The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation was created in 1996 by Carol DiPaolo and her son Joey. When Joey was four, (1984) he was infected with the HIV virus from a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery. At age ten, Joey and his family attended Camp Sunburst in California which was the first and only AIDS related summer camp program in the country. Empowered and motivated by the camp experience both mother and son began public speaking in 1990 bringing AIDS education to parents, faculty, and students throughout the country. After becoming national AIDS spokespersons for several AIDS organizations, Carol and Joey decided to establish The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation (JDAF).
JDAF is a foundation motivated by compassion and hope for young people who are living in unforeseen circumstances. In 2000, Camp TLC was officially founded, as a vehicle to provide camping to youth living with AIDS/HIV. Being that the AIDS/HIV virus became a manageable disease versus one that took the lives of those infected, the need for programs that dealt solely with AIDS/HIV was diminished and as a result. Camp TLC went dormant in 2008. Recently, the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation teamed up with seasoned nonprofit professional Caroline Baumis and decided to bring her dream of bringing programs to children living in isolating circumstances to life.
Camp TLC (Together Living a Challenge). Camp TLC is an on the move camping program that delivers a week of camp to children living in hospitals, group homes, and shelters across the country at no charge to the organization. Launching in the summer of 2011, Camp TLC toured the Northeast for 4 weeks and brought camp to partnering organizations via a van packed with programming supplies and a traveling program staff. Camp TLC spent five days in each city and deliver themed-filled activities similar to those provided by residential for-profit camps. In each location we worked within the constraints of the facility and the particular physical or health limitations of the children. We are proud to say that in its first year, Camp TLC served the needs of more than 250 children and family members for 4 different organizations:
• St. Mary’s Hospital for Children located in Queens, NY
• Children Inn’s at the National Institute of Health located in Bethesda, MD
• Housing Families, an organization that fights homelessness, in Malden, MA
• Pine Grove Camp (children of shelters and migrant workers) located in Saratoga Springs, NY