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Burned Children Recovery Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Ambulatory & Primary Health Care, Health

Mission: Providing Hope and New Beginnings to Burned Children since 1989, We Let no Child Walk Alone

Results: The Burned Children Recovery Foundation has helped over 114,000 children learn how to live behind the scars and move on to a full and productive lives.

Target demographics: We serve low income families with burned children under the age of eighteen.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5000

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Burned survivors services: Emotional and financial aid to burned children and their family. Phoenix House: 10 Bed recovery center where burned children come and learn how to deal with what has happened to them after fire and burns have changed their lives forever. National Burned Children Camp Phoenix: Providing a fun and educational expireance for burned children since 1990. Fire safety education: Distributes 100,000 Fire booklets annualy and attends area Safety Fairs.

Community Stories

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Feike van D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization, run by amazing and experienced people that have experienced loss and grief themselves. Burned Children Recovery Foundation has a heart for burned children and their families, helping their journey through suffering and pain. They organize amazing summer camps where burned children and their families from all over the United States learn coping mechanisms and have shared fun activities. Next to the camps BCRF helps funding for children through medical treatments, accommodations and meals during specialist visits, have a place for families near Seattle for families to stay during their treatments. BCRF help children with school supplies, sports and activities, helps families that have experienced with Christmas presents for the children and much much more. Our family has experienced a tragic and devastated fire and BCRF has had helped us through and through emotionally and financially over the last 4 years. Michael and Kathleen Mathis founders and director have been part of our family since the day Michael reached out with the promise to help our family.We will always be thankful for what BCRF has done and continues to do for my family.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2008 I was on a group ride that went to the camp to support these wonderful kids. My heart was never the same! I have spent the following years bringing more riders and groups to this event and will continue to raise funds for them!

Bruce50

Donor

Rating: 5

Attended a biker event this Summer where the children could go on rides. The goodwill generated by the organizers, participants, and the children refreshed my soul and reminded me there is goodness in many.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't tell you what this organization has meant not only to my daughter who has had the priviledge of going to camp Phoenix over the past three years but to our family as well. While her scars are not as aparent as others, she has them both physically and mentally. Camp phoenix has provided her with such a nuturing environment as well as courage not to let her scar define her and a life long passion for what they do for others. She has already started planning for the day that she herself can come back as a counselor to pay it forward! Not only do they take care of these children whele they are at camp, but they nurture them through out the year, whether ist be with word of encouragement, a listening ear or assisting them with necessities along the way. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this group is and what they do!

KimberLeyanne B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to help other burn survivors, ended up being helped!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first encounter w/BCRF was in the early 90's when Michael Mathis was still getting the initial idea of a camp going. I was introduced to Michael as someone who could help in the camp. I was a young Elementary Ed/ Pre-Nursing major just looking to get involved, & maybe help in the changing/ bettering of a few lives. Who could have know that i would be the one that had a life forever changed...for the better. I was in a house fire @19 days old & had been told my whole life by parents, teachers, & even some "friends" that i would never be anyone or amount to anything, i was told my dreams- especially of nursing were ridiculous & that i should hide my ugliness away from the world. I had been in a few abusive relationships because i'd been conditioned to think that a girl that looks like me should take what she gets & be thankful for it. My 3 yrs @BCRF camp as well as involvement in the foundation itself gave me a new perspective on life & on being me. As i listened to my campers stories & offered them advice & support i realized that the only way i could truly be a role-model was to heed my own words. I began to change my outlook as i encouraged others to do the same. As a counselor i was rewarded w/the same amount of love, respect, & inspiring confidence boosts that i had intended to give- receiving was a prize i never expected. I will never forget the year a Shriner's Hospital nurse, that i'd had care from, told me to complete my nursing & let me help out in the Nurse area when needed. My time w/BCRF outside of camp has been more of the same; cheered on to finish school, follow my heart, & put myself in positive alliances. On a personal note, seeing Michael in his role as father also silently evolved my thinking, i had been told not to have children because "some-one like me" would bring a child only emotional turmoil & that child would be ashamed having to always "explain me" to friends. Today, i am a nurse (graduated w/honors & recipient of various awards in my field), i am a confident mother of a wonderful, bright, & healthy boy, & i am in a position of enough self-confidence that i choose to surround myself w/only positive associations. The only thing missing is for me to return to camp as a nurse, now that i've relocated back to WA State i see this as another reality via BCRF. Would i be this accomplished without Michael Mathis & Burned Children Recovery Foundation? I honestly think not.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Burned Children Recovery Foundation: My family has had the privilege to volunteer during the Summer at Camp Phoenix for the past four years. It is a camp for children to be kids, they get to swim, play field games, challenge themselves with climbing obstacles, campfire songs and skits, see their friends and make new ones, etc.
The kids share a special bond with one another.... they were burned, survived and are thriving. They have spent time in the hospital having surgeries, recovering and then head back to school and at camp they get to share their stories with each other. As a counselor I get to see the confidence grow in these amazing children that week at camp and continue over years as the children return to camp.
BCRF raises funds to help the children and their families adjust to life after being released from the burn unit and coming home from the hospital and getting out there in life.

