November 19, 2012
I began my Camp Sunshine journey at 17 years old. I am now 24 and can't imagine life without multiple yearly 3-hr drives to Camp. From the staffers who have remembered my name since 2006 even though I only go up a couple of times a year to the families who accept and embrace my help and sentiments and hope, even though I can't truly know what it is they go through, there isn't one thing about Camp Sunshine that's left me unsatisfied. Volunteering at Camp Sunshine grounds me - I leave grateful for my health, my family, my entire life. I leave humbled and admittedly, often heartbroken that these wonderful, strong, selfless families suffer. But it is things like Camp Sunshine that ease their suffering, or at least that's what they tell us, and in that I can find solace knowing that I've helped in the slightest. But - it isn't about my satisfaction or solace, it's about the families, and Camp Sunshine is quite simply such a stellar place full of so many worthwhile humans you can't help but become overwhelmed with emotion. Naming specifics of what makes this a "stellar" organization would take all day, but let me leave this short, inspiring anecdote: Last weekend at a bereavement session, there was a balloon launch, which is an event for families and volunteers to remember siblings, children, friends and loved ones who have passed away. I didn't have to furiously struggle to hold back my tears, as I feared I would have to, because even though there were many tears being shed, it was still a moment of celebration, albeit bittersweet celebration. As the graffiti-ed white balloons rose into the air above the lake, a toddler yelled to her sister to "Make sure you take a good look at it, I don't want you to miss any of my message." That's Camp Sunshine - it might be heart-wrenching, but you'll never be alone here and if you want to yell (or scream or cry) up to the sky, there will be a beach full of family supporting you always.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?