Since its began in 1989, Birch Family Camp has provided year-round hope, compassion, advocacy, education and acceptance to children, families and caregivers from the five boroughs of New York City who are facing the hardships of a life with HIV/AIDS. Specifically, Birch Family Camp is a residential summer camp program designed to provide a sanctuary and respite to children and caregivers living with HIV/AIDS. This camp is absolutely FREE of charge to all campers! The camp includes two one-week sessions which provide opportunities for strengthening family relationships and provide a community of like minded individuals.
The camp also provides a respite for caregivers, and emotional support for upwards of 70 families each year. This is all done in a comfortable country setting. Caregivers (biological, adoptive, foster parents, aunts, uncles, or grandparent for example) received a desperately needed break from the day to day burden of caring for sick loved ones while gaining renewed strength – both physical and emotional. Adults are involved in both recreational and educational activities through the course of the week. Children will participate in typical camp activities such as swimming, boating, arts and crafts, theater, campfires and camp outs. It is often the only chance for children and adults to be “normal” and enjoy what many others take for granted. As camp is for the infected and affected family members, the entire family unit are given an opportunity to discover one another’s strengths in a new and exciting way. Volunteers aspired to change the course of history regarding the AIDS pandemic that has orphaned nearly 20 million children.
Over the years it has become a hardship to find the financial support to keep the camp running. In 2009, One Heartland stepped in and became the main financial support, allowing the camp to continue for another five years. After the downturn of the economy in 2007 – 2010 this funding became harder to come by as AIDs was no longer on the front page of newspaper. In 2014, after years of financial struggle, Birch Family Camp could no longer afford to continue having these events. Now in 2016 with the help and love of the many volunteers and families who have been touched by Birch Love, we are in the process of revamping this program that has touched the lives, in often indescribable ways of hundreds of families over its 20+ year history.
We are now looking to gain the support of people like you to make this dream of bringing Birch Family Camp back in 2017 and to continue the important work started over 20 years ago. Your contribution will help ensure the success of a new Birch Family Camp and will directly impact the lives of these well-deserving families in the years to come.
If you would like more information on Birch Family Camp feel free to reach out to us. Thank you, in advance for your time and consideration.