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November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

Our child was diagnosed at age 7 weeks. For months my wife and I faced obstacles and fears, one after another, in isolation. Camp Sunshine gave us the oppostunity to meet other families who are going through the same experience that we are. It allowed us to meet with and hear from the top researchers and clinicians in this field. It facilitated our getting the information we need to look after our son. It provided us with a support network without which this journey may have been too hard to travel. It alleviated our fears, helped us face and meet our obstacles, and made us feel that we were not isolated, we were part of a caring community.Thank you.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

Camp Sunshine's November bereavement session is the only place in the world that my family and I can be truly understood by being surrounded by other bereaved parents (and siblings) who have also experienced the loss of a child in the family. It's best described as "family away from family," "home away from home," and "Christmas away from December." We'd be lost without Camp Sunshine.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

I first heard about Camp Sunshine through a friend from college. Myself and 3 friends took a long weekend to go to one of the first winter sessions that Camp had held. The only way I can think to describe my experience is absolutely life changing. Just walking onto campus you immediately feel welcome and like you've been going there for years. Then you get to meet the families. How these kids, siblings, and parents make it through day after day astounds me. I left Camp after that first weekend feeling so grateful, humbled, amazed, and inspired....and I have returned every chance I get since then. The people I have met, the bonds I have formed, the relationships I have made, and the memories I have, have made an incredible impact on my life and will stay with me forever. I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to experience the magic that is Camp Sunshine.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

I have been a volunteer for 6 summers. There was a group of high school students from a school in Worcester, MA that showed remarkable maturity. It gave me great hope for the next generation. The Camp is an oasis of magic. From the three front doors of different sizes to the cooking crew to the different families that have been a part of Camp over the years, each year is breathtaking and incredibly life-changing. The campers and volunteers Ihave spent time with have been very resilient people. you would like to have them as part of your group of friends. There is a true sense of family at Camp, and that is another reason that Sunshine is so tremendous. Parents can relax and have fun without worrying about their ill child. The siblings can get attention they need. All can share and learn from each other.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

We attended Camp Sunshine in July 2012. This was a life altering week for our family. Our children are 2 and 5 months at the time and spent most of the day in the nursery being cared for by volunteers that were caring, gentle and kind. We spent more of the day in seminars and classes learning about our daughter's rare condition. We never worried about the children. One night we had to meet with one of the doctor's that was lecturing at 9pm to discuss our daughter. As the children go to bed at 7pm we were faced with the dilemma of who was going to go to the meeting and who would stay behind. This was a very important meeting so we asked the staff if a volunteer wouldn't mind watching them for us. Five volunteers came as a group to watch the children. The kitchen staff was also very helpful. They cooked my picky 2 year old her pasta from home everyday for lunch and dinner and my 5 month old was still able to eat his homemade baby food as they kept it in their refrigerator.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

How many ways can we, that are privileged enough to volunteer at Camp Sunshine, explain what the camp means? It is a chance to help others, yes. It is a chance to get out of our comfort zone and grow, yes. It is chance to meet many people we would never meet from all over the country, yes. But the most important part for me as a volunteer is being allowed to step into the world reluctantly occupied by cancer families. They let me help by accepting that I care, even if I can't really empathize for lack of walking in their shoes. Each time I apply to bring a group of teens from Harvard, MA or attend on my own I hold my breath hoping that there will be a spot for me. i don't care if I am weeding, shooting photos or handing out athletic equipment, I just want to be there. I am there to help and its my favorite place to be.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

