(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.)

It’s been a rough year for siblings Rusty, Katelyn, Ethan and Dorie. With their dad in prison, mom bears the burden of providing for her family all by herself. And the paycheck from her minimum wage job can only be stretched so far.

On top of instability and financial hardship, the family is dealing with health issues. One of the children has been diagnosed with cancer. Although it is currently in remission, concerns about the future are never far from anyone’s mind.

But summer offers a bright spot for these four children — a break from the cares and worries they face everyday.

All four are eligible to attend Heart O’Hills Salvation Army camp near Tahlequah June 26 through July 1. It’s a week of fun in the sun, swimming, boating, crafts, good food and a chance just to be kids.

“They are so excited,” said Angie Graves with the Rogers County Department of Human Services. “The youngest girl has been marking off the days and tells her mom she can hardly go to sleep just thinking about how much fun she is going to have.”

They can’t get there without your help. Each year, Claremore Progress readers generously give funds to send 40 Rogers County kids — 20 boys and 20 girls — to camp.

This year the need is even greater. The cost of camp has been raised to $170 per child — a total of $6800.

The Cotillion Club has already contributed $200 toward the goal.

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. Salvation Army — Claremore Unit provides clothing, bedding, shoes, etc.

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.