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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Camp Sunshine, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer

Mission: Camp Sunshine enriches the lives of children with cancer and their families through recreational, educational and support programs allowing them to share similar experiences and to participate in activities that promote normal childhood development as they cope with the challenges of childhood cancer.

Programs: Residential summer camp, family camp weekends, teen retreats, family support groups, teen retreats, teen support groups, educational workshops for children, teens, young adults and parents

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son fought a 5 year battle with Hodgekin's Disease and Camp Sunshine was there through all of it and beyond. They provided him a place to spend time with other teens who were battling the same disease and its side effects. Beyond that, they had wonderful day and evening programs throughout the year where camp friends from across the state could renew their friendships and catch up. They also had wonderful away programs like rafting trips, Outward Bound trips and trips to Washington, DC. He didn't make all of them, being too sick some of the time, but those he did make created memories beyond compare. When he died, many of his Camp Sunshine friends flooded into the funeral home, sharing memories and helping bare the burden of his loss. Then at his funeral they offered their own brand of comfort and encouragement both to other teens, to his family and to themselves. Later, when we were ready, we participated in a "Remember the Sunshine" weekend for parents whose children had died and once again were engulfed with the love and caring that make this a stellar organization.

Emily P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine is the best place to go in the whole world. i have been a canper for 7 (seven) years,and it has just been awesome. They work so hard to make camp the most fun. if i had a choice to go to camp or disney world or the beach, i would definatly choose Camp Sunshine.
I LOVE YOU CAMP SUNSHINE!!!!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mother was a nurse at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and for many years, she served as the nurse for Camp Sunshine. I have never been able to volunteer with Camp Sunshine, but I can tell you there is a very special place in my heart for this organization.

My mother was Laura Snitzer Boozer. When she passed away in 1999, I was only 13 years old. 12 years later, I can still remember the many patients who walked through the door for her visitation. Her patients meant the world to them, and it was clear that night that she meant the world to them.

I know Camp Sunshine is a special place because of the experience my mother had there and also because of the stories I have heard in her memory. It is an incredible thing to me that an organization can have such a profound difference in not only their clients' lives, but their staff's as well.

This many years later, I still use my Camp Sunshine license plate and wear the bracelet they had made for my siblings and I when she passed.

Camp Sunshine is a Great Nonprofit.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine has been amazing!! Everyone that we have met has been so great. My daughter has been going to the music class and other activities and I have nothing but great things to say about Camp Sunshine. I am amazed at their kindness and heart for service, and for my family to be able to have our daughter enjoy such fun things during this hard time in our lives is priceless.

We love it and are so blessed by it!!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine has been such a support system from the beginning to the end of my treatment. The staff and volunteers have become my "other" faamily. I am sooo thankful for the time they put into helping kids with cancer feel normal kids

Previous Stories
9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine has been nothing but a blessing to my family and I. When I found out I had cancer, Camp Sunshine was waiting with open arms for me. When I first went to Camp Sunshine I was immediately amazed. I didn't have to worry about being judged because I was bald or worry that people would see me as some kid who had a disease. Camp Sunshine does so much for kids who have cancer and there isn't anything that I could possibly think about changing. ~KCE

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Camp Sunshine since June of 2005. At that time I was a camper and had just found out that I was diagnosed with Cancer. Having the opportunity to get involved with Camp Sunshine early on has allowed me to share my experience with former campers and current ones. This past Summer I was Counselor for Junior week and was truly able to experience what this organization does for each of these children. Camp Sunshine is a place where everyone is the same regardless of their situation. It is a place that makes you forget that you are sick and the impossible is possible. Having the opportunity to know what it was like as a camper and now a volunteer is a blessing because I'm able to offer and share my story with these kids who are truly an inspiration. Camp Sunshine has done an amazing job making every child feel like they are on top of the world no matter what the circumstance.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a counselor at Camp Sunshine for 18 summers now and I cannot imaging a summer without it! But this is not the only week that I get to spend with these amazing children... I am also a nurse at the Aflac Cancer Center at CHOA, Egleston. I have seen these kids at their sickest moments and have held some of their hands as they take their last breath here on earth. Camp Sunshine for me is the largest dose of medicine to help me through those moments. It is the one week out of the year that I get to see these amazing children have the time of their lives, be themselves, and share that one special bond with each other... cancer. It is a place where I don't have to be their nurse, but their friend. Camp Sunshine is a place where we all (adults included) get to act our goofiest and it's completely normal. It is a place you just cannot describe to your friends or anyone else in the "outside world"... you just have to bring them and let them experience it for themselves!

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

At 16, my son's growing pains/ball injury turned into a Ewings Sarcoma (bone cancer) diagnosis. I can not begin to tell you in words the devastation of this news. So our journey begin and within 2 weeks we learned about Camp Sunshine from perky "Terri", an employee. Camp Sunshine truly did provide us a place where people understood this journey. They gave us rest and opportunities for support with other parents and children who were traveling the same road. My son could be with chidlren that understood what it was like to be crazy about handwashing because his immune system was low, or how it felt to be tired and throwing up from the chemo. There was no judgement....Camp sunshine was a rest stop along the way. One day my son was invited to go to Washington DC with Camp Sunshine..I was worried because his immune system was so low and H1NI information was flooding the media. I figured if I asked enough people someone would confirm that he didn't need to go. Well after asking about 18 people (from doctors, social workers, friends, nurses) and they all confirmed...Camp Sunshine is so together they will watch over him like I do..I let him go. They had a nurse on the trip and plenty of volunteers and Tyler had an amazing time even though he was in a wheel chair. I look back on that trip and see that some of the children on that trip last year have since passed away due to cancer. I have many other stories where Camp Sunshine staff came to the hospital to spread sunshine...they are just an amazing organization ... I am so thankful for Camp Sunshine...