more

November 10, 2012

We first learned of Camp Sunshine when we were on vacation in Wisconsin. Our daughter was diagnosed with Stage IV Ewingsarcoma and we decided to take a vacation. We camped at a Jellystone park and saw a sign get posted about Camp Sunshine. We signed up right away. We learned later that this was the first time Camp Sunshine was branching out and Jellystone was going to host. We were signed up for a session right after my daughters Make-A-Wish trip. After spending the week at camp she told us that she enjoyed Camp Sunshine more than her Make-A-Wish trip. Wow what a statement! This place was amazing and did not only good for her but helped our whole family through this torturous road we were on. We were very lucky to be able to come back several times. Allowing her to reunite with these friends that she made that understood what she was going through and no one judged her or looked funny at the girl with no hair because for once she wasn't the only one in the room like that. We always wanted to get up to Maine to see the original Camp but unfortunately, we never made that trip with her. She passed away in 2009 and our family was devastated. We didn't know what to do or how to do it. We were so lost without her. Everyone told us that we should talk to someone but we felt that no one really would understand. Plus, we couldn't find any groups that really related to our children. No support groups for a child that lost a sibling. Then we thought of Camp sunshine and what a huge help they were to us before and knew if anyone would get us it would be the people there. So we signed up for a bereavement session in Maine. What a sense of healing we were given while at camp for the week. Granted we are not completely healed and probably never will be but every time we are able to get into a session at Camp Sunshine we know we will enjoy a little bit more healing. Not to mention the closeness that we feel to my daughter while we are there. Infact, we all become closer as a family while we are there and are able to bring some of that home. I honestly don't know where our family would be without Camp Sunshine. We pray that people will not need to go to Camp Sunshine because that puts them into a category or club that no one wants to belong to but we thank God for the fact that there is a place called Camp Sunshine that is there for those unfortunate families that need that. Hospitals can provide some of the physical healing that is needed but Camp Sunshine provides the emotional and psychological healing that is so desperately needed! We are so grateful for Camp Sunshine that I am sure all who attend feel the same!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 10, 2012

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November 10, 2012

We made it to Camp Sunshine 4 weeks after our daughter had brain surgery to remove a brain tumor. The staff and volunteers were beyond amazing and the facility was fantastic. We were able to spend 1 week not worrying about anything but spending time with each other and making bonds that will last a lifetime. We will be forever grateful for Camp Sunshine.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

more

November 10, 2012

We started to go to Camp Sunshine many years ago for Renal Week, before the new facility. My daughter was diagnosed with renal dysplasia and polycystic kidney disease. It has been a very long road and with the help of Camp Sunshine the road has been easier. We have had the opportunity to watch the dedicatiion and hard work of so many bring this "best place ever" to what it is today. The staff are loving, caring and the hardest working people I've ever met and I'm humbled to know each one of them through these years. The volunteers are the absolute most giving, unselfish people that walk this earth and lifelong friendships have been developed with most. The "family" we have met and look forward to seeing in and out of camp is is a gift we cherish each and every day. A few years back a couple of mom's and myself wrote thes little jingle for one of the talent nights.....(to the tune of "Tiny Bubbles") CAMP SUNSHINE, IN CASCO, MAINE....MAKES US HAPPY, EVEN WHEN IT RAINS....MIKE'S A GOOD GUY, JEN AND BETH ARE GREAT TOO.....VOLUNTEERS...IT WOULDN'T WORK WITHOUT YOU.....BLOOPER GAMES, BRING OUR CHILDHOODS BACK, WITH A CHICKEN AND A HOOP AND A PAIR OF BOXERS FOR A HAT......CAMP SUNSHINE....IN CASCO, MAINE, YOU MAKE US HAPPY......YOU TAKE AWAY OUR PAIN. What else can be said? Camp Sunshine is the 'BEST PLACE EVER"

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 10, 2012

more

November 10, 2012

Clean, beautiful, loving, warm! This was our first trip to camp with the Shwachman Diamond Syndrome group. I think I cried and felt completely overwhelmed by LOVE and acceptance and a place to be safe and spoiled. Despite the heavy emotional load I felt, my son for probably the first time felt accepted and loved and had plenty to do. He was too exhausted every day to do all the fun night activities. The volunteers they have chosen are AMAZING PEOPLE! Kudos to you Camp Sunshine! You do a fabulous job for so many of us!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

The majority of Camp Sunshine's 2,500 volunteers who give of their time annually come and volunteer for a week when the camp is in session. However, those with less time may contribute a few hours helping maintain the campus, assisting with mailings, organizing closets and activity rooms, gardening, etc.. Volunteer