We wanted to share some amazing stories from the recent LRS Summer Camp where we perform follow up care through poverty relief programs. This summer, we held our second camp for our children after congenital heart surgery. These children have spent too much of their young lives in and out of hospitals. Not only was this the first time any of these children have attended a "camp," it was their first experience in a city! Now that they've recovered, we want to help build their self-esteem by showing our love and care through educational activities.
This isn't an easy task. Our camp attendees all come from poor rural families, and are further isolated and stigmatized because of their poor health. They do not have the opportunities and leisure time kids are expected to have. Being low-income and in poor health, they have never had a chance for "play" or attend school. Our goal is to help build their self-esteem and inspire them to believe in themselves and their potential as many start school for the first time in September.
This summer was full of many "firsts", but we hope there are no "lasts". We genuinely believe in the impact this camp can have on rural children and will continue to help our young patients grow to be healthy, happy adults. Our goal is to hold this program every year, for as many children in need as possible! If you have the chance, please help keep our program alive and support this cause! It only costs $200 to sponsor a child for camp. Click here to give. If you would like to travel to Gansu, China, and volunteer at next year's camp, please fill out this form.
Before and After! Can you believe it's only been 6 months since Hongyan's surgery with Little Red Scarf. She seems like a completely different child. Hongyan was very closed off to the world before her surgery, so we weren't surprised when she came into camp a bit reserved and shy. By the end, we saw her laughing and playing, and even tearing up as she said her goodbyes. Her aunt was shocked at how she's changed her attitude in such a short amount of time.
Art classes are rare if nonexistent in rural education, and this is Haoyang's first time playing a musical instrument. He couldn't wait to practice and wouldn't put the instrument down. Our US volunteers bought a recorder for every single camp attendee. Read more about his miracle waking up after surgery 60 days from a coma.
The highlight of this camp was a special visit from US volunteers Lauren Kam and her mother, Grace Kam. They packed their suitcases full with craft supplies, small gifts, and musical instruments. Our patients were exposed for the first time to art, music, and english, and every activity was new and exciting for them. It was incredible watching them open up to us and more importantly, open up to learning.
LRS Camp has been an incredibly transformative experience. Because the odds are heavy against these kids, the need for camps like these are even greater. We gave every child this picture to take home. "Children are like wet cement, Whatever falls on them makes an impression."
Read more daily blogs and photos of the camp: Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4; Day 5
View the original e-newsletter.
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