A local nonprofit organization, Project Kindle, is seeking votes from the community in a competition for a $50K Pepsi Refresh Project Grant. The winnings would be used to set up an annual camping program for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in Santa Clarita.
To vote for Project Kindle and give your support, click here: http://www.refresheverything.com/kindle. You can vote daily until Dec. 31.
Project Kindle, started by Santa Clarita resident, Eva Payne, has held camps for children with HIV and AIDS since 1999. The camps offer the children an opportunity to feel accepted, find hope and friendships, and develop their knowledge of health and personal strengths. In addition to summer camps, Camp Kindle hosts mini-camp sessions throughout the year and all campers receive year-round support.
“The importance of having a camp like this is to give the children a place where they can go and feel normal and feel needed,” said Trina Harrison, spokeswoman for Project Kindle.
Project Kindle is currently seeking donations and grants in order to fund a camp in Santa Clarita in the summer of 2012. This grant will fund programs, supplies, meals and other camper related expenses for disabled children. The anticipated funds will be used to also cover the cost of those children whose families are in financial need; the only camping program of this nature in the Santa Clarita Valley. The volunteer to camper ratio will be one to one so that Project Kindle can offer the best care to the campers and gain insight into the kinds of children’s needs that Kindle Ranch, Project Kindle’s next big project, would need to meet.
Kindle Ranch, still in its planning phase, will be a camp and retreat facility specially designed for children and adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, not just HIV and AIDS. It will feature wide, paved walkways to assist wheelchair travel and special equipment to enable maximum participation in program and physical activities. Kindle Ranch will also host a state-of-the-art health center at the heart of the camp and be available to campers requiring daily treatment or medication. All buildings and restrooms will be fully accessible and the camp facility will accommodate at least 250 guests for overnight stays.
Kindle Ranch will host other organizations that sponsor camping programs for those with conditions such as asthma, burns, cancer, cerebral palsy, development disabilities, epilepsy, hearing and sight impairments, kidney disease, heart disease, or muscular dystrophy. Groups will attend week-longs sessions during the summer and day/weekend retreats in the spring, winter, and fall.