Making Dreams Come True
As the summer season ends, I look toward the new year and would like to take the opportunity to speak about a few of the programs we ran this summer at Chai Lifeline Canada.
Since Chai Lifeline Canada celebrated its 10th anniversary this past March at our annual concert, I would have never imagined back in 2006 that we would be helping the community in so many ways. Every Summer children from both Toronto and Montreal regions are sent to Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha special, with over twenty participating this year! One of the highlights of my year is when I get the opportunity to visit camp. Aside from the joy of being at Camp Simcha, the chance to see the contrast between sick at home to now enjoying summer like a regular child is precious!
This summer, we hosted our third annual session of Camp Lifeline, a local day camp designed for kids that need a specially designed medically fragile program. Seventeen children experienced the magic of Camp Simcha right here in the heart of Toronto. From Super Hero day and Mad Science, to our very own carnival – everything was arranged for immunocompromised children to participate and have a regular summer camp experience. We had a onsite nurse and camper to counselor ratio was 2:1. As with all of Chai Lifeline Canada’s programs it was offered free of charge to all participants.
Finally, we ended the summer by taking 14 children affected by the loss or illness of a parent on a three day all expense paid trip to Orlando. Personally staffing the trip is always a refreshing experience for me as the Executive Director of Chai Lifeline Canada because it brings me back to our core mission: to help children and their families who are suffering from illnesses and need all the support they can receive in order to make it through their difficult time. Witnessing the drastic change between heartbroken and sad to cheerful giggles and smiles with others experiencing similar situations is something that can only be accomplished through this incredible trip.
When we began operations in 2006, we started from a small shared office and were looking to expand and find ways to help the community. Based on this past summer and the number of successful programs we ran, I can honestly say that I am thankful to all of our community partners and stakeholders for making our dream of building a supportive organization come true. As we are moving forward with expanding our operations in Montreal and the rest of Canada, being on the Disney trips for the past few years, visiting the camp grounds at Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special and organizing Camp Lifeline locally in Toronto, we are motivated more than ever to continue to provide support to the community and make dreams come true for both our children and their families.
I am looking forward to the next few years where we will be hopefully looking back and writing another blog post about the extended services we provided the community and most important of all, seeing so many children truly smile again.
Wishing everyone a Happy & Healthy New Year,