I worked with the craft time. We could see the joy in their eyes when they finished a craft and could take it home to keep for themselves or give to family members or friends. We read to the children when they finished early. They could go to our library to read a book for themselves or ask an adult to share the book with them.
I first met Jeff Jefferies of Kids' Armor of Hope in January, 2012. My group and I were looking for a non-profit to help. The annual summer camp (Royal Family Kids Camp) and the leadership mentoring program (First Tee) that KAH provides to children in Hood County, Texas are wonderful ways to make a difference in the lives of children. Mr. Jefferies and the other volunteers work tirelessly to make these events repeated successes. They truly care about making a difference and helping to break the cycles of violence and abuse that many of these young people have experienced in their short lives. You know you've made an impact when children come back to camp year after year. You REALLY know you've made a difference when young adults come back to be counselors at the camp that benefited them so much in their younger years and helped them have a better chance at becoming productive and caring citizens of the community. Kids' Armor of Hope gets a big thumbs up from me!
This organization puts kids first in everything they do. They reach out to children whose life experiences have often been unpleasant and whose opportunites have been limited. I feel honored and fortunate to work with them.
Mark and Jeff are two of the greatest guys with hearts truly devoted to serving God and especially His children that are suffering in positions they have no choice in or control over. I have been working with them from the beginning and have learned way more than I would have ever imagined about the level of child abuse and neglect not only here in our County but all over. KAH's board members, volunteers, supporters and the two founders (Mark and Jeff) provide things for these kids that they would otherwise never experience, things that make a difference in their lives. Everyone works hard and it is great to be associated with a group that is focused on the stated goal of the organization and not hidden agendas. Supporting this group any way you can is greatly appreciated.
More than 10 years ago I was introduced to a children's camp called Royal Family Kids Camp. It was started in California by a couple who envisioned camps all over the country for abused and neglected children. The camp wanted to give kids a week of fun and to be "treated royally". It was built on Christian principles showing God's love through adults who would live with, eat with, and play with the campers and they would not fear punishment for saying or doing anything wrong. There is one counselor for each 2 campers so that they get personal attention and are not lost in a large group. Most of them have been sexually abused, but, as one counselor commented, "I don't want to know what happened to them, I just want them to have a week of fun and no worries. The counselors are all ages from 65 to young adults and the kids love them all.. The older ones most likely represent fathers or grandfathers they never had. The children are ages 7-11. We usually have 40-50 kids but are aiming for 85 this year. Each person who works with the campers has to go through orientation in how to handle situations with these children in crisis. I am involved in the crafts portion. Groups have different crafts like: bead jewelry, tye dye shirts, sand art, woodworking, etc. that each child can take home. There are also outdoor sports, swimming, fishing, making a flag for the soldiers, etc. The head of our camp are just 2 guys, one retired and the other one who resigned from his job to do this full time because they ":love these kids." The camp is now called Kids Armour of Hope but is still affiliated with the Royal Family Kids Camp. The camp is free for the children so the leaders are always thinking of ways to raise funds: golf tournaments, clay pigeon shootouts, banquets, etc. As with all non profits, fundraising is a big part of the organization. There are so many good organizations and I think this one answers a great need in our communities and has a lasting impact on the children. One girl wanted to come back and be a councellor and there is one who has come back to help. I might mention it is a 501 organization and donations are tax deductible.
I am a volunteer in the crafts/arts for the KIDS ARMOR OF HOPE in Granbury, TX. The willingness of everyone is to help this wonderful organizationand the children, year after year, is truly amazing. Wonderful volunteers spending their time, their own money (in many instances), taking vacations just for this time for our precious young children in our community is so rewarding and truly a blessing to all.
I have been a counselor/voluteer for 11 years at a Kid's Armour of Hope Camp. The worth of the camp held for abandoned, neglected and abused children can not be stated in financial terms. The staff love the children and the children love the staff. There is such care and concern for the enjoyment of the children. They receive one on one attention. They receive exposure to adults who have no interest in doing anything but making sure they feel safe and cared for. The preparation for crafts and entertainment is endless. Every thought and energy is to help the children know they can have a great time laughing and that they can enjoy themselves without fear. The concept of the camp is so clearly about the protection and enjoyment of children who have known neglect, abuse and abandonment. Without a doubt Kid's Armour of Hope shows a handful of children that there are people who can be trusted and offer fun and do not allow anyone to make fun of or belittle anyone. The fact that no child is left alone with anyone (two deep), for their protection enhances the protection of the children and the staff. The purpose of this group is clear, guided, well thought out and a definite need for children to have hope.
Awesome Group! They really love children and the children love them! This group sponsors many activities a year, such as, First Tee, Christmas Party for abused and neglected children, with a visit from Santa and gifts for all. They also provide a week long Camp for abused and neglected children, where they are treated like royalty. Only need to volunteer to help with one activity to know they are making a difference in the lives of children. Couldn't ask for a better group to team up with!!
I can not begin to express the experience I had last summer at camp. There have been experiences in my life that I can look back on as life changing for me, and this was one. I went in thinking how I can be helpful, but left with so much more. These children as precious and gifts from God. The other volunteers are so special and the people who put this together and work so hard to help make sure this can take place are working for the Lord. It shows. To know how much darkness there can be in our own backyards, it is awesome to see God's light shining on all the children at this camp and for years to come.
It is a task indeed to verbally justify the value Royal Family Kids Camp bestows on the children it serves. Harder still is it to communicate the blessing it is to serve in such a capacity working with the kids. The camp is basically a week of fun for kids who have essentially been cheated, in one way or another, out of their childhood. The kids love it, as do the volunteers. It's just a great week. Mark, Jeff and the other directors, are incredible. They have a genuine passion and love for the children they serve. If you are considering donating, I personally can't think of a better more worthy cause. Your money will be put to good, effective use by honest people seeking to enhance the lives of abused and neglected children.