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August 18, 2009

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August 18, 2009

For the past four years I have been a Medical Staff Volunteer for Yosemite Ridge Camps. I have had the pleasure of working at all the youth camps and some of the Family Camps. All these programs offer a wonderful experience for children with life altering illnesses and their families. The beauty of Yosemite National Park provides an exceptional venue for all the camps. Here the children learn that they can lead a full and rewarding life even with their medical challenges. They can enjoy all the fun of camp activities in a safe and supportive environment. They also have an opportunity to learn about their illness and how to improve their management through classes provided by specialist as well as share their experiences with peers who have the same challenges. These camps also provide a chance for the medical staff volunteers to leave their offices and hospitals, and see these children live outside of a clinical setting. To see that severe asthmatic climb up to the top of Vernal Falls, or a chid with seizures enjoy swimming with friends after he conquered climbing the rock wall. The smiles, the laughter, the joyous shouting of success or just plain fun are priceless.

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

watching the kids succeed.

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

exceptionally motivated and truely interested in the children we serve.

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

expand it's programs to serve more children and families and maybe able to purchase its own facility.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 14, 2009

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August 14, 2009

I learned about Yosemite Ridge while I was doing research on childhood asthma among Mexican-Americans in the San Joaquin Valley. The camp afforded me the opportunity to spend time with families and professionals who were dealing with childhood asthma, and especially those who were having difficulty controlling it. Many of the families had no knowledge about asthma before attending camp. They quickly learned about the causes and treatment of asthma. Maybe even more importantly they had FUN! So many children are overprotected when they have asthma. These children learned to swim, hike, ride a horse--even rock climb. And they love it!

The Great!

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

seeing low income children learn to control their asthma.

Ways to make it better...

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

focus some more on the role of food in controlling asthma. Make sure that fresh, organic fruits and vegetables were available at all times.

More feedback...

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

the people. The families, the staff...and of course, Melanie, the director.

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

committed, nurturing, experienced. They put their all into this camp.

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

solve the problem of untreated asthma.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed longer.

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

dealing with poverty. When the families go home they (at least some) still have to deal with the challenges of low education, language barriers, lack of access to adequate health care. At least this chance gives them a fighting chance...

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

Every child with asthma, including those dealing with the added burdens of poverty and stigma, should have a chance to learn how to control their asthma; as well as to PLAY in a safe, controlled environment. This camp--in Yosemite!--is amazing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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