A while ago I wrote a blog about hearing Geoffrey Canada speak and many people responded by asking “but what can we do?”
If you live in Charlotte, I highly suggest you volunteer your time, and/or make a donation, to the Bruce Irons Camp Fund.
Bruce Irons was a principal at Eastover Elementary who “was deeply committed to the belief that all children should have equal access to educational opportunities and resources, and was always most concerned for those who had the least.” Bruce and his wife frequently spent their own money to send low-income students to summer camps. When Bruce passed away too young, friends and community members longed to help his widow, Edith. She simply asked that they carry on Bruce’s legacy by sending a kid to camp. In 1988, the camp fund was established in his name.
This summer BICF won’t just “send a kid to camp”, they’ll send 70. Imagine how massive an endeavor that is! I have been told that many of these children, when being driven to camp, become silent and still as the car climbs the mountain for fear they will fall off. Most of these kids have never seen a mountain outside of a TV screen. They do not own sleeping bags or know how to swim. Going to camp is about more than making fun memories; it’s about learning to imagine possibilities.
Children are recommended for the BICF based on strong academic effort, leadership potential, and good citizenship. The fund selects students in fourth grade and commits to them for five years of summer learning, beginning with residential nature camps and concluding with residential vocational camps like an EMT camp at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
BICF desperately needs 10 more volunteers to take new campers shopping for camping supplies and to drive kids to camp. If you would like to make a camper jump for joy, please visit the volunteer section of the BICF website. If you would like to make a monetary donation to help reach more students, please go here.