Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Helping with Summer Camp Fees

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Helping with Summer Camp Fees

Thank you to Marilyn Campbell for her piece, “Affording Summer Camp” [Mount Vernon Gazette, April 26] which explored the importance of summer camps and the challenges faced by low-income families who often cannot afford the registration fees.

As she noted, some scholarships are available to these children but in many cases, the process can be intimidating, especially if a parent is undocumented. There is also the social stigma of having to admit that one is too poor to provide such a benefit to one’s child. And while some churches and social service organizations may “adopt” some children and send them to camp, there are still many children who fall through the cracks and who spend the summer languishing in their apartment during the summer months.

Alice’s Kids is a charity that was formed eight years ago to provide direct financial assistance to needy children in the DC-metropolitan area. Working with a referral network of over 500 teachers, social workers, counselors and others, we pay for relatively inexpensive items that are nonetheless very important to that child’s self-esteem. For example, we pay for prom tickets, soccer cleats, swimming lessons, instrument rentals and yearbooks.

We also pay summer camp fees. Indeed, this is the time of the year when we get inundated with requests to send needy children to camps like Fairfax County’s Rec-Pac. And, because of the generosity of our amazing donors, we have so far been able to fund every request we have received this year.

Ron Fitzsimmons

Executive Director, Alice's Kids