Eight years ago, our family learned about CAMP TAG, a week-long summer camp for children with food allergies and their siblings. It was there that we first met Eleanor Garrow-Holding, the President and Chief Executive Officer of FAACT. Our daughter’s food allergy always made her feel isolated. Her allergy is so severe, that she had to sit at a separate table in the cafeteria. She could never eat snacks that were brought in for a class celebration or even take the bus to school. For the first time, at CAMP TAG, our daughter realized she was far from alone. We have returned to CAMP TAG every year since.
It is hard to explain how this week-long camp has made such an impact on our family. It is through this camp that my daughter has made lasting friendships that serve as her support system the rest of the year. As a young camper, she was inspired by the teen counselors who served as a great example of how they did not let their severe allergies stand in the way of success. Rather they became advocates for food allergies, authors, and teen pageant winners. This past summer, our daughter became a teen counselor herself. Camp TAG has helped her grow from the little girl who cried, asking why she couldn’t just be like everyone else, to a young lady learning to help younger children.
For families learning to live with a severe food allergy, it is an ongoing journey with new challenges at every stage. FAACT is the perfect companion to have on that journey. Each year I download their Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan. I receive their recall alerts and forward them to family and friends. I have used their FAACTs for Schools Program slide presentations to educate our teachers. I turn to them for valuable advice on epinephrine auto-injectors especially when there are recalls, shortages, and new devises. Just last week I used their School Field Trips Guide for the first class trip we allowed our daughter to take without us. FAACT advocates for those with food allergies so they can do the things so many take for granted, such as obtaining life-saving medication, attending school in a safe environment, traveling, and eating out safely.
This past year FAACT has provided our family with wonderful resources to work with our local public school to get a 504 in place for our son. The printable information is concise & a great layout for families, schools & community organizations.
My son is preparing to attend Camp TAG this summer & he is very excited. It will be refreshing to go have fun without a worry of exclusion or feeling different. He will be around others eating & he won't have to think so much about what foods are in the room. Those things make for happy times! We are thankful to Eleanor Garrow-Holding & FAACT for helping in our food allergy education & journey!
My daughter has attended two teen conferences and the bonding and connecting opportunities were stunning. The ability to be in a relaxed setting created to help the teens make friends, communicate and feel comfortable is priceless. Parents were able to connect, learn and share as well.
The event was amazing and we are looking forward to next year.
As a mom of 2 with food allergies, one being anaphylactic to peanuts and tree nuts, allergy education and awareness has been in a MUST in our world . I am actively involved in offering educational classes in their schools . The FAACT educational resources and curricula for students is a resource I regularly use and recommend to other allergy allergy advocates and families . Also, after having attended a teen FAACT conference 3 years ago, as long as we can, my kids and I will NOT miss one. Eleanor Garrow Holding has done a phenomenal job in creating a conference which encompasses education, compassion and inclusion for parents and kids with food allergies.
I have been a part of FAACT since the very beginning. I knew when I was joining the organization, I was joining the best non-profit organization for Food Allergy Awareness. FAACT focuses on education, advocacy and awareness for communities across the country. It serves to be a voice for families, friends and children who deal with food allergies in their every day lives.
FAACT has helped shape me into the confident young woman I am today. When I first became involved with the organization, at sixteen years old, I was embarrassed of my food allergies. I did not know who to reach out to or where to turn for guidance and support. I felt like I was alone. At twenty-three, I am a strong, confident and independent woman. I thank FAACT for that. They have provided me with a myriad of resources to help me live my best life. I am a recent MBA graduate who has traveled the world and I would not be where I am today without this amazing organization. They are like family to me and I will forever be grateful.
FAACT Has done so much for our family. From the many years enjoying Camp TAG, to all of the wonderful materials FAACT supplies to help us advocate in our own community for children with food allergies, they are an endless source of resources and assistance for us.
My oldest child first went to Camp TAG when she was about five years old. She had never known anyone else with food allergies until that time. Spending a week with adults and teenagers with food allergies was a life changing experience for her. Not only did she have a great week where everyone understood her needs and she didn’t have to worry about food, but she realized that it was possible to grow up and manage her food allergies. Having the opportunity to spend this time was life-changing for her, giving her a completely different perspective on her diagnosis. Over the years, FAACT’s Camp TAG helped her (and us all) realize that although she does have life-threatening food allergies, she still has a wonderful life and can live it safely and fully by learning how to properly manage her allergies.
