Help kids be kids again.


Christmas time is here and for a lot of people, it means turning their attention to giving.
I was lucky enough to grow up with parents and family friends who made sure we had a Christmas filled with play. There were gifts and toys, but I don’t recall many of the gifts I received as a kid. I do remember playing with my friends the next day, showing off all those gifts and sharing (As much as a kid could share).
But what if there was no playing. Gifts would be somewhat meaningless. The playing was the part that mattered. I had no worries. Being a kid was the best part of being a kid.
There are lots of fundraisers out there, especially during the holidays. And many nobly work to provide children in need with gifts, who may otherwise not receive them.

I want to address the other side of the equation. How do we help children who have been robbed of play? How do we help kids who don’t get the chance to be kids?

Some of you know, that I have spent a decent amount of time in a hospital and home-care as a teenager due to a severe car accident.

The appointments, procedures, testing, surgeries, and general requirements of being a patient made it hard to pursue a life that resembled “normal” and not due to a lack of effort from doctors and nurses. They went above and beyond all to help me and my family adjust.

Fighting for life is draining and demanding. It’s the nature of the beast.

I want to help kids fighting that same beast.

Even if looks like they may not “win” the fight.

As many of you know, whether through information, loss of a family member or friend, or experience yourself, cancer treatment changes the lives of a person and their circle of family and friends. The adjustments and feelings that come with hospital life, treatment, pain, and even facing our own mortality can stop a person in their tracks… imagine it for a child.

How do we help them? How do we empower them to be kids again?

Jeana Jucha reached out to me last week with the opportunity to do something.

She volunteers for Camp Quality Arkansas.

Their mission is to provide a camping experience where kids can be kids again, regardless of their diagnosis. This is free to the families of attending children

It’s best explained here:

With a Dose of Smile Therapy. . .

Camp Quality is a summer camping experience and year-round support program for children with cancer. Many difficult physical and emotional challenges face a child, and his or her family, when battling cancer. At our summer camps we have developed an important type of “therapy” . . . we like to call it Smile Therapy! With a laugh in their hearts and smiles on their faces, Camp Q. Kids find themselves capable of more than they may have dreamed possible.

We Laugh, Love, Lift-up . . .

Camp Quality has built its reputation on personalized care. Every camper is paired with a companion who is dedicated completely to his or her care. Companions are the life-blood of Camp Q; they are fun to be with, adventuresome, great listeners and are always sharing their love for life. Their primary responsibility is to make sure their camper has the most enjoyable, safe, relaxing and restoring experience possible. This relationship creates a beautiful bond that continues long after camp is over, and oftentimes for years to come.

Normal Kids with Extraordinary Lives . . .

Surrounded by new friends that can relate, loving volunteers who care, and loads of fun experiences, Camp Quality campers find joy, new courage and renewed hope for the future. They are free to be themselves . . . free to be kids again.

This Christmas, I will be helping.

If you are considering giving this year, would consider helping as well?

Jeana will be at our Christmas party on December 17th to speak about what camp quality does for kids. We may also have a special guest, conditions permitting.

If you are coming to the Christmas party on December 17th or even if you can’t make it, I ask you to consider giving, no matter the amount, or type. The gift we’re giving is a way for kids to be kids again.

Go here to see how we are giving:


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