Volunteer Counselor- Rebekah

Selene M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Burned Children Recovery foundation works endlessly to fulfill their mission for working with children who are burn survivors. Clearly not only are their hearts so full of compassion and love they really understand how to work with children and families who have survived burns. Their camp "Camp Phoenix" offers a safe and fun camping experience for the children to be around their peer group - and feel they are not judged for their appearance and scars. I began working with BCRF 4 - going on 5 years ago and the experience has changed my life for the better. The ability to make a difference in a child's life as well as change my perspective and view of the world and the events in my life so I always feel a sense of optimism and positivity - is an incredible gift! I learned to better help my son, who is autistic, embrace his abilities instead of focusing on his disabilities. I look forward to many more years of seeing these children grow up and making incredible friends! -Selene

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you for providing this space to give feedback on the Burned Children Recovery Foundation. For several years my family and I have had the privilege to volunteer at this camp. We have seen first hand the survivor forward mindset that is instilled in attending campers and staff. It has been rewarding to include members of the community and the families of young campers, and to see their personal growth and reaching out to connect to the future and opportunities. Finally, we consider this organization to be one that unites people around the purpose of giving hope and love to young people who need it. The burns community is better for having the founders, the board members, and the whole camp as a small part of what the BCRF offers to survivors and families. It has been our honor to give, serve, and share supporting the BCRF with the Everett Firefighters Association for many years.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been the camp cook for the past 15 years for Camp Phoenix. It is a privilege to do so and watch these children grow and develop a strong survivor character over the years. Michael Mathis is a wonderful role model and the kids come first. The kids are encouraged to treat others as they would like to be treated, to see a person from the inside out, and to be a mentor for someone else. The camp is made up of children ages 18 and younger from all over the United States and counselors that devote their vacations to loving these kids, and some even traveling from afar at their own expense just to be there for them. We are a family!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent 2 years at Camp Phoenix in Washington State. It was a wonderful experience I plan on doing for years to come. Everyone at camps volunteers there time for these children what a humbling experience . I can't say enough of the time and effort that Michael and Kathleen spent for this cause. Thank you for the opportunity to share this.

Sincerely

Joseph M Rukse Jr

Halie H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Started attending this camp around 2009. I was burned when i was 3 years old and have been attending camp my entire life. The burn children recovery foundation has helped me grow for the better. Everyone who attends camp pheonix is my family and i hope they always will be there like they were for me growing up

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a 2-time burn survivor. Our firefighter son encouraged me to apply as a counselor at the Burned Children Recovery Foundation Camp Phoenix. It was an amazing experience for me as a burn survivor and counselor as well as the campers. I have been to church camp as a youth. I have been to Scout camp as a youth as well as an adult leader. I felt more love from the campers and staff at Camp Phoenix than from any of these previous camp experiences (and they were all good). I can’t wait for Camp Phoenix next year!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our organization has supported the BCRF and Camp Pheonix for 18 years now and not only does it have a direct positive affect on the children, it helps those of us attending grow as individuals. My oldest son has been on camp staff a few years and his younger brother now awaits eagarly to attain an age where he can work at camp. My entire family has grown through our participation with the BCRF and Michael Mathis. His vision and positive message for the children and others is life changing and I'm proud to continue to support in whatever small way possible.

