JOEY DIPAOLO AIDS FOUNDATION INC via Crowdrise
October 10, 2011
BENEFITING: JOEY DIPAOLO AIDS FOUNDATION INC
EVENT DATE: Oct 07, 2011
Be a part of our 2011 Annual "Give Today, Change Tomorrow" Campaign and help make a difference in the lives of children we hope to serve in 2012. Our goals include returning to all 4 selected sites we served in 2011 and expand to 2 new sites in 2012 (CA and VA).
Camp TLC (Together Living a Challenge), a program of the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation, is an “on the move” camping program that delivers a week of recreational and performing arts camp to children living in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, and shelters at no charge to the families or organization we serve. It is our firm conviction that all children should have the experience of summer camp and the opportunity to be involved in programming that delivers hope to the situations in which they are living. Camp TLC believes that when children who are faced with emotional and medical disorders are delivered hope and happiness through quality programming, they are delivered a renewed sense of self-esteem. Here at Camp, we believe that self-esteem is what keeps kids living in a challenging situation alive, plain and simple.
Camp TLC launched during the summer of 2011, and “toured” the Northeast for 5 weeks bringing camp to 4 selected organizations in the states of NY, MA, and MD (National Institute of Health). Camp TLC spent five days in each city and deliver themed filled activities that were similar to what they would experience at a residential for-profit camp but worked within the constraints of the facility in which they are residing. Each organization worked with Camp TLC to develop a camp schedule that worked within the schedules of the families and children that they served. And in its first year, Camp TLC developed 3 programming models that served over 250 children and family members for 4 different organizations.
Camp TLC believes in the “train the trainer” method, and develops partnerships with each of the organizations that have been selected and not only works with them to implement programming that suits the needs of the population they serve but strives to provide them with the tools needed to develop their own camp program. Each organization selected has been given a 3 year commitment from Camp TLC and will be given the opportunity to learn from the Camp TLC staff so that they have the skills and connections to replicate the Camp TLC program using their own staff and volunteers.
Each year, Camp TLC will leave behind the programming supplies used throughout the session and connect them with resources to help bring their “inner camp sprit” to life. As organizations across the country face cuts in programming, Camp TLC is being welcomed into organizations as an additional source of programming for youth that is not only needed but extremely innovative.
And in the words of our friends at the Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health, the following was stated in their Camp evaluation.
“Camp TLC brings with them an infectious air of unity, understanding, and cheerfulness. They truly inspired The Children’s Inn community with their music and dancing. Children and adults alike took part in performances of their own, creating a sense of camaraderie and mutual support that not only lifted spirits but also increased self-esteem.
On the first day of Camp TLC, children were able to meet all of the wonderful staff members and view for the first time the well-choreographed dance that they would soon learn how to perform. During this camp session we saw a lot of personalities shine through. One Inn resident unexpectedly started to lead dances and encouraged other campers to participate as well. For those campers who preferred not to dance, they had the opportunity to join a different group and practice singing.
During the afternoon camp sessions, the Camp TLC staff ensured that all the campers enjoyed themselves by catering to their individual interests. Thanks to the enthusiasm and kindness of the Camp TLC staff, the campers felt supported and special no matter what the activity. This enthusiasm carried over into our family dinners, where the staff entertained the residents with their dances and songs. The highlight of the week was the talent show that Camp TLC organized. Each member of the audience was encouraged to participate and to the surprise and delight of everyone attending, performances were given by even the shyest of residents. From dances to karaoke songs, the talents and bravery that were displayed by residents at The Children’s Inn were heartwarming to all who were watching.”