose to collect and donate items to The Salvation Army Summer Camp Supply Drive. After hearing about the drive to help local children of homelessness and poverty from a family friend, Kayla prepared her party invitations, including a description of The Salvation Army, the purpose of the supply drive, and a list of items to be donated. Kayla, with the help of her friends, collected a number of sleeping bags, blankets, washcloths, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant, all to be donated to The Salvation Army. In the past, Kayla has donated items to the Williamson County Animal Shelter and a medical mission trip to Honduras in which her father and sister participated.

kayla

According to Paul Sullivan‘s article, “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others,” most times, the desire to give stems from family and parents as is the case with Kayla.

Kayla’s inspiration to serve others began with her sister, who, as well as participating in the aforementioned mission trip, was a volunteer for the Georgetown Ride On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.) which provides therapies and activities for disabled persons through interaction with horses. Kayla learned that there are others who do not have the same things as her and she wanted them to make a difference for them. This idea led to Kayla’s decision to forego birthday presents for the past six years in order to support others in need.

As well as being active in the community, Kayla enjoys participating in the Gateway College Preparatory Volleyball team, Honor Society, and UIL Oral Reading. In addition to collecting items for The Salvation Army, Kayla celebrated her 12th birthday by the pool with friends and playing kickball and volleyball. Kayla plans to maintain her birthday tradition in the years to come and continue serving both animals and humans alike, just like The Salvation Army’s mission to serve without discrimination.

kayla2

The items Kayla donated are with the kids at summer camp right now! Thanks to her donations, they are able to have a fun camp experience this summer and from the looks of it they taking full advantage of the opportunity! Thank you Kayla for your help and we hope you continue Doing the Most Good.

Sullivan, Paul. “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 July 2014. Web. 14 July 2014.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/your-money/teaching-children-philanthropy.html?_r=0

summer-camp-banner-news

Give Local Kids The Gift Of Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 2015 Camp Drive details, click hereGive Kids the Gift of Summer Camp

 

The Salvation Army Is Sending Children Who Are Experiencing Homelessness or Poverty to Summer Camp

Individuals, Companies and Organizations are asked to Donate Supplies

AUSTIN, TX (May 27, 2014) – More than 100 children who are experiencing homelessness or poverty from The Austin Salvation Army Shelters and Service Centers, from ages 5 through 16, will attend summer camp starting June 16. Camp is important for every child, and it is especially important for these children in our community who are facing great challenges. We need the help of individuals, companies, churches and organizations to give these children the gift of summer camp.

“As you can imagine, going to camp is big deal to local kids who are living in shelters or in poverty,” says Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director. “It’s one gift The Austin Salvation Army can offer them while their parents are busy each day working, studying or training to improve their employment.”

Summer camp provides stability and structure in the midst of chaotic times for these children. Activities include team building, swimming and swimming lessons, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports and games, studying nature and wildlife, talent shows and lots more! The camping experience lasts for 10 weeks.

There are two ways the community can help: 1) Purchase items (from the list below) and drop them off to us. You can do this as an individual, or you can organize a drive through your company, church or organization. 2) Donate online and we will purchase the items for the children. We are in need of the following for boys and girls from 5 to 16 years of age (all sizes):

Beach towels and wash cloths
Refillable water bottles
Swimsuits (one piece only)*
Caps and hats*
Athletic Shoes*
Backpacks
Beach bags
Water shoes and flip flops*
Insect repellent
Shorts*
Travel size toothpaste, toothbrushes
Travel size deodorant and soap
Travel size hand cleanser
Sheets, light sleeping bags, light blankets*
Pillows and pillow cases
Modest t-shirts*
Underwear*
Pajamas*
Socks*
Sunscreen (SPF 30)
Flashlights with new batteries
Floaties
Travel size packaged snacks

*We have the biggest need for children ages 10 – 12.

Drop Off Locations

Donations may be dropped off beginning May 29, Monday thru Friday 9 am to 4 pm at 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 231, Austin, 78758, or in Georgetown at 307 Shannon Lane.

Contact Us

Please contact Donna Clendennen at 512-634-5921 or infoaustin@uss.salvationarmy.org to organize a large drop-off or collection drive with your church, company or organization. The deadline for donations is June 11. Should you wish to donate by mail, please mark your check “camp supplies” and send it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX, 78767. For on-line giving: SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.

 

Salvation Army Today, August 1, 2013

Salvation Army Today, August 1, 2013

Featured on Salvation Army Today, August 1, 2013: a Family Store fire in Maryland, summer music camp, arts camp, and an update on the High Council 2013.

Doing The Most Good!