I got to volunteer at Camp Ray of Hope this year (Summer of 2014). The volunteering experience has been life changing. Adriana, Tom and the rest of the leaders are making such a difference in the life of those children. Their dedication and commitment to the camp are outstanding. The children look forward to the camp all year long and they really value their time on camp.
Adriana Henderson founded STAR Children Relief Organization to respond to the unmet needs of children in Romania. Among the projects she designed and implemented, is Camp Ray of Hope, an award winning and highly successful special needs program that started out specifically for children with haemophilia and was later expanded to accept children with other blood diseases and cancer.
Modelled on the successful Hole in the Wall and similar therapeutic recreation programs, Camp Ray of Hope is an important moment in the lives of these children. They get to be just kids again while at camp instead of being kids with serious illness. For the children participating, it is a moment of great joy that they will take away with them as treasured memories. But it is much more. The children realise greater self esteem and self confidence while at Camp Ray of Hope and this literally changes their lives as they are better able and focused to face difficult moments at home, school or in hospital.
I first met Adriana in 2006 through mutual colleagues working with special needs children and programs for these children. I was immediately impressed by Adriana's tenacious enthusiasm to find solutions to what others found impossible challenges. After having visited Camp Ray of Hope to see first hand what Adriana is able to deliver on such a lean budget, I immediately accepted her offer to join her Board. I have been active in creating different international programs for children with special needs and found Camp Ray of Hope to be among the best.
Given that this is GuideStar, and many come here to look at the cost effectiveness of not-for-profits, it is important to emphasise that Adriana is able to run extremely cost effective programs that allow contributions to go directly to the end users, the children.
I encourage you all to take a look at the STAR Foundation and also specifically at Camp Ray of Hope (http://www.camprayofhope.org). Your contributions will bring the greatest possible impact to improving the lives of the children attending Camp Ray of Hope. Feel free to contact me at any time if you require further information. Best regards, Daniel Goldstein [email protected]