FAACT has been with us every step of the way, and has provided resources for every occasion. Whether we needed resources for food allergy awareness week, or resources to help educate children and prevent bullying at school, or materials to help us educate teachers and other school staff members, FAACT has what we need. FAACT’s advocacy has helped us craft proper school safety measures and put then in place for my daughters at school. FAACT Is always the first resource that I think of when I need help with my children’s food allergies.
I am excited for everything FAACT will do in the future. There are so many things that food allergy families still need help with, for example flying with food allergies is still difficult because of unfriendly and unhelpful policies, and the lack of proper food labeling for potential cross contamination is very difficult for food allergy families. We need groups like FAACT to help food allergy families resolve all of these difficulties. Just last week, one of the food products that we usually buy all of a sudden had a cross contamination warning. When I called the company to find out exactly what the risk was, I was told that in fact there were no cross-contamination at the facility, they were just “taking every precaution”. This was Eureka bread but there are many other companies that do similar things, making it so hard for us to do something so basic to our needs - buying food. We need help with this, and I know groups like FAACT have our back.
My girls started at Camp TAG when they were so little, and now they are young women who have learned to independently manage their food allergies. My oldest is at Philips Academy, a private boarding and day high school, and she has navigated the transition to this next step on independence with confidence due to All she has learned. I know that her many years at Camp TAG, first as a camper and now still as a counselor, helped to give her the confidence and skills she needed to get to this point. My youngest is twelve and looks forward every year to Camp TAG, we’ve met families there that I know we will be friends with for a long time, and it never would have happened if we didn’t have FAACT and its awesome staff!!! We are SO GRATEFUL for everything FAACT has done for us over the years!!!
Through FAACT I have been able to advocate for my allergic child due to the vast resources available. They have been a great source when I needed additional help educating local restaurants, schools, and my community. I appreciate their hard work in all that they do.
Through FAACT, my girls were able to attend Camp TAG last summer and they will return again this year. The camp educated and empowered my younger daughter who is tree nut allergic. She learned how to advocate for herself, and for the week she wasn't the only one who "missed out" on foods. She also learned empathy for others whose allergies severely restrict their diet. My older daughter also learned how to help her sister manage her allergy and how to handle a reaction if we weren't around.
FAACT was also helpful to me when I had to fight our school district to implement a 504 plan. They provided references, advocates, education, and online resources that enabled me to get a plan in place to protect my daughter.
Thank you FAACT for all of your resources and continuing dedication to education about food allergies.
FAACT has been a great resource for my family. They provide helpful information about many aspects of living with food allergies, from education on what your rights are at school/work, providing recall notices as well as tips for eating out, among others.
My son attended one of the Camp TAG summer camps last summer and is looking forward to coming back again this year! He loves going to a camp where he knows that he will be safe and included. We are happy that he has an opportunity to go to a summer camp where the severity of food allergies are understood, and where he can meet peers that are going through similar experiences.
My son has been attending FAACT's Camp TAG since 2016. He has had so much fun and can get away for once and not worry about his allergies. I don't believe he would be able to attend summer camp if it weren't for Camp TAG. Eleanor cares so much for the food allergy community. She is sincere and compassionate in her advocacy. FAACT has been such a blessing to our family. We were able to attend the most recent Teen Retreat. We learned so much and met so many wonderful people. I believe this event will be extremely important to my son's ability to manage his food allergies while transitioning into his teenage years. I can't thank FAACT and Eleanor enough for everything that they do for the allergy community.
FAACT has been an incredible organization for my family. They continue to offer helpful resources for me in all the different stages of food allergies, babies to teenagers. From alerts for recalls which are so critical to a food allergy family, to educational materials for grandparents and schools. As a support group leader, Eleanor and the FAACT team helped our organization tremendously through hosting conferences so I could take back valuable education to our community. Grassroots through and through FAACT cares about our food allergic community and sees us as individuals.
FAACT truly lives up to it's mission of "FAACT's mission is to educate, advocate, and raise awareness for all individuals and families affected by food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis."
The founder has always taken the time to personally address my questions and concerns regarding various situations whether it be needing resources for an event, concerns about media portrayals, or having a general question. As a food allergy support group leader, I find the information on their website to be priceless. I love being able to educate someone newly diagnosed and having a credible link to point them to.
Most directly, FAACT gave my child confidence through their Camp TAG (The Allergy Gang) program. Camp TAG is something that my kids look forward to all year long. They loves that there is a camp dedicated just to those that manage food allergies and their siblings. The education they received built their confidence. The friendships they made, with "kids like them" has been priceless. One child describes it as "the best week I ever had. I felt safe there. I felt included. The people there are really nice. I can't wait to go back."