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March 25, 2014

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March 25, 2014

Life can be a challenge to children who are ill and have to deal with being different. The days we spend Camp Sunshine are the ones where I see my son Ian just be himself and so very happy. What can beat that.

More feedback...

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

Some

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?

2013

March 25, 2014

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1 previous review
November 11, 2012

My son has an extremely rare disease. Camp Sunshine is the only way to meet others with the disease. Our foundation partners and brings in the top doctors and researchers to make it a vacation, appoin... more

March 25, 2014

First off, I am not just a client served...I am a donor and a future volunteer.

My son has an extremely rare disease. Camp Sunshine allows him to meet with other kids who deal with the same issues he does. It allows me to meet other parents to bond with and connect with so we can
talk/chat/email/facebook in between our two year sessions with our hopes/fears/questions/experiences. Camp Sunshine is life changing. There is no way to truly put it in words. It makes more than a difference. It changes your world...though emotional as you talk through some of your emotions and find those emotions that have been buried for a long time. All this while your child is living a fun, safe and normal camp life. Siblings are well provided for as well. Please take a moment to look at their web site where you will see photos filled with love. The volunteers pour their love into each session. The employees are top notch and I could not say enough good about the on site counselor Nancy. If you paid her a million dollars a year, it wouldn't be enough. The sacrifice her family has made by working there is truly a Blessing for all of us.
November 11, 2012

My son has an extremely rare disease. Camp Sunshine is the only way to meet others with the disease. Our foundation partners and brings in the top doctors and researchers to make it a vacation, appointment with your specialist for your orphan disease, bonding with other families and hearing first hand in the scientific world what is happening. It is a take-your-breath-away experience. It is full of hugs and tears--both happy to see others, sad to learn the real facts and happy again to learn about hope. I can't recommend it enough. My goal is to come back as a volunteer.

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

March 25, 2014

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March 25, 2014

I've been volunteering at Camp Sunshine for over 5 years and it's consistently the best weeks of my year. The Camp itself has great facilities and treats all their volunteers with utmost respect and kindness, even going out of the way to learn everyone's name when thousands of us pass through there every year.

The families I've met have all echoed the same sentiment - that camp sunshine is amazing. I can only speak from a volunteer point of view but I know that I have witnessed communities of support come together and help each other get through this difficult time in their lives.

Volunteering at camp has literally changed my life and I don't see a time in my life when I wouldn't make the trip there at least once a year.
March 25, 2014

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1 previous review
October 29, 2013

Camp Sunshine is an oasis for us! Our family’s attendance depends on generous donors, grants and other sponsorships. To understand why it means so much to us, you have to know our story. After 13 ... more

March 25, 2014

I have told all of you before what an amazing impact Camp Sunshine has had on our family! Tacey has worldwide 'best' friends due to meeting them at Camp Sunshine. However, I wanted to share this with you so you have another testimonial of how Camp impacts others!

This is from Caitlyn
Harkness who lives in New Jersey. She is the young lady we flew to Texas for Tacey's birthday.

"I am writing an essay for my language arts monthly writing and I really wanted to share it because it is dear to my heart......"The one person who has influenced me most in my life is My best friend Tacey Raulerson. Tacey was born with a rare cancer called Retinoblastoma which left her blind in both eyes. I met her through a camp for kids with cancer. My brother was also born with this rare form of eye cancer about 7 years ago. Just because she is blind doesn't mean that will stop her from doing anything she wants. Her ambitions are high and this has shown me that know matter what tries to stop you in life you can always find a way around it, and succeed. Even though she is blind she still can text, and she even uses her ipod without any help. She goes to regular school like you and me.
Tacey has really influenced me in my life because even though she is blind nothing will stop her from doing what she wants. You can say she is sorta hard headed, which I admire most because know one can tell her she can't, because she knows she always can. When we are at camp she does everything that any normal kid would, she goes out on the lake in a boat, she plays the game where we throw mini bean bags into a hole, and she plays volleyball which is our personal favorite. Some times I forget she is blind, which I guess to me means that she is so willing and strong enough to want to do everything we do,even though it might be challenging, its almost like she is like a super human. Her strength and views on the world makes me determine to be a better person and to view the world in a better way. Most people would be to scared to treat her as if though she isn't blind, but I have learned that if you treat a blind person as if though they are blind they will be upset verses if you don't treat them blind and you push them to do something out of there comfort zone they will be happy with the result. Her letting me guid her and letting me help her has inspired me because she trusts me enough to guid her and to help her do everything that I do and its a blessing from god to expose me to something like this. It taught me that everyone is the same know matter your disabilities, they are all people who desire to do everything we do and is willing to do what it takes to live a normal life.
I've never imagined my life having such an impact from one person who has accomplished so much in such little time. Tacey has influenced me in two ways; she taught me know matter how hard life gets, it always gets better in the end. Tacey was sick for the first 7 years of her life, always in the hospital going through chemo and more chemo. she somehow though, always kept a smile on her face and always saw the positive in life. Words really can't described how she impacted my life simply because it was is a life changing experience that not many can say they have experienced. Secondly she showed me that you can truly look over someones disabilities. Again its hard to explain in words of how you can truly look past someone who has a disability all I can say is that a person is a person and thats all I see them as. In the future I really hope our world is able to completely change in a way that I have, being able to treat everyone as just a person, viewing them on there personality, and not singling them out because they are different. The one person who has influenced me most in my life is my best friend Tacey Raulerson."

