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July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

The Heart Connection is an amazing organization that is filled with love and support. This organization makes a difference in the lives of the people that it touches. Through the many events that I've volunteered at for The Heart Connection, I can see how hard the staff, volunteers and supporters work for this organzation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

it's programs for children and families affected by childhood cancer.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

inspirational.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of SOOO many people.

Ways to make it better...

I would have known about The Heart Connection sooner so I could have been volunteering longer with them!

One thing I'd also say is that...

this organzation is truly a blessing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

The weeks I have spent volunteering at Camp Heart Connection have been amazing! To see Oncology Campers who have been so sick during the year thriving outdoors and to see Sibling Campers who are often in the shadows during the year get attention showered on them makes my year. Camp Heart Connection changes lives of both the kids and the staff.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The child who comes to camp with no hair and no confidence telling jokes and leading songs for the whole camp by the end of the week!

Ways to make it better...

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

Keep up the good work.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Everything!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Fabulous!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Bring more programs to other parts of the state and expand programming for young adult cancer survivors.

Ways to make it better...

Important people in my life got more involved with this program.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Iowa has a lot of remote areas that may have only one childhood cancer survivor in the whole county, while urban areas can have upwards of 100...providing services to all must be a challange.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Camp Heart Connecion is always the best week ever.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

more

July 31, 2009

I was introduced to the Heart Connection when my 3 yr. old son, Derek, was diagnosed with brain cancer November 2007. The staff provided a treatment book to help us keep track of all of the procedures, appointments, doctors, and medicines he would need for the next 16 months. Later the Heart Connection further help our family by allowing our daughter 6 yr old Jenna to go to camp with other siblings with the same experiences as her. She realized she was not alone and it allowed her to escape from the realities of cancer and enjoy being a child. She is anxiously awaiting camp this year and has already said she wants to be a counselor when the time comes. In addition, the Heart Connection has helped us with the creation of ClupHOPE, an organization fo parents caring for children in any stage of diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or rememberance. Families can meet and discuss the struggles they are facing with caring individuals who understand the problems, The warmth and caring offered by the Heart Connection is unsurpassed. Heart Connection events are a highlight on the calendar and always something to look forward to in the month. It is a respite from the stress and worries that treatment brings. It is an environment of trust, respect, fun, and love.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

creation of ClubHOPE to assist families.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their willingness to help children and families in many ways other than just the camps. The Heart Connection looks to the people who use their services and alter where needed.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best in the world. Always upbeat and happy and willing to help.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Touch even more children and families.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

more

July 31, 2009

I have been volunteering with The Heart Connection for over a year now and am very impressed with how they operate. Their cause is noble and their effect can be seen directly impacting the children and families that they serve. This is a very "hands on" organization and is well known in the community for the work that they do. I always feel that my time is appreciated and necessary to support their cause. Knowing that something I did helped make a sick child smile is just an amazing feeling.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Dramatically improve the lives children and families dealing with youth cancer.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009

The Heart Connection is such an amazing organization! They offer so much support for the families and all the activities and programs are top notch!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the smiles on the kids faces at every single event!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting to spend time with some of the greatest kids you will find anywhere!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do so many amazing things! I just can not even imagine how amazing that would be!!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

more

July 30, 2009

Our entire family has been involved with The Heart Connection Children's Cancer Programs since it's beginning. We have had campers at both the oncology and sibling camps. Our campers have served as staff and counselors. Our extended family has volunteered for 10 years at oncology camp and it is absolutely, the most rewarding thing I have done in my life. Camp and events provide so much to so many, fulfilling the NEEDS of whatever the camper/family is coping with. Every family member is effectived by this horrible disease and THCCCP addresses those issues. Camp staff is amazing and the campers are everyone's top priority. We have volunteered at events outside of camp, done fund-raising in our hometown and volunteered in the office. ALL have been wonderful experiences that make you feel good about helping these families.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

and through the eyes of children.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The young people, campers and staff.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009

