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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Health, Health Care, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness. 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.

Results: Over the past 32 years, Camp Sunshine has served more than 48,900 family members from 50 states and 27 countries.

Target demographics: Just as an illness does not target a specific demographic, Camp Sunshine's programs and support is available to all families, regardless of economic or cultural backgrounds.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 750-800 families, or 3,000 - 3,200 family members.

Geographic areas served: National / International.

Programs: Families of children diagnosed with cancer, hematologic conditions, renal disease, systemic lupus, those who have undergone solid organ transplantation, and families of children with other life-threatening illnesses attend illness-specific sessions of varying lengths. Families have the opportunity to solidify their relationships and meet others facing similar challenges. Bereavement programming is also provided for families who have lost a child to the illnesses served at Camp.

Community Stories

87 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer I have never been treated so well. The staff appreciate the hard work that we do on behalf of the children and their families.
The camp is a happy place where kids can be kids, no matter what illness they are struggling with. Their families find others who know what they are going through.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer Camp Sunshine since 1998. My time at Camp Sunshine has been among the best of my life.i've seen some amazing things there and met some wonderful people. The staff and the volunteers there are genuine ,caring people, and some have become some of my closest friends. I believe so much in the mission of Camp Sunshine that I can hardly wait to go each year. Volunteering there has enriched my life ,and I'm grateful to have found Camp Sunshine

ajohnston100

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After volunteering at Camp for 5 years I took up an internship position over the summer working behind the scenes, and all it did was make Camp sunshine even more magical for me. Every single person, and I emphasize that I mean EVERY person, involved with Camp Sunshine is nothing short of amazing. Camp Sunshine to me represents a different world, one that I wouldn't mind living in forever. From the families to the volunteers to the staff, there is a great sense of family and togetherness that for me, only exists in one small piece of land in Casco, ME. If every other organization is rated from 1-5 stars, Camp Sunshine gets a sixth.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine is truly one of a kind. It is tough to readjust to the real world after being at camp, because it seems like an entirely different world. After five years of volunteering I have seen the long term impact of Camp Sunshine on families; how it represents a community to them, a place where they finally have the time to be happy again. Families and volunteers come from not only all around the country, but from around the world for this one of a kind experience that they will never forget. There is not a cause in this world I am more passionate about than what Camp Sunshine does for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. I would have given them 100 stars if I could have!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have volunteered at Camp Sunshine for the last 7 years and we look forward to our colunteer week each year. We love being able to provide a wonderful vacation for these families that otherwise might not take a vacation due to their child's illness. In all honesty, I think we get more out of the experience than the families do, we get to meet great friends, keep in touch with some wonderful families, watch children grow, and make people smile all while having fun ourselves. The Camp offers lots of activities for kids and adults alike, the staff is very hands on and involved, you can always find someone to assist you when needed, and the volunteers are attentive and top-notch. We have also given financially to Camp and have encouraged others to volunteer or donate as they could.

Anita8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Camp Sunshine for the last 13 years and each experience has been a gift to me. It is more that a week respite for the children and their families, it is like going back home. The camp staff, volunteers, and families stay connected and feel like a family. I heard parents remark that their children would rather come to camp than go to Disney World! It is a stellar organization that maximizes every dollar donated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was in May 1988 that my 3 year old son was diagnosed with Leukemia. At the time, Camp Sunshine was a very small camp but it was a healing place for my family. My son is doing well and he became a physician himself. I and my husband never forgot Camp Sunshine and we volunteered several times. I watched how the old staff and the newer staff are dedicating their time and energy to make the camp an inviting, warm, informative place for so many people. May Camp Sunshine continue to be there for so many.

Libby S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine is ONE OF A KIND!!! More than ever this world needs more places like Camp Sunshine to serve families! Their philosophy and commitment in "doing the right thing" and "paying it forward" far exceeds any other nonprofit out there!! THANK YOU CAMP SUNSHINE!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the blessing to be able to volunteer for a number of different organizations throughout the years including Camp Sunshine, Habitat for Humanity, The Boston Food Pantry and even a few organizations in Zimbabwe. Camp Sunshine has far exceeded all of these organizations for professionalism and overall organization. That, coupled with the concept of serving not only the ill children but also catering to the entire family of the children makes Camp Sunshine a truly unique organization. The experiences and relationships my wife and I have enjoyed at camp will stay with us the rest of our lives. Every session at camp guarantees us another lifetime memory and we look forward to serving Camp Sunshine as long as we are able to. Camp Sunshine is truly an amazing organization that we are proud and honored to be involved with!

Beth70

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started volunteering at Camp Sunshine seven years ago. To say that Camp Sunshine is the best place for families would be an understatement. Camp Sunshine IS the place to be for families going through difficult times due to illness. Camp gives families the opportunity to get away from the pain and worries for one week, and reunite as simply just a family. As a volunteer, I have met many familes and have kept in touch with so many of them as well. For me, I return every year because sometimes I need to be reminded of how good I have it and that children are going through things that I could never even imagine going through as an adult. The smiles, the laughter, the fun, the families, and the staff are what makes this the best place to be. This was truly a life-changing, humbling experience. I have learned so much from the kids. Unfortunately, due to illness in my family, I have not been able to go since last year, but it is where I will be this summer. Beth Gervais

Ally F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can never put into words how great Camp Sunshine is; not any words that do it justice at least. This place is amazing. Volunteering there has provided me with so many opportunities, and because of Camp Sunshine, I have been able to figure out a career path. Camp Sunshine has made me want to be an advocate for childhood cancer research and to hopefully be a PA for pediatric oncology some day. I would recommend volunteering here to anyone because it is an unbelievably rewarding experience. I have met some of the most amazing people here and have developed many lifelong friendships. The strength of the families is beyond inspiring and everyone should have the opportunity to experience the magic that Camp Sunshine brings to life.

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