Some of my greatest memories are those of growing up as a kid and taking family trips each summer. I can remember looking forward to packing our bags, shopping for new bathing suits, sunscreen and rafts and heading out before the sun came up for our road trip to the beach. OH, how that seems like a whole other lifetime ago – yet, the memories are so vivid of the excitement of it all! Sunburned noses, lazy days and fun food that we didn’t normally enjoy at home.
Vacation was family time. And, now that I have my own kids, I want them to have those same memories when they are adults and something they can pass on to their children. So, we make sure to plan trips each summer – whether it’s a bigger trip to the beach or a weekend getaway to a nearby town. We make sure to make memories.
That’s exactly what the folks at Camp Sunshine are doing, as well. Camp Sunshine, a camp for families with children with life-threatening illnesses, is a place where families can go and make their own memories, forget their troubles and have fun together. Camp Sunshine is the only program in the nation offered year-round with the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model.
The program is free of charge to families and includes on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement sessions are also offered for families who have experienced the death of a child from a supported illness. Such a wonderful place for those families with this need.
Each year, Camp Sunshine offers countless families the opportunity to put aside the stress and severity of having a child with an illness and just have fun. It costs $2,500 to send one family to camp for a week, but thanks to the compassion of people like you, these families are able to attend completely free of charge. Camp Sunshine is there to make a difference in the life of a family with difficult circumstances.
Here’s just a few testimonies about Camp Sunshine:
“I came away from camp renewed and ready to face the challenges that await me with a child in chronic renal failure… thanks to our time at camp I have an appreciation for life again and am ready to face these challenges. This generous gift (week at Camp Sunshine) has lifted the spirit of an entire family.”
“Our family desperately needed this time together. The smiles and laughter from my daughters’ faces will forever stay in my heart. Thank you for giving my children the happiness they wouldn’t have received anywhere else but here, and thank you for giving us a sense of peace, warmth and love here on earth.”
“Camp Sunshine is truly special because it focuses on taking care of the whole family. After all, not a lot of people realize it, but when a child is critically ill, so is the whole family, figuratively speaking”
This month, the folks at Tropical Smoothie Cafe will be hosting a National Flip Flop day to help support Camp Sunshine. National Flip Flop Day® is Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s annual holiday, every third Friday in June, when they celebrate their customers and raise funds to benefit their charity partner Camp Sunshine. All customers wearing flip-flops will receive a FREE Jetty Punch Smoothie from 2pm- 7pm and Tropical Smoothie Cafe will donate funds to Camp Sunshine.
This year, their goal is to raise $1 Millions Dollars – the same as their donation in 2015. And with your help, they’ll be able to reach that goal once again!
Right now, you can nominate your family or another to receive hope and support for a child with a life-threatening illness from Camp Sunshine!
-Nominate your family or another to receive hope and support for a child with a life-threatening illness from Camp Sunshine
-Inform nominated family they will receive an email asking them to fill out an official Camp Sunshine application for them to be considered
-Family must fill out Camp Sunshine application and return via mail, fax, or email -Camp Sunshine will determine families that fit the established criteria.
-Nominations for the contest will be accepted from 8:00 am ET on May 1, 2016 until 11:59 pm ET on June 30, 2016.
If you are interested in taking your own family, fill out the Sunshine Official Application here.