BENEFITING: CAMP KESEM NATIONAL
ORGANIZER: CAMP KESEM NATIONAL
EVENT DATE: Jul 31, 2016
Have you heard the term "ikigai" before?
Ikigai is the Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being"; the center of our lives where that which we love, that which we are good at, that which the world needs, and that which we can be paid (or volunteer!) for align. Essentially, the reason we get out of bed in the morning; a reason to enjoy life.
Camp Kesem is my ikigai.
Kesem is, by definition, a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent's cancer. A program of Kesem, Camp Kesem operates free summer camps across the country for children who have been touched by a parent's cancer. Camp Kesem is the only organization meeting the needs of the more than 3 million children in the US who have a parent touched by cancer. But Camp Kesem is so much more than a week at camp.
Camp Kesem is joy. Camp Kesem is resilience. Camp Kesem is hope, love, and laughter. It is memories, friendships, and strength. Camp Kesem is life-changing, and it is magic.
I joined Camp Kesem in 2011 when a group of dedicated, passionate student leaders and I founded the University of Minnesota chapter. Operating our inaugural week of camp to 44 campers in 2012, I was able to witness, first-hand, the remarkable impact of Kesem on both campers and counselors. Since graduating college, I have stayed as involved as possible, serving in a variety of roles with Kesem - from CIT Advisor to Camp Advisor to Senior Camp Advisor. I serve on two local Advisory Boards (Emory and UGA), review and approve camper applications, provide insight and strategy on the Camp Advisor Panel, and engage local alumni as an Atlanta Alumni Co-Ambassador. This summer, I will spend my summer as a Senior Camp Advisor, attending Camp Kesem UCLA, two weeks at Camp Kesem Ohio State University, and Camp Kesem at Brown University.
And on top of all of that, I will be running The San Francisco Marathon as part of #TeamKesem to help raise funds for this incredible organization. Crazy, right? Hardly. The hours of training, hundreds of miles, and countless ice packs on my knees do not hold a flame to the pain these children face, and the strength they maintain during their parents journey with cancer. 26.2 miles on the road seems like the least I can do for these campers, and counselors, who have done so much for me.
My goal is to raise $1,500 as a member of #TeamKesem. These funds can send three campers to a week of camp, completely free of charge. Please consider cheering me on with a tax-deductible donation to support this organization and the more than 6,000 children we will serve in 2016. It is because of donors like YOU, that we are able to change and improve the lives of so many.