As the parent of a special needs child I know how important it is to provide our son with positive summertime experiences. I know that summer camp is very special to my son because that is all he talks about when the school year approaches the summer break. We have been sending our son to the Camp Kehilia day camp program since he was 5 years old. I do find though that the financial commitment becomes a little more expensive each year and now the cost to send my son for 4 weeks of day camp is over $5,000. I find that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to send my son and that to me is very frustrating because I know how much he loves to go and it would break my heart if I was unable to send him as this is all he talks about. I have to find a way to send him or find an alternative that would satisfy my son’s needs.
I have discussed other options at the school district meeting with my wife and the school representatives and they informed us of a program offered by a private school that offers a 6 week program that is paid by the school district and it is a continuation of school combined with activities. I am not sure if my son would want to be in a school setting in the summertime so I really have to discuss it with him and determine the best option. To me it would be a much needed relief financially to have the help from the school district and send him to the 6 week program at the school and I feel my son would benefit from the stimulation and the continuity of having classes and studying math, english, computers and writing in addition to occasional day trips.
I wish I could find a way of helping families that struggle find a way to send their kids to summer day camp. I know that we all want to do the best for our children and sometimes we have to be realistic in what we can and can not afford. This is what makes great minds work to find solutions. There are so many families that wish to find a way to send their kids to camp but need the financial assistance. I also believe that there are many major and local companies that would gladly contribute monies to these camps for providing assistance to these needy families. The problem however is there are so many applicants for the financial aid and there is only a finite source of funds available and the application forms are so very detailed and complicated to complete.
I would love to find a way to develop a website that would serve as an intermediary between camps, needy families and corporate sponsors and generate revenue from advertising so that monies could circulate to the families and the camp financial assistance funds benefitting and providing kids the opportunity to go to camp and providing the corporations a tax deductible contribution. The website would have to be approved as a charitable organization under IRS regulations. This to me would be a direct way of helping in some small way to champion the cause for autistic children and special needs children.
Sometimes it seems so logical and sometimes it seems so difficult but if you have an idea and you can implement it so you can help people then it truly is worth the effort and hard work. I’m sure there are so many websites that serve as foundations and help fund camp, education, medical assistance, food supplies for the hungry, shelters for the homeless and christmas gifts for sick children. If I could develop a website that could serve families, camps and other organizations and be able to make it possible to send a needy child to camp then I feel my life would be more meaningful and I would feel so happy knowing I can make a difference and also send my son and someone else’s child to day camp. I already have an idea for the name of my website. I just need to know how to put my good intentions to the test to make it work the way I wish it could.
As a working parent I know we all wish to provide our children with all we can. I am certain that the most important thing we can provide our children with is love. Money is important but it can only go so far. Love, however is forever!
Dedicated to you, Matty!
Edward D. Iannielli III