Once again, I volunteered my time and photography skills to Flashes of Hope, which is a nonprofit organization. Flashes of Hope changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography and raises money for pediatric cancer research. In addition to medical facilities, Flashes of Hope also sponsors portrait sessions at summer camps such as Camp Happy Times, which has been operated by The Valerie Fund with a generous group of volunteer staff and counselors for more than 25 years.
Camp Happy Times is a free one-week overnight camp experience for kids aged 5-21 who have or have had cancer. Nearly 200 children each summer attend the camp located at the 200-acre Tyler Hill Camp in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. The camp promotes friendship, independence, and a spirit of cooperation for cancer patients and survivors. Its philosophy is to provide a recreationally therapeutic environment that engages participants while building self-esteem, confidence, trust and friendship.
The hallmark of the Camp Happy Times experience is that while they are there, the campers do not feel self-conscious about their illness. Campers consistently revel in the fact that they don’t have to explain their disease to their fellow campers. I urge everyone to make a donation to Flashes of Hope and/or the Valerie Fund. Both are wonderful organizations, in my opinion, and if you cannot make a monetary contribution, they would welcome your time as well.