Alisa Ann Rusch Foundation and staff are immesurable blessings of solidity, knowledge, kindness and comfort in the vast turbulance of burn survivorship. They help make this would a better place for all.
I have been a part of AARBF for over 21 years now, and I am beyond grateful that I was able to get involved as a young burn survivor. Through the resources and programs AARBF offers, I have been able to gain self confidence and learn how to be comfortable in my own skin and out in the community. I have also been able to gain amazing life-long friends and have been surrounded by a family outside of my own family. Once I was able to, I was able to give back by volunteering as a camp counselor for Champ Camp (summer camp for burn survivors ages 5-17). In 2018, an opportunity arose to become part of staff for AARBF and I have never felt more like I am where I am supposed to be and where I belong. I truly am passionate and grateful for all of the work AARBF does for the community year round both in burn prevention education and burn survivor resources.
Working with this organization gave me a new purpose. I have volunteered all over the world, but my work with AARBF has been a peak experience based on the incredible mission, the people served, the deeply dedicated staff, and the legions of volunteers. Magic happens every time they come together (even virtually, when necessary) and the burn community is so much better for it (not to mention the gold-standard prevention education programs helping lessen the number of burn injuries)
The work that Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation does with burn survivors is beyond amazing; it is breathtaking and incredible. My son has attended Champ Camp and other activities of AARBF since he was 7 years old. He is 16 now and I think that one of reasons he has dealt so well with his burn experience and scars is his Champ Camp experience. The counselors, volunteers, and other staff know exactly how to make children feel comfortable being away from home, show them a great time, and really honor their experience as young people who are survivors. My son has friends from many places that have shared his experience; the counselors and campers alike grow close and develop a family. Another reason that contributed to his strength is the AARBF burn survivors support group that we attended in the first several months after we got home from the hospital. This was healing for my son, his sister, his dad, and for me. I cannot say enough about the importance of the work of AARBF. It has also raised my awareness of burn safety and of the importance of peer support. I am now a donor to AARBF.
Since my 2 daughters were in a house fire Christmas night 2006, they have had quite a JOURNEY.. the only time they CHOOSE to wear short-sleeves is durung champ camp (sponsored by the Alicia ann ruch burn foundation). Their burns are on their arms. Needless to say, the public is not always compassionate towards people who "look different" from them. My daughters were only 9 & 10 years old when they were injured. The experience of being around other burn survivors is so emotionally beneficial to them. They love champ xamp. I cannot express in words my gratitude to AARBF.. though you cannot see my tears, trust me when I say I am crying typing. Rhey are tears of gratitude to all the personnel, staff & counselors who have assisted my daughters in their acceptance of their injuries. AARBF is a caring organization, whose only goal is to assust burn survivor children. As my grow into young ladies now, I know that a large part of their daily journey gas been strengthen because AARBF has been a constant source of support for them. I could write forever if my gratitude. Saying "Thank You " would never be sufficient. Appreciatively, mother of 2 burn survivors
I have been involved with AARBF for over 20 years. During my time with the foundation I have experienced all aspectsof the Foundation's programs. I have been a Board Member, camp counselor and volunteer event coordinator and burn prevention educator. I have had the pleasure of teaching children - and sometimes their parents - how to Stop, Drop & Roll and other burn prevention tips. I have seen the difference that Champ Camp, a week-long camp for burn survivors ages 5 - 16, can make in a child's ability to accept themselves scars and all. Champ Camp allows children a place to simply be a child, enjoy all the things other children experience without worrying that someone may see their scars or comment on their lack of a limb. Champ Camp is one of the foundation's premier programs and brings together over 100 volunteers dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children burn survivors. AARBF is an amazing group of people doing amazing work everyday.
The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for burn survivors and promote burn prevention education in California. Celebrating over 40 years of service, AARBF works in partnership with local firefighters, educators, and burn care professionals to develop and deliver innovative, impactful burn survivor services and burn prevention education.