Starting in 1984, Camp Sunshine has brought support and hope to children and families facing life-threatening illnesses and cancer. The camp is free of charge so that these people many of who, already have financial burdens regarding their sick children can relax and enjoy themselves at a resort for a few days. Camp Sunshine has already helped over forty thousand children and families with severe illnesses. The main goal of the organization is to alleviate the strain on these sick children and also help their families cope with life with a sick child. There is no age requirement at this camp. All ages of immediate family members of a sick child are welcome to stay.
There are several enjoyable activities offered at Camp Sunshine. During the summer, families can have fun with canoes, kayaks, and paddle-boats. They can play volleyball, kickball, and whiffle-ball. There are also activities to do during the winter like ice skating and going to the ice luge. Camp Sunshine is filled with amusement all year round.
This camp has had a special impact and touched the heart of one student at Woodland. Senior, Emily Polito who once attended the camp and now is working around the clock to raise money and awareness for this organization.
Polito’s goal was to raise five thousand dollars, the amount needed to send two families to Camp Sunshine. Lisa Olivere, teacher at Woodland, heard that she was just thirty dollars away from her goal and could not help but give Polito the money she needed.
“Emily inspired me to do it because I admire her courage and compassion,” said Olivere.
Olivere has done a great deal of fundraising for the organization Woodland Worldwide so she knows the struggles of getting people to donate to a cause.
“I admire her courage because she shared her struggle with the loss of her sister with the entire community,” Olivere said.
It really made Polito happy that she inspired people to donate through her newsletter, which was delivered during advisory.
Emily’s cause is coming full circle. She has surpassed her goal and has almost reached six thousand dollars.
Not only is Polito encouraging people to donate money she also encourages them to volunteer at the camp and share memories with the Camp Sunshine family.
“Anyone can volunteer just so they have the experience,” said Polito.
Having experienced Camp Sunshine herself, the help that the program offers is extremely important to Polito.
“I don’t think people really understand how big of an impact Camp Sunshine is to the families [that attend] unless you go there and see for yourself,” mentioned Polito.
Camp Sunshine is the light that helps defeat the darkness in these sick children and stressed families. And Emily Polito has certainly used her inner light to reflect back on this camp.