Aug 14

Monday morning reflection - the starfish parable: making a difference & some gratitude

Good morning! It is the first morning at camp, the sun is out, and our team is so thrilled to see how quickly campers settle into camp life. Camp Kivita is in its 9'th summer and a decade of planning. What started as a dream almost ten years ago is now a full-fledged summer camp with 73 wonderful children enjoying the magic that is camp this summer. Recently, a friend shared the starfish story with me as I reflected how much we have grown over the years, yet lamented over the fact that there are so many more kids that can benefit from camp and a wait list that cannot take all children who want to attend. This parable tells the story of a man walking along the beach after a storm who comes upon a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean. The man laughs and says 'don't you realize there are miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?'. The boy listens politely, picks up another starfish and throws it into the ocean, and replies "I made a difference to that one". This story exemplifies the driving force behind the work that happens all year by our incredible team to ensure that Camp Kivita can be a magical summer place for so many children. And while our space is limited and we cannot take every child each summer, we are proud to be able to provide camp to your children and share these wonderful experiences that we know will make a difference to each of them. It is the impact that camp can have on every child - be it the friendships, the stories, the laughter, the experiences, and the memories that last forever that provide energy for our team. This year we have grown to take our largest number of campers to date and we strive to continue to grow and provide camp to as many children living with organ failure and organ transplants who can benefit as possible. It is with great pride that we reflect that over the last 9 summers we have provided camp to over 500 campers! Finally, yet most importantly, it is because of the extremely generous support we receive from our committed donors, supporters and many individuals that we can provide this experience at no charge to our campers. A special thank you to our long time supporters who make camp possible - the Citron Family and friends, the David Foster Foundation, Rexall Foundation, KRG Children's Charities and Paul Martin, the Grafstein Family, The Kidney Foundation (and their many generous donors including the Jacobs family and Toronto Start Fresh Air Fund), Spinmaster,  the Benjamin Walker Foundation, Astellas Pharma Canada, BLML developments, the children at Echoage who generously chose to donate to our camp in celebration of their birthdays, and so many very generous individuals and friend. This year we were especially moved and overwhelmed by the generosity of a former camper and her family who chose to honor her transplant anniversary with an extraordinary gift to Camp Kivita - there are few words to adequately express our gratitude but we honour your generosity by committing to sharing the magic of camp, and working to raise awareness for organ donation and transplantation in Canada. The sun is shining and we are excited for an incredible day at camp! Your in camping, Stacey On behalf of the Camp Team