Reed Holden's Fundraising Page
Camp Starfish is about Kids. Very special Kids. Kids with emotional, learning and behavioral problems. They are the ones who live their lives with frustration and anger. They are difficult for teachers and parents to deal with. They often fall through the cracks of our educational and support systems and end up being angry adults.
Camp Starfish helps these Kids with programs which provide one on one support so the kids can learn about unconditional love, discipline and how to lead a normal life.
Every time I look at this picture, I think about a camper I'll call Andy. Andy was having a bad day and was trying to take it out on everyone. His counselor, I'll call her Sarah, was trying to help him. As Andy was acting out his anger by throwing canoe paddles and breaking things, Sarah was following him telling him that she still loved him and to settle down. They were both surrounded by their support system of counselors and staff. Well, Andy eventually settled down, everyone hugged and he started picking up his mess. He learned two things that day. He learned about being responsible in controlling his emotions. He also learned that if he did get angry, people were still going to love him.
There is a tear rolling down my cheek as I tell this story. The memory is vivid and powerful. It is a scene I have seen repeated many times by the loving and caring Staff of Camp Starfish. I've had the blessing of meeting the Kids, the Staff and the Parents who have contributed to the picture of Camp Starfish. I've seen the scene of anger and love repeated dozens of times.
Starfish has touched the lives of thousands of Kids over the past ten years. Each one has a story, each one has tried to take the learnings of Starfish back home to live a happier more productive life.
I remember talking to a Starfish Mom on a walk one time. She talked about how her son didn't need to go to the school principal's office any more. He got his homework done and was a pleasure to have around the house. A complete turnaround.
The most compelling story is Max's. He was the boy featured in the Newsweek feature story on kids with Bipolar Disorder. Max came to Starfish this past summer. A note from his Mom, Amy says it all: "Max had found a place where he could grow and learn and not be judged.....He still has that special twinkle in his eye and when we talk about Starfish, that twinkle shines for all to see."
Carolyn and I believe that Starfish is the best place for us to support in our spare time. With the work of a dedicated Board and Staff, we finally were able to purchase our own camp this year. The trouble is that the new camp and all of the support we give to the kids costs money. 100% of the kids receive some level of financial support. They often come from the inner city and 85% of the kids receive "substantial" support.
This is a tough time for all of us. But in the spirit of giving, won't you please help us provide the special Starfish Twinkle to more kids like Andy and Max.