Tacey I love you! best friends for life!!!!"

Thank you AGAIN for everything all of you do to make Camp Sunshine such a magical place!!!
October 29, 2013

Camp Sunshine is an oasis for us! Our family’s attendance depends on generous donors, grants and other sponsorships. To understand why it means so much to us, you have to know our story.
After 13 years of marriage, my husband and I elatedly welcomed our precious daughter, Tacey, into our
lives. Seven short months later, our world was again forever changed when she was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a very rare cancer that forms tumors in the eyes of infants. Despite a hard fight with chemo, radiation and other treatments, Tacey eventually lost both eyes to this horrible disease. Tacey is now 13 years old and the joy of our lives!
Being blind has not slowed Tacey down in life! She is a very successful seventh grader with extremely high aspirations in our local public school. She swims as often as possible and plays the piano and guitar as she sings songs she composes. In her free time, she also rides horses. She and her horse lead parades, carry the USA flag for rodeos and participate in many special events. As much as we dislike (or despise) this disease, it has made Tacey who she is today! That, I wouldn’t change for any amount of money!
So many times in life, Tacey is told she cannot do things because she is blind. Many in society often feel she must be protected even when she is very capable of doing certain things.
At Camp Sunshine, Tacey isn’t told she can’t do something! She is able to do everything all the other children do. She is allowed to shine in a way that builds her confidence and allows her to go back to face the daily struggles.
Dealing not only with cancer, but also with a ‘disability’ can be challenging to say the least! Having an amazing group like Camp Sunshine where our family can not only have fun together while leaving the cares of the world behind, but also to meet other families and share our experiences is very therapeutic and healing for all of us! Our friends at Camp Sunshine, from the staff, volunteer and other families, have become an extension of our amazing family! Spending time at camp and with our Camp Sunshine family is a truly priceless experience!

Michael, Tammy and Tacey Raulerson

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?

2013

March 25, 2014

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March 25, 2014

Prior to May 2006 we were a family that traveled often and wasn't afraid of adventure. Once my daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia our traveling came to a full stop. We were so afraid to leave the house because at any sign of a fever we had to rush her to the Emergency Room. Camp Sunshine brought to our family that sense of fun & adventure in a safe, clean, and fun environment. We have the best memories from Camp Sunshine. They provide families with a great program, support, an ER doctor 24 hours a day, excellent food, and daycare. Parents get to relax and participate as much or as little as they want. The kids have the best time without any reservations because of the carefully selected group of volunteers and staff. We have been to Camp Sunshine many times, and plan on attending in the near future. It is a family! Come and visit...
March 25, 2014

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March 25, 2014

My children and I were literally saved by Camp Sunshine. With little family support, we drove from Michigan to Maine in 2006 with no idea what to expect. We have met the best friends we will ever have, the nicest volunteers and the most amazing staff possible. It changed our lives, made living with my daughters brain tumor doable and enabled us to do so many thing to empower her and the rest of our family. I thank God every day for Camp Sunshine!
December 10, 2013

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December 10, 2013

“I Found HOPE at CAMP SUNSHINE”

I spent last weekend at CAMP SUNSHINE with my family. CAMP SUNSHINE is a place where my son Cole was able to enjoy his life before cancer and the harsh treatments he received stole his ability to run, swim, play, and laugh like all children should. CAMP
SUNSHINE is run by volunteers; mostly young people in high school and college. I have such great memories of Cole and his brother and sister delighting in this wonderful place together, but it also hurts me to remember that this was one of the last places Cole was strong and healthy enough to enjoy pain-free. After Cole died I attended a bereavement weekend there with my family. It was only a few months after my son passed away and it was agonizing for me to be there without him, at that time I was nothing more than a ball of tightly wound anger. I forced my way through that weekend hiding behind a false smile for Cole’s twin brother Troy and big sister Tara. They love it at CAMP SUNSHINE so I did it for them, but inside I swore I would never go back. I thought it would always be too sorrowful for me to return.

