#5 "We have this Resort; We can do Something"
Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Ring Ring Camp Sunshine from Casco, Maine is calling! Yep, you did just read that correctly. My most recent interview was all the way in Maine with an inspiring woman, Anna Gould. Anna is a co-founder of Camp Sunshine which provides retreats combining recreation and support for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. They seek to enable hope and promote joy through the various stages of a child’s illness.
Anna describes her sixteen-year old life as someone walking around on Mars. She moved from Italy to America without knowing how to speak English or anything about the American culture. What Anna did know was how to work really hard and eventually her and her husband owned a beautiful resort in Casco, Maine. One night she was watching an interview on TV that was promoting a summer camp for children with illnesses. The reporter asked a child (who reminded Anna of her daughter), “How do you cope with knowing that you are going to die?”. The question disturbed Anna and she began to realize it was a reality for children across the world. She started thinking about the mothers, fathers, and siblings of each of these children. Anna looked at her husband and said, “We have this resort. We can do something.”
Camp Sunshine provides a summer retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. These kids include those who have been diagnosed with cancer, hematologic conditions, renal disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as those who have undergone solid organ transplantation. At Camp Sunshine they do not concentrate about their illnesses. These kids focus on being kids. The parents can wake up to Maine’s beautiful Sebago Lake and the joy of their child having fun. Check out their website, https://www.campsunshine.org/
So what can we learn from Anna? We can learn that we can do something. We do not have to be the CEO or the greatest athlete to help each other. We all have resources that can make a difference. It does not matter if you can write a check with a few zero’s on it. It matters that everyone has a heart and a pair of hands. Anna mentioned to me that although Camp Sunshine relies on someone to write the check, they would not be able to make the impact they do without volunteers. Those volunteers do not come with money. Instead, they come with their hearts and their hands.
So, look around at what you have. Anna did and her camp has offered hope and fun to over 50,000 individuals from all 50 states and 27 countries. What do you have and what are you going to do with it?