Camp time welcome experience

(Editor’s Note: Names have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of the children, but they are real kids who can our help to make life more pleasant through the opportunity to attend summer camp.)

Ever wonder what happens to the money collected by the Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmastime?

Some of the funds are used to provides clothing, shoes and bedding for children who attend summer camp at Heart O’Hills Salvation Army Camp near Tahlequah.

“The Salvation Army Board is very generous and so is our community,” said Angie Graves with the Department of Human Services. “You should see the smiles on the boys and girls.”

Boys and girls like Dolores’ three grandchildren. A single grandmother, Dolores recently was awarded custody of the children from out of state.

Although she is thankful to be able to care for her family during this difficult time, she isn’t sure how her Social Security check will be enough to provide for the needs of growing children.

A week away at summer camp may, in a small way, help the siblings adjust to their new life by giving them some new, happy memories.

“We just got them signed up and they are in much need of a time of fun,” Graves said. “They are so excited. They don’t know any kids in this area, so the Salvation Army Camp will give them an opportunity to made new friends.”

But time is quickly running out to raise the money needed to send 40 Rogers County children — 20 boys and 20 girls — to camp June 26 through July 1.

With camp costs raised to $170 per child, the need for your help this year is even greater. A total of $6800 must be raised.

All the money will be used for campers. Funds are administered by the Share the Spirit Foundation.

The camp fee includes lodging, meals, insurance, and a canteen to buy snacks and craft materials.

Department of Human Services and Child Welfare coordinate camper eligibility, physicals and paper work. The Pilot Club of Claremore provides “ditty bags” with shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, washcloths, hair brushes and combs.

All of the children are not on welfare. All do not come from families without a working parent. But all are children from families where there is no money for anything extra.

Please send your tax-deductible donation to Share the Spirit, c/o Claremore Daily Progress, P.O. Box 248, Claremore, OK 74018, or drop by the Progress business office at 315 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Names of donors will be listed unless anonymity is requested.

Recent donors include Paul and Mark Rounds, R.W. Larson, and John and Phyllis Philpot.