Published in the Daily Progress on August 21, 2014
As one of Virginia Organizing’s “supported groups,” which were referenced in an Aug. 15 letter to the editor (“Big money flowing in Va. Politics,” The Daily Progress), I would like to thank and praise that organization for its work supporting other groups’ efforts to improve our community.
In 2006, I began to dream of an organization that would help children with special needs gain access to the joys and benefits of attending camp. I went to Virginia Organizing with this dream, and Camping for All came to life.
Over the years, Camping for All has helped more than 100 families look for appropriate camps for their loved ones. We have also helped several dozen camps learn more about working with children with special needs.
We just finished our sixth summer of Sign Language Camp, which brings deaf and hearing children together and helps them learn to bridge the communication gap that separates them.
In addition, we just completed the fourth summer of a collaboration that provided trained mentors and backup support to five Charlottesville Parks and Recreation summer sites. This program helped make positive camp experiences possible for more than five dozen children.
None of these programs would have been possible without the administrative support I receive from Virginia Organizing. Its support of many small groups like mine improves the lives of innumerable people in our area and throughout Virginia.
Deborah Shapiro, Director, Camping for All