Awhile back my family was selected to attend another bereavement gathering scheduled for last weekend and I had no intentions of appearing but after weeks of pleading from Tara and Troy I reluctantly agreed. I am so happy that I did because on the very first morning there I was presented with a great display of HOPE provided by two young volunteer counselors named MaryEllen and Kim. For those that don’t know me well I am not a morning person. It usually takes me an hour or so and at least two cups of strong coffee before my mind and body get going. However this morning as soon as we sat down for breakfast in the cafeteria MaryEllen and Kim joined us and I was immediately showered with their energy and passion to help increase funding, research, and awareness for childhood cancer. My heart was suddenly filled with HOPE; here were two young women who were intent on achieving everything we strive for to help put an end to the monster that is childhood cancer. Throughout the weekend I witnessed an equal display of enthusiasm from so many other young volunteers.

There is a theory thrown around that childhood cancer does not get the attention it needs to achieve greater funding because the subject is just too dark and uncomfortable to think about. MaryEllen, Kim, Andy, Jarryd, Adrienne and many more incredible young volunteers at CAMP SUNSHINE proved that is a weak excuse. They face the horror of childhood cancer head on with unbridled love, compassion, and enthusiasm that is truly inspirational. They were not forced into this battle like many of us; instead they have chosen to take part simply because it is the right thing to do. This gives me HOPE that the generation that will follow us will not hide behind excuses or give up when faced with obstacles in the battle against childhood cancer. To all the volunteers at CAMP SUNSHINE I just want to say thank you for all you do and for giving me HOPE that the future will be brighter because of you!


Tony Stoddard

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?

2013

October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

Camp Sunshine is a truly amazing place. It is wonderful what a talented, dedicated staff and a bunch of enthusiastic, caring volunteers can accomplish for the families that are able to attend. It provides a magical experience for everyone who is involved and it gives each person the opportunity to give of themselves to another individual and have a real impact on the lives of others. I have served as a volunteer and am returning this weekend to volunteer again. I plan to return as often as I am able. It is a life changing experience.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase their funding so they are able to touch the lives of more families and volunteers.

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?

2013

October 30, 2013

more


1 previous review
November 25, 2012

The first time I attended camp was in the early 2000's as a camper; my brother had leukemia and we attended as a family three to four times. Camp is such an amazing place for families experiencing the... more

October 30, 2013

I have now had the opportunity to volunteer at camp four times and will be returning this weekend to volunteer again. As a former client served I cannot even begin to describe how much of an impact this organization has had on my family and my life. When we attended as a family my brother and I, the "normal" siblings, were finally able to find others that we could relate with and really, really talk to. My brothers and I have established lifelong friendships from our time as campers. I began volunteering last year by myself and was able to share the volunteer experience with my mother and my husband this year; I honestly inform everyone about Camp Sunshine and encourage volunteering or supporting Camp in any way. It is impossible to put into words how much Camp means to me, but I can tell you that I am constantly using my earned vacation and personal days to VOLUNTEER, if that shows you how amazing volunteering for this organization is.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more funding to increase the number of families and sessions

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?

2013

November 25, 2012

The first time I attended camp was in the early 2000's as a camper; my brother had leukemia and we attended as a family three to four times. Camp is such an amazing place for families experiencing these hardships to sit back, relax, and connect. I finally was able to give back and volunteer this summer and can say that volunteering is even more of an amazing experience. You can see the joy, hope and gratitude in the families eyes as they are able to have a normal summer experience. By the time the week was over I did not want to leave and jumped at the opportunity to come back, which I will be doing in about two weeks. I have also spread the word about Camp to ALL of my family and friends and can't wait to spread the joy and hope for the years to come.

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?

A lot

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

October 30, 2013

more

October 30, 2013

H'yall, I've been volunteering at Camp Sunshine since the late 1980's, and will continue as long as the car and the body make it up north, now that I am retired. Just love it. My short, but wonderful story: When I arrived at camp for a session this year, a small boy ran over to me with a huge smile and a big hug, laughing and saying "Jeanie, Jeanie, you're here again, and so am I." "Will you be with the 6-8 (year old) kids?" I answered "yes" and he pointed to himself, and said "that's still me." "Hurry up and come say hi to my Mom and Dad. They want to see you." "This is so really great," he said.

How can anyone beat that for a beginning of a Camp Sunshine session.... And this is what Camp Sunshine is all about. New families, returning families, and great volunteers and staff. All sharing a love for children and wanting to make it the very best experience for everyone.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There is so much good happening every session at Camp Sunshine that I doubt I would change the way it is run at all.

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?

2013

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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