1 Jennifer192

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't where my daughter would be today if it wasn't for Michael Mathis and his wonderful Burned Children Recovery Foundation. He has helped her so much during her recovery. She was having so many emotional hardships and Michael can relate so well being he has been in her shoes. I love what he does to help all these kids!!!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

What a terrific organization under the operational management of Michael Mathis and his very capable team of volunteers. As a member of the Board of Directors, I have witnessed - first hand - the compassion, wisdom, and (frequently) tough love demonstrated by the Michael and others. The BCRF serves a vital purpose in the lives of many burned children. They would like to do more and with additional resources, both material and personnel, they will. Unfortunately there is a dire need. The BCRF has demonsted an ability to use scarce resouces in a highly effecient and effective manner. The summer camp, Camp Phoenix, is well managed and tailored to meet the needs of campers. Phoenix House, the Foundation's year around office and operations facility is furnished to meet the needs of the yoiung burned victums who need and use the facilities. Education is our foundation upon which the BCRF is built. The BCRF makes every effort to educate the public in helping to solve this serious and growing problem.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my pleasure to work with the Burned Children Recovery Foundation for over 15 years and as a burn survivor myself, have found it very helpful. I was burned at 16 years and came across BCRF at 55 years of age. Volunteered as a counselor for many years and now am Camp director of the BCRF sponsored Camp Phoenix where we host 30-40 kids to a week of fun and discovery. Discovering why we relate to society the way we do. How to avoid anger filled confrontations. How to trust. And just being "normal" for a week, together. Michael Mathis has poured heart and soul into this Foundation and even at my age, I am learning more every summer about how we can affect change and understanding by processing together our hurts, disasters, joys and victories. Michael has helped us find the tools needed to unlock our lives from fear and shame, to find we are powerful in our brokenness. This Foundation works!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Michael Mathis has put together a top notch foundation for Washington State. BCRF has given the burn survivors a place to heal, learn, grow, and most of all be equal with their peers. I have had the opportunity to be a camp conselor for the past five years. I am truly amazed at the environment that is created by Michael and his staff to help the burn survivors from all over the United States. When the world turns their backs on these children because of their scars, the BCRF loves them and gives them hope once again. Michael Mathis walked a life alone as a burn suvivor, his vision is to never let this happen to a child that has been burned.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and been involved with the Burned Children Recovery Foundation for about five years. Throughout this experience, I have had the honor to meet the most inspirational and loyal children. Founded by Michael Mathis, this foundation opens its hearts to those who need it most. Although I am not a burn survivor, I have been welcomed into this community and family and will continue to volunteer for as long as possible. I have truly gained so much from both my campers as well as the people who dedicate their time to making this possible. This organization does amazing work, and I am so blessed to be a part of it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Burned Children Recovery Foundation works tirelessly to help burned children and their families overcome this tragedy. I have seen first hand how Michael and the Foundation have transformed the lives of these children through mentoring and guidance. Camp Phoenix provides these children with a wonderful experience of having a week with other young burn survivors where they are not judged and they can share their pains and experiences with others that understand. This foundation saves and transforms the lives of these young survivors.

Jennifer186

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is has been my third year volunteering with BCRF, and I expect to be involved for many years to come! I'm simply amazed by what the organization offers to children and families that have been injured and otherwise affected by fires. In addition to the annual Camp Phoenix experience, Michael Mathis and his foundation offer emotional, psychological, and financial support throughout the year, including money for back-to-school supplies, Christmas break at Phoenix House, a shoulder to lean on and an understanding ear of someone who has been through the experience. As a counselor at Camp Phoenix and volunteer at Phoenix House, I've had the pleasure of getting to know many kids, and watching them grow from year to year. Many of them have told me what a huge impact BCRF has made in their ability to cope with their personal and social lives, school, family, and more. They describe the BCRF community as family, and Phoenix House as a home-away-from-home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Burned Children Recovery Foundation is an organization I have been involved with for many years. This organization is above and beyond any other Burn Foundation out there, helping the kids deal with their everyday battles and giving counseling and mentorship outside of camp. The changes in each kid is amazing from the time they get to camp to the time they leave. I have seen so many kids go from from troubled to grown individuals, through the help of the Burned Children Recovery Foundation. Michael Mathis has a heart of gold and his focus on helping kids deal with their scars and bringing them out into society helps more then just the kids. I have learned so many lessons to better myself, from learning how to truly love, gaining strength in myself and helping others do the same, respect, and about looking deep into someones eyes to find out who they truly are instead of looking at their outside. These lessons came from the kids at camp, Michael Mathis, Michael Brewer, and many of the counselors who have passed through to help the Burned Children Recovery Foundation. I will forever help this foundation in every way I can and believe it is the best place for all Burned Children to grow and become who they want to be. Hunter Chumbley II