I have had the pleasure of working with the Heart Connection since it's inception many years ago. My original role was as a staff nurse for our onoclogy camp. To watch a child with cancer go swimming, horse-back riding, climbing "the wall", dancing with a new best friend or love is just amazing!! For many of them, it's the first venture back to "normal" life. Later I have become both a financial supporter, and more importantly an advocate for making sure that all of our families know about the wonderful programs that The Heart Connection provides for them. We receive a wonderful treatment notebook that we simply fill in with the appropriate pages for each child's care plan that I hand out to families at the time of diagnosis. Our parents love having everything in one organized space. Some of our kids actually look forward to painful procedures because they get a new bead for their necklace through the Beads for Bravery program that the Heart Connection funds and supports. I've had the pleasure of attending several family camps as a leader for parental group sessions wherein not only the child with cancer, but the entire family get to experience the camp expericence and weekend of fun. The siblings of our children with cancer look forward to attending camp year after year. They are made to feel very special for a whole week and the focus of attention is on the sib rather than the ill child. New programs looking at support groups for the parents and sibs in the commumity, looking at issues of long-term survivorship, and just providing special experiences for our children with cancer are in the beginning phase. The most wonderful thing about the Heart Connection is that they provide all these services to our families at NO COST. Many of them are very financially strapped to make ends meet with all the extra expenses of bills not paid by insurance, extra travel and child care expenses, loss of income from one of the parents needing to quit working to care for the ill child, etc.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The smiles on children's faces while at camp, the stories they relate after the camp experience with gleaming eyes and happy faces, and the voices of support for each other that occur with parents at the family camps.

Ways to make it better...

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

Love to be able to hire the additonal staff to support new programs and serve the needs of those "kids" who graduate to being an adult by society standards, but are still very affected by their cancer diagnosis.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Everything!!! Mostly the smiles on the kids faces!!!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Phenomenal. Everyone is there for the kids and families.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Definitely expand the Longterm Surviviors' Program; reach out more into the local communities and provide more support groups for the kids, parents, and sibs; and have more family camps.

Ways to make it better...

My experience with this oragnizaiton has always been wonderful and so supportive of all our children and their families that are dealing with cancer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Expanding more across the state and looking at the issues of long-term survivors and providing support and help for that population that outgrows camp. This will require new programs and new funding.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

more

July 30, 2009

I started with The Heart Connection first as a Sibling Camper more than 20 years ago. What a wonderful experience it was to spend time with other kids that understood what it was like to go through the experience. The Heart Connection provides that support to the entire family and that is what makes them such a great organziation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the families they serve and it does make a difference

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the time with people that understand what the experience is

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

more

July 30, 2009

This is an amazing program I have had the pleasure of being involved with for over 20 years. As a sibling, I found a community who understood what my family was going through and other children who knew what it was like to be lost amidst the chaos of cancer treatment. Little did I know that 20 years later, many of my fellow campers would still be close and dear friends. That is the wonderful part of the Heart Connection; it is not only an organization that helps during the crisis phases of cancer. It is a community that remains in contact and will see you through not only treatment, remission, treatment, or (sadly) loss - but also graduations, marriages, children and more.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the smiles of campers as they pull up for camp and the friendships that continue each year.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the friendships developed and support received.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, energetic, devoted, and commited to the families.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Increase the number of families they are able to reach out to and extend the types of support they give to families at different stages of the cancer experience.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

more

July 30, 2009

Last year was my first year volunteering at Heart Connection camp. The experience was unbelievable: a whole week of sharing stories, meeting friends, and limitless fun. Camp truly gives children and families affected by cancer the opportunity to step outside the confines of illness for a while and just live.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

children's excitement to come back to camp year after year and the gratitude of their families.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

limitlessly energetic and enthusiastic. Devoted. Many of the staff and volunteers were previous campers, excited to pass on the gift that they received from camp to others.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread smiles to so many more families affected by cancer

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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