Local Family and Children’s Services helping kids access summer camps
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of the children served by the Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (FACSFLA) were in danger of not getting the summer they deserve. FACSFLA, a Children’s Aid Society, has spent $25,000 on summer camps or alternatives for nearly 100 children. They say donors to the Tree of Hope — their annual holiday fundraiser — are to thank for helping make it happen.
Every year, FACSFLA fundraise to send kids to Summer Camp. Last year, 140 children and youth were able to attend camps around our community — a new record — thanks to generous donors. But in May, they had to cancel the program because of COVID-19. It meant that many of the families supported by this initiative wouldn’t get much of a summer at all. Since then, they’ve been working hard to find solutions.
FACSFLA has been working with families to find alternatives to camp, especially in areas where no summer camps are operating this season. They have spent $20,000 on art supplies, sports equipment, bicycles, outdoor activities, clothing and more. That includes buying a 6-year-old his first bike and helmet ever, and helping a girl practice her basketball skills at home with a new portable basketball net. Part of that money also went to special needs that families had, including new beds and bedding and technology to help with schooling.
While many of FACSFLA’s camp partners have closed, they were fortunate to be able to work with the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area to send kids to their summer programs. They hope to send more than 30 kids to camps this summer. FACSFLA said they are grateful to the Boys and Girls Club for their support.
The ability of FACSFLA to fundraise has been severely hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were lucky to have funds from their successful Tree of Hope holiday appeal. Thanks to donors, December 2019 was the best year ever for the Tree of Hope. Nearly $70,000 was raised and a pledge was made to use any excess funds to send kids to Summer Camp. Now those funds are being depleted for camps and alternatives to camp because of COVID-19.
Because of this, Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is asking for help from the community. Their charitable programs like camp, the Tree of Hope and others all depend on donors. For more information or to make a donation, click here.