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Cynthia O.

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2 reviews

Review for The Painted Turtle, Santa Monica, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

They say that Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth. Not so. Just ask anybody who has spent anytime in any capacity at the Painted Turtle Camp. It doesn't matter if you are a camper,volunteer,staff, family of a camper or a visiter of the yearly open house. You will walk away a changed person. The love is evident. They staff and volunteers care for your children as if they were their family. I am always amazed at the energy of everyone there. We have been attending family weekend for about 6 years and our son attends week long summer sessions for about 4 years. We go at not cost to us. They have volunteer medical staff from some of the best hospitals not only in the area but in the country.

The camp experiance is alive and well at the Turtle. Camp songs are sung, goofy dances are the norm, laughter is a must, and good vibe is a rule. Fun is a serious buisness. And you and your kids are safe to be your silly, dilly self. Everyone has heard you get out of it, what you put into it. It could never be truer than at the Painted Turtle. If you embrace the madness and just let go and go with the flow you will have a life changing experiance. Every kids just want to be normal, more so for the kids with chronic and life threatening illnesses. And here they are the norm. No one looks twice at scars, ports, prosthetics. There is no taunting from other kids that medications are taken, that shots are given, breathing treatments are scheduled.

You get support not only from the staff but the kids support each other. I as a kid never went to camp and never thought about it. But if I knew camp was like the Painted Turtle I would have morned it my whole kidhood. I wish my son was 100% healthy, but I am so happy there is a place like the Painted Turtle.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Attending family camp weekends, and our son attends week long summer camp at no cost.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish that healthy siblings could attend summer camp. Healthy siblings are often in the shadow of the attention of the ill child.

Role:  Client Served & Attended family camp, and our son attends summer camp.

Review for Kids Wish Network, Inc., Holiday, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Kids Wish Network is one of the charities that our son and family has had the pleasure of benefiting from. Our son Drew was born with a rare disease, one that is chronic and uncureable. Having a child with a life threatining disease is life changing. No child should spend their kidhood dealing with hospital stays, scary and painful proceedures, the constant flow of strangers poking and proding. Childhood should be a carefree time, a time for play, worry free. But if that is not possible I am so very greateful for organizations like Kids Wish.
At first we applied to Make-A-Wish but were denied, even though we knew of other families that had the same disorder as our son being granted wishes. Our son did not qualify because he was not terminal. Though our friends children were not terminal either. Kids Wish understands that child with a chronic life threating illness need an escape from their pain and illness. Kids Wish recognizes that threat to our childrens lives is real.
They didn't think twice when we placed our application. They contacted us within a few weeks. They interviewed our family and son who is ill and more importantly they paid attention to our daughter (who thank God) is healthy. Having one sick and one healthy child is very hard. The sick one always gets all the attention, though we try to make things even and make special time for our daughter, it never is. Kids Wish get that everyone suffers with an illness not just the one afflicted. Within a couple of months we were on our son's Wish trip to
Legoland inSan Diego County to fullfill Drew's wish to be a Lego designer for a day. It was a wonderful weekend, Mom and Dad enjoyed the time spent at La Quienta Spa and Resort. :) Kids Wish have never pressured us for endoursments or donations. They are kind, respectful and giving. We only have the most wonderful things to say about Kids Wish and spread the word about them at every opportunity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Prompt service in granting a Wish to a chroniclly ill child.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish it was better known. It doesn't get as much attention as Make- A- Wish, but I believe it is by far a better organization.

Role:  Client Served & Our son was granted a wish to be a Lego designer for a day.