Camperships: Helping Campers Get to Camp one dollar at a time, and how you can help!
Have you ever been somewhere so amazing and special then wished that everyone else in the world could go there too? In my life, that place is Heart o’ the Hills Camp for Girls. I wish I had enough money to send every young girl to this special place. As a young girl, going to camp was one thing I looked forward to every year.
After the holidays were finished, I knew that camp was only a few months away. Even as an adult, long after my days at the Heart were complete, there were so many times I would look at the calendar and think to myself…only a few more weeks until camp starts. Or I would think about the parents packing their daughter’s trunk, shopping for those last minute blue or green trinkets to stash away in the trunks as a surprise, or sewing achievement patches onto their daughter’s heart so she could proudly wear it as she climbed her tribe hill.
I want every girl to have the same experiences I did, learn the same values, and learn to work together as a team toward a common goal. Learn how to step out of their comfort zones and try new things or take their very first steps as a leader. Heart o’ the Hills afforded me all these amazing things and so much more. Not a day goes by that I don’t use something that was instilled in me at camp.
It is for all of these reasons, and so many more, that I choose to donate to the Heart o’ the Hills campership fund every chance I get.
In 2020, the company for which I work, launched a charitable matching program. Once a year, my company will match a donation, up to $250, to a 501(c)(3) charity. This is a program that I plan on taking advantage of each year.
I work for a large national defense contractor and we have a non-partisan Political Action Committee (PAC). It supports candidates (regardless of which side of the aisle they sit on) and contributes to their campaigns. It does not employ lobbyists, it is not one of those type of PACs. As an employee, if I choose to give to the PAC, my company will send that same dollar amount to a charity of my choice. Because of my PAC contribution, the Heart campership fund receives $260 each year from my company.
For my birthday in October 2020, I setup a fundraiser on Facebook. I have seen other friends do this for various charities and thought I would give it a try myself. I had a few camp friends donate but what surprised me more than anything were the non-camp friends who donated. Some told me it is because they had heard me talk about how much the Heart meant to me growing up. I contributed to my own fundraiser, then my employer matched the donation through their new charity matching program.
All of us know how hard it is to ask someone for money, no matter how good the cause may be.
An easy way to contribute to the Heart campership fund is by doing something many of us already do on a regular basis…order items from Amazon.com. You only have to make one simple change and that is to use Smile.Amazon.com instead of Amazon.com. The Amazon Smile website allows us to shop just like we do on the regular Amazon site with one exception. Amazon donates a percentage of the order to your selected charity. To select a charity on Amazon Smile:
- Access Smile.Amazon.com
- Log into the site (Amazon Smile uses your same Amazon login credentials).
- Click Account & Lists and select Your AmazonSmile.
- Search for the Camp Stewart Alumni Association which is the campership fund for the Heart.
As you order items from the Amazon Smile site, they donate 0.5% of your purchases to the campership fund. You just have to remember to use Smile.Amazon.com when shopping.
The total dollar amount that I have contributed to the campership fund doesn’t add up to a large dollar amount, but I know that every dollar I help raise may potentially allow a young girl the opportunity to spend a summer at the Heart. And to me, that is the greatest gift I can give anyone…a chance to be a part of a place as special as Heart o’ the Hills. I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today if Heart o’ the Hills hadn’t been a part of my life growing up.