About a month ago, a request came into our inbox from Camp PossAbility and quickly captured our hearts. From the Bradford Woods of Martinsville, Indiana, Camp PossAbility serves young adults with physical disabilities, ages 18 to 35. All campers have a physical impairment that requires a wheelchair for mobility. The camp’s mission is to give these young adults a safe place to relax and spend time with friends without having to worry about adapting to the world around them.
In 2016, Camp PossAbility’s 2nd year, campers and volunteers attended from 10 different states. The camp hopes to continue to grow so that more and more young people find safety, healing, and friendship with others who best understand what they are going through. They hope to further create an environment for their campers to feel comfortable and empowered to realize their potential.
So far, they have seen great results. But like many newer organizations, Camp PossAbility could benefit from a boost. Lauren, the camp’s CEO, works entirely on her own time, as do all staff and volunteers. They are a dedicated group working together to make Camp PossAbility the best experience possible for their campers. Lauren told us that they are funded entirely by private donations and grants. While the actual cost per individual to attend the camp is $1600, the camp only asks campers to pay $450. Nevertheless, many campers do not have enough money to pay even just the $50 registration fee. Lauren and her staff work hard to raise money for their scholarships as well as pay for the medical and other supplies needed.
Thanks to your everyday donations, we supported Camp PossAbility with a $10,000 grant. In addition to a cash donation, we purchased about $5,000 worth of items from their wishlist, including utility garden carts, professional medical supplies to equip their infirmary, emergency radio equipment, board games, badminton sets.
Shortly after, we heard more from Lauren:
I am the founder and CEO of Camp PossAbility. I had served at adapted camps in the past but most adult adapted camps combined adults with all types of physical and developmental disabilities into the same camp. So those with high cognitive abilities (considered “typical” adults) would be in the same camp as those who were cognitively like infants. This just doesn’t work well and the high functioning young adults quit attending camp, meanwhile missing the social interaction and community it provides. After an 18 month process setting up the nonprofit, we started Camp PossAbility in 2015. It has just become an amazing, safe place for young adults with physical disabilities to find community and THRIVE. And not only is it a safe place for our campers, but we have found that many of our volunteers have found the safe, supportive environment that they needed as well. We have everyone from celebrities to business persons to health professionals to students who come serve with us. Everyone is on the same playing field, and it is literally the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
This surprise donation could seriously not have come at a better time!! The donation came at a time when I needed to be reminded that people still do care. I run the camp entirely as a volunteer and so do my camp staff, so I have poured hours of time into this camp and because of the demographic we serve, they are often not able to return thanks . It is the MOST AMAZING kind of service to do but it can get tiring (as I am certain you know!). So thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us serve an amazing group who are often forgotten and treated unfairly. And thank you for reminding ME that people still care!!
Thanks again for being such a blessing!!
If you’d like to donate to the healing, uplifting work of Together Rising, please go to https://togetherrising.org/give/.
For more information about Camp PossAbility, please visit their site HERE.