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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

June 13, 2002

NO MONEY FOR SUMMER CAMP LEAVES CHILDREN WAITING

Charlotte, NC -- School's out for the summer and, for some children, that means enjoying the fun, excitement and learning environment camp can provide. For too many others, the cost of camp puts the summer experience out of reach. 

A donation can help change that.  

The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) through its Community Resources Office (CRO) wants to send children who can't afford it to camp. Polly Needham, the CRO administrator said she is out of funds, but the requests for camp continue, particularly because school ended last week.  

She has 20 applications waiting, but no money, Needham said. So far, her office has spent about $15,000 to send 118 children to 277 sessions of camp. Last year, DSS sent 203 children to summer camp. The majority of the summer camp requests come from children who are in foster care, Needham said. 

A child can attend one to two weeks of summer camp, or longer in some cases. The costs of the camps vary. Any amount is welcomed, Needham said. A $130 donation, for example, can send a child to two weeks of summer day camp. Anyone interested in helping to send a child to summer camp can give money through the middle of July. 

A variety of summer camp experiences are available through the County's Park & Recreation Department, the YMCA and YWCA. There are also specialty camps such as therapeutic camps, basketball, cheerleading, tennis, computer, fashion merchandise, cultural arts, adventure, teen wildlife, all sports, mad science, skateboard, in-line skate and others.  

Checks made out to Trust and Agency Fund can be sent to Mecklenburg County DSS, Community Resources Office, 301 Billingsley Road, Charlotte, NC 28211.  

For more information, please call the main number of the Community Resources Office at 704-336-4809.



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