On Tuesday, September 10, UCT home office employees volunteered for United Way of Central Ohio’s annual Community Care Day. Their mission? To spruce up cabins at Flying Horse Farms, a non-profit camp for kids with serious illnesses. This week we have a guest post from UCT’s Fraternal Coordinator Ann Marshall, who’s going to talk about Flying Horse Farms and UCT’s involvement with the program. Who knows, you might just want to support a camp in your area! Take it away, Ann!
Paul Newman was a talented actor and, arguably, had the greatest blue eyes ever. But his true legacy is as a philanthropist and humanitarian. In 1988 he founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps for seriously ill children because he thought kids – especially kids with serious illnesses – deserved a chance to “kick back and raise a little hell.” These camps are now part of the global SeriousFun Children’s Network and provide opportunities for kids and their families to reach beyond serious illness to a great big dose of fun and support, always at no charge.
Since the first camp was founded 25 years ago, camps and programs have served more than 440,000 children and families from over 50 countries and on five continents. One of these camps, Flying Horse Farms, is located on 200 sprawling acres in Mt. Gilead, Ohio. Here, kids with serious medical conditions like arthritis, asthma, cancer, gastrointestinal disease, and heart and kidney disease get to spend a summer week swimming, boating, fishing, playing with animals and learning arts and crafts. In short, they get to forget about being sick for awhile and can just be kids.
UCT’s M.J. Terapak Council 144 in Columbus has adopted Flying Horse Farms as its top charitable cause and has donated thousands of dollars to camp programs since 2011. Community Care Day gave council members – and other UCT employees – a hands-on chance to contribute to this terrific program by cleaning up cabins for last of the season campers. When our work was done, we were given a tour of the camp’s grounds and facilities, and I think everyone was impressed and amazed at all that the camp has to offer. Many of our employees are already planning to volunteer at Flying Horse Farms in 2014! As a member of Council 144, I can say this rewarding experience strengthened my commitment to supporting this important cause and the “serious fun” it provides children with serious illnesses.
SeriousFun camps are individually funded and run, and all of them can use support. If your council is looking for a great program to lend a hand to, why not check out a SeriousFun camp in your area to see how you can help. After all, what can be more meaningful than making life better for kids who need it most?