A financial gift to Chanco truly changes lives. There is perhaps no better way to express this transformative experience for a child than to quote a 2015 camper who wrote the following for our Smoke Signal newsletter, “Dear (all of) Chanco, Thank you. Thank you for always being there for me even when I wasn’t there for myself. Thank you for showing me that love really is possible in the darkest of times. Thank you for giving me a family when mine couldn’t do it. Thank you for keeping me sane these past four years. Thank you for treating me like a human being. This place is the most wonderful patch of earth there ever was. And I’m proud to call this place my one true home.”
Did you know? Did you know that Chanco scholarships assisted 156 campers in 2015 with full or partial scholarship/financial assistance? Did you know that children from ForKids (a non-profit organization in Norfolk that assists homeless families) and Boy’s Home (an Episcopal ministry in Covington providing care and education for young men ages 6-18) attended Chanco this summer thanks to your donations? These young people would never be able to experience the transformative nature of a Camp Chanco experience if it were not for your support. Many Chanco campers for generations have spoken about the enormous impact Chanco made on their lives. However, this impact can not be understated for a child who was recently homeless and yet can come to Chanco and be just like everyone else. A staff person from ForKids may have said it best in her thank you letter to Chanco sharing, “As you all at Chanco on the James well know, camp is an incredible experience for any child. At ForKids, we know that for a homeless child, it’s even more than that – it’s life changing. ForKids has been helping homeless children and families break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for the past 27 years and one very important ingredient in the ForKids program is summer camp, which provides a tremendous opportunity for children raised in poverty to experience life in a completely different environment and expand their horizons. At camp, no one has to know that they have lived in a homeless shelter; they can just be kids. Many homeless children have never been out of their neighborhoods – much less to summer camp. For them, camp brings first time experiences that other children find commonplace like learning to swim, to canoeing, to riding a zip line and much more. From sleepless nights spent in shelters to nights spent in cars and on the streets these campers have not had a fairy tale childhood. Each year, our staff continues to be amazed at the newfound confidence, focus and determination the kids return from camp with. I wanted to let you know that because of you all, this years’ campers lives have been changed forever.”
This is the transformative difference a Camp Chanco experience makes in the lives of young people. And it would not be possible without you. Your gift makes the friendships, confidence, support, independence, faith and fun of Chanco possible for more and more children every single year. Thank you. If you are already a donor, thank you. If you have not contributed in the past, now is a fantastic time to start! Chanco is you!
Don’t wait! Make a difference today by donating to Chanco’s Annual Fund. You may mail a check to Chanco on the James with “Annual Fund’ in the memo line and mail to Chanco at 394 Floods Drive, Surry, VA 23881 or make an easy on line donation on our website by clicking the “donate now” button on the front page.