A fundraiser to send low-income children to summer camp has gathered momentum, but support is still needed to expand the initiative.
Acts of Random Kindness project manager Natalie Mallinson said she has received $10,000 in donations so far to send 20 children from George Town Primary School to camp this summer. Most of the students have never been to camp and had few prospects for a safe, educational summer break.
If donations continue, Ms. Mallinson said she will be able expand the program to other schools and districts.
“We’ve only managed to have one government school benefit from this scheme,” she said.
“We could potentially spread it to more schools and get into the high schools and get all the way to East End.”
Ms. Mallinson began working with ARK four years ago and witnessed the need to support low-income youth during a series of home visits.
“A lot of children during the summer don’t have anything to fill their time with. A lot of them live in dangerous neighborhoods. They have a very long summer,” she said.
“I have seen children we’ve visited without light, without water, very unsafe, no structure. A lot of parents have no one to mind them over the summer.”
She highlighted the story of one boy who was previously sponsored to attend swimming camp, an activity he could never have accessed otherwise.
“He had only been in a swimming pool one or two times. So I put him in a swim camp. He is such a good swimmer from it and he remembers that experience. That taught him a talent. Now when I take him swimming with his sisters, I’ve got one who can swim. So it’s a safety aspect as well,” Ms. Mallinson said.
Summer camp remains a dream for many of her students, she added. Having faced many disappointments in life, she said the students lit up at the prospect of spending a fun-filled summer.
To inquire about donations, contact Ms. Mallinson at [email protected]