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childhood memories

Organized by: Jake Donker

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THE STORY:

My name is Jake. I work as a resident manager for an adult rehabilitation center. In working with addicts on a daily basis, i have found a reoccurring theme in their childhoods.... neglect, abuse, poverty, turmoil. mostly painful memories. Most would look at my childhood and think of it as "a little rocky". There was alot of turmoil in my childhood. Many things one would struggle to get past. I dont consider myself to have had too bad a childhood. In my household there was alcoholism, daily fighting, some emotional abuse. When i look back on my childhood, those are not the things i remember. What i do remember very well is fishing with my dad, my mom taking us kids to the lake, my favorite spot in the woods my friends and i would spent countless summer hours. When i was 11, my dad saw that us kids were growing up quickly and felt he needed to make a memory with us kids before it was too late. I remember it like it was yesterday, my dad, sister and i were in the car driving home one day when out of the clear blue my dad blurts out "do you guys wanna go to disney world, of coarse you do... lets go to disney world". My sister and i laughed as my dad was always goofy, spontaneous, and fun... but far from rich. I believe it was the next week we were on our way to disney world. I had no idea at the time, but my dad was making a huge sacrifice. He cashed in his 401k to make this memory for us kids. It is the best memory of my childhood and the most prevalent. It is the best memory of my dads life, according to him. When i think of my childhood, that's what i think of. I think every child needs a memory like the one i have to carry into adulthood to outshine the struggles children and teens face. My idea is to raise enough money to send financially challenged families to disney world for a life changing, unforgettable week, for both the parents and the children. The estimated cost for a family of four is $6000, which would include everything a family would need to create amazing everlasting memories.

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Jake Donker

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