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was burned when she was 16 months old and she became very shy and wouldn't socialize with people and kids because ev eryone pointed and looked. She met Michael and this camp through the shriners Hospital and it was the best experience of her life. She has gone to camp every year and is now 18 and wants to return as a councelor. This camp and the direction of its staff and board has made my daughter embrace her burns and help other people and kids as a result. She, Danelle, even wrote her collage term paper about this camp, Michael Mathis and the effect that they both have had on her life. I am very grateful for Michael and this camp and their continued help of children is a MUST! This staff is awesome, caring, supportive group of people who really make a difference in peoples lives for the better!

1 Karen141

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was one of the lucky ones what came to help out at camp, the kids are awesome, the other volunteers were the creme de la creme. When you hear teenagers telling of how Michael Mathis and his group helps them in their daily lives, not just once a year, it brings tears to your eyes. As a counsellor, I did not stop talking to the people once camp ended, we talk on the telephone, Facebook, and emails daily, and probably will for years to come.

Jon_9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This foundation is a beacon of hope for so many people. Mike Mathis has been a huge help to so many people in need from providing emotional help to financial. We all love and cherish him as one of our own family members as he does us thanks to everyone involved with this foundation God bless you all

2 Raniya S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a parent of a survivor who was burned at 1 years old. We have been a part of the Burned Children Recovery Foundation for a little over a year. I found the BCRF through an internet search. I actually thought it was a hoax! Upon initial contact I asked, "what services do you provide and are they limited to residences of Washington?" Michael Mathis replied, "what do you need?". We contacted other resources, but my daughter was denied due to her age and we had to call back when she is between 6-8 years old. Mr. Mathis begged to differ. Services are needed now and throughout, so he took us under his wing! The services provided are astronomical, from financial medical support, emotional support, a 24-hour support line, personal needs support, a week of camp, and the Phoenix House just to name a few. Most important is building self esteem and courage which allows the survivors to know their wealth and beauty in spite of their scars. BCRF goes above and beyond duty expected from mankind. From the phone call check ins, to texting, to chatting, sharing stories, memories, laughs, and tears...these things allow us to grow and accept life. Being a part of this family allows us to be accepted, loved, appreciated, grateful, and blessed. Although we have only been with BCRF for 1 year, the empathy, compassion, and commitment BCRF gives us allows that year to feel like a lifetime. BCRF allows survivors and their families the opportunity to see the rainbow after the storm, and and we are beyond grateful to indulge in its ray of colors!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This foundation has improved my two daughters lives greatly. They have shown them that no matter what life throws at you, you can handle it. I soooo love this foundation, that i try to do my as much as possible to help it's cause. Thank you mr. Mathis, for all you and your friends and family have done for Makayla and Destiny Henson. We all truly feel like family... If anyone has scares internally or externally, you definitely need to give this foundation a chance, your whole life will change. THANK YOU...

1 Bri C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Burned Children Recovery Foundation for 3 years and counting. Michael Mathis and his foundation are a true gift all people, not just the kids that have the benefit of going to camp. They do such amazing work to help the children recognize their true self and not be defined by their scars. As a person who has not experienced the daily judgement and odd looks from strangers, being involved with the BCRF has really helped me to be more compassionate and sensitive to people unlike myself. Going to camp and witnessing these children play and laugh and be free in a safe and loving environment is truly enriching and heart warming. I hope this foundation can continue to grow and succeed in being a positive light in the lives of burn survivors for many years to come!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Burned Children Recovery Foundation has helped several children to overcome the so called beauty of this world and to begin to find true beauty within. I was in a house fire when I was ten months old. I was sleeping in my crib, when a five year old lights a stuff animal. She left the room thinking she put the fire out with a blanket; however, the blanket held sparks. 43 percent of my body is burned, but the nonprofit organization helped me when I was a kid. This was the first year that I got a chance to come back as a counselor at the camp and it was amazing to see how the camp stills help the kids rise above. The camp and the phoenix house helps the kids realize how they are not alone and they have people around them that have faced the same things they have faced. The kids learn how to face the public in a respectable manner and not be insulted when the public face our scars in an unhealthy manner. I recommend this organization to everyone and anyone.