The camp, says executive director Nancy Bernotaitis, has made a huge impact on individuals, especially for those who have a hard time communicating. One example is a young man named Brady. “He was so scared he cried for his mom and wouldn’t leave his chair in the barn, no matter what we did,” says Bernotaitis. “Last year, Brady hopped out of the car each day with a smile from ear to ear, excited for camp. It’s been a joy watching him make friends and try new things. He feels like he’s part of the family.”
Bernotaitis says belonging is so important. “Everyone wants to feel like they belong and at GWF, everyone belongs. As our client Sean said one year, “I have found my people.”
One parent told her how difficult it had been to find a camp for special needs kids. “I was blessed to have a friend who informed me about Good Works Farm,” she said. “The people involved are wonderful, at times I had to hold back tears as I watched my son joyfully interact with staff and other campers. It was an emotional journey for me as his mother/volunteer to see him included, understood, and simply accepted, one that I will cherish for a long time.”
Here are some items they can use for camp:
- Carrot chips for the rabbits
- Animal Crackers for the goats
- Mealworms for the chickens (they go through a lot of treats during camp)
- Paper Towels
- Bottled Water
- Yoga Mats
- Yoga bricks
- Bagged Ice
- Buncho Water Balloons
- Car Wash Sponges
Donations can be dropped off at the farm, 1566 Roxanna New Burlington Road, Waynesville. You’re asked to email first to be certain someone will be there to accept them. The email address is: email@example.com.
You can also check out the Amazon Wish List: https://bit.ly/GWFwishlist.
Other ways to get involved:
- Volunteer as a camp buddy or camp activity leader or assistant. Volunteers are especially needed for the summer day camp session July 17-21.
- Become a member of the Grower’s Guild by setting up a recurring donation of any amount at www.goodworksfarm.org/donate-now
- Become a Camp Sponsor and take your team to camp! “Our team-building day at camp for our top-level sponsors is a unique opportunity for companies to bring their teams out for a day of camaraderie, diversity and inclusivity training, and fun!” says Bernotaitis. “In the past, groups have brought cornhole, music therapy, games, and a water-balloon slingshot but we can also provide the activity. I’ve watched groups have more fun than the campers – it’s truly an affordable way to invest in employees!”
Anyone is welcome to take a tour of the camp the second Tuesday of each month.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.