Monday, March 23, 2020

Adapting and Adjusting During COVID-19

I know that it has been a while since I have written a new blog post; we have been busy with so many things. In these uncertain times that we are all living in right now, I thought it would be important to let you know that Camp Good Days is still here, because people still need our help. Unfortunately, just because we are dealing with this new pandemic, it doesn’t mean that no one will be affected by cancer. People will still come back from the doctor after being told that the pathology report came back and they have cancer. And despite all of our fears of the unknown in regard to the Coronavirus, I am still convinced that a diagnosis of cancer is even more scary, and that a cancer diagnosis creates enormous thoughts, questions, and fears, and I want people to know that we, here at Camp Good Days, are still here ready to help. There will always be someone to talk to.

This is the time of year where Camp Good Days is very busy, and it is when what we do really shines. We are getting ready for our summer camping programs, including our Junior Good Days day-camp program and our residential camps. We are still looking for wonderful men and women to volunteer at the programs and summer staff who we hire to help at the facility during the summer camp season. There will be a new surprise this summer with the addition of a new building at camp—a museum that will house and share some of the history of Camp Good Days while also creating additional indoor space when we need it.

Right now, like everyone else, we are working remotely, but if people leave their name and phone number on the voicemail machine at the office, the appropriate person will get back to them as soon as they can. All staff are also available via email. Eventually, this crisis will be behind us, and we want to be ready to go into full motion without skipping a beat. While this pandemic is forcing us to work in a different way by working from home, the work still must go on. Throughout this time, we will continue to be here for those families that need us. There is no question that these are uncertain times and our summer programs may be impacted depending on what will happen with the remainder of the school year, since we cannot run our programs until summer recess has begun. But, we are truly blessed with a dedicated staff of people who never look at what they do as a job, rather they look at what they do as a ministry, and no matter what their job is, they have a desire to help make a difference in the lives of those we serve, so we are all still here as a resource.
We know that these uncertain times are hard for everyone, especially for many people who have lost their jobs and are struggling financially, but if you have the opportunity, or are able to help, please keep our children and our families in your mind. Our spring special events and fundraisers have been postponed, so we are not bringing in much revenue. At this time, donations are what are helping to keep our programs going, and no amount is insignificant. I was reminded of this when I received a letter a few days ago from Deacon Paul at the Groveland Correctional Facility with a donation from the inmates. The inmates are given 25 cents, 50 cents, a dollar, or more, when they attend mass each week, and when there is enough collected, they choose a worthwhile cause that they would like to make a charitable donation to. They chose Camp Good Days as their charity of choice, and it really meant a lot to me since right now there aren’t a lot of checks that are coming in. This shows you how meaningful and important what we do is. Here are people who have sacrificed the little money they have access to in order to help children and families touched by cancer. Our support comes from many places, but it means so much to me when it comes from people who believe, no matter their situation, that they want to help others. Over the years, thanks to donations like that, we have served around 50,000 campers from 22 states and 36 countries, and we are certainly hoping that we will be able to continue being there for every child and family that truly needs us.
Please know that all of us at Camp Good Days are keeping you all in our thoughts, and please reach out if you need anything.

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