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son was diagnosed with ALL in 2007, it has been a very long and very hard road. Cancer doesn't take a day off, every single day our lives that are effected. The children find it hard to just be a normal kid, but at camp they are just like everyone else, nothing strange, nothing they can't do, all smiles and high fives! Our son has made friends who understand him and his journey because they have gone through the same things. Nothing is more important to a young teen. We are so thankful that even after treatment ends in the beginning of 2011, he will have the opportunity to continue those very important friendships. He one day hopes to return to Camp Sunshine as an adult volunteer to make sure the kids after him have the same opportunities he does.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

How great to have a place where children who have or have had cancer can fellowship for a week and put their experiences in perspective. Cancer is part of what defines them but does not restrict their ability to live on. The volunteers are so wonderful with the kids. I have not a care in the world that my child is being cared for by loving and caring people. Thank you, Camp Sunshine!!!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son fought a 3/12 yr battle with cancer, most of his life. The one thing that made it bearable was Camp Sunshine. From the family nights & camps, to the in-hospital visits. The staff at Camp Sunshine became our extended family & they made a very trying time in our lives bearable. With CS we always had something to look forward to. My son LOVED Camp Sunshine, proclaiming he was "home" whenever he walked thru the door. CS gave us the opportunity to meet other families walking our path & unbreakable friendships have been formed. My son lost his fight. And at his service our CS family let us know how special he was to them. Camp Sunshine is a home away from home, an escape for families battling the unthinkable. I will forever be thankful to the staff for what they have given to us.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter developed Renal Cell Carcinoma while/because of treatment for her Rheumatiod arthritis. She has had a very hard year after surgery and multiple scans. She was able to go to Camp Sunshine and just be herself. She was not the kid at school with arthritis or the kid at school with cancer. She was just herself with no judgement. PRICELESS! Thank you for supporting her and allowing her the opportunity to make friends, friends that would not judge her. She came home I think more mature and some wiser from the experience. I saw a smile on her face like I have not seen in over a year. A relaxed child not worried about the next scan or blood draw. She saw her doctors in a new light and they saw her for who she is for the first time. I don't know if I will ever to really express how much I appreciate what you did for her and us as a family.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with cancer just over a year ago. He has a long road of treatment. Cancer has taken so many things from him. Before cancer he was an outstanding athlete. He was a wrestler and a baseball player. Thanks to Camp Sunshine he was able to do all kinds of activities and play sports again. He was able to shine. Thank you Camp Sunshine for putting the light back in my child’s eyes. Thanks for making it easier for a mom to once again let her child have the freedom he needs to grow.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I LOVE CAMP SUNSHINE!! they have hgelped me with responsibility, organization, and also with my self-esteem. i have gained lifelong friendships and left camp with more of an understanding that cancer IS a major problem. Being a camper at Camp sunshine made me realize that I wasn't alone in my battle. The activities such as the carnival and the mechanical bull rides gave me an excitement that i wasn't able to experience any where else. I have been to 3 differant cancer camps and feel as if Camp sunshine was able to grasp what Cancer patiants really need in their life including the survivors such as myself.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tell your story here and help others understand this charity Camp Sunshine is the most wonderful organization in the world!!! My son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor when he was 5, and he is now 15. Camp Sunshine is still is favorite place to be!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine has been a blessing to our family. My daughter was diagnosed with cancer just 1 year after we moved to Atlanta. We felt so alone as all of our family was so far away, but then we were referred to Camp Sunshine. From the first day we stepped foot into the Camp Sunshine house we became part of the Camp Sunshine family. In the short time that we've been invovled with Camp Sunshine my daughter has met some truly inspiring campers and has had the benefit of amazing Camp Sunshine staff. I can't say enough good things about Camp Sunshine and the wonderful staff that has touched our lives.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine has been a lifeline for us as a family. Their many programs bring us together with other families going through similar battles. Before camp my dughter was attached to me at the hip. She tried camp for the first time in 2008 and only made it one night. After going to family camp and a zoo overnight she spent the entire week last year !! Now she is already packing for this summer camp and she is sooo excited. We love Camp Sunshine, they are like a second family to us !!!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past 6 years I have served as a cabin counselor at Camp Sunshine. It has been such an amazing journey and I have to say that, for me, the best way to describe Camp Sunshine is through one of my favorite memories. One thing that camp does so well comes in really challenging the campers to be the very best that they can be. One of my campers had never been given the opportunity to learn how to swim until she came to camp. In order to pass a swim check the campers have to swim the entire length of the pool. After many morning of practicing, learning, and really pushing herself this camper decided that she was going to try to swim the length of the pool to get her coveted green bracelet. Our whole cabin just happened to be at the activity with us and as our camper started to swim the entire cabin ran beside her, in the pool jumping and screaming and cheering her on. This came without and prompt from the counselors - it was friendship at it's best. For these campers who are fighting cancer this is what a week of camp means to them. It is fitting in with other campers who understand exactly what they are going through. It is having someone else running beside you at the pool and giving you the extra push and encouragement to keep fighting. It is reaching goals and becoming the very best version of yourself possible. It is making memories that last a lifetime. It is finding happiness in an otherwise dark journey. It is truly learning to laugh again. I thank God everyday that these kids have the medicine that is Camp Sunshine.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Sunshine provided a place for our family to belong and relax during my son's 5 years of cancer treatment. Even after they encourage the children to keep coming. Best place ever.