100 WWCG Replaces Lost Government Grant for Rainbow Day Camp
As 100 Women Who Care Guelph learned Tuesday night, a critical piece of funding for Rainbow Day Camp’s Inclusion Program, a grant from the provincial government, has just recently been cut.
Rainbow Day Camp has been providing different summer day camp experiences for kids of all abilities here in Guelph for 40 years. Their Inclusion Program, which is at the core of their philosophy, mixes kids of all abilities for a week long day camp. In the process, they are teaching empathy, patience, acceptance, and inclusion. What we learn as children carries over into adulthood, and empathy (or lack thereof) is a critical skill that can have a profound affect on a society.
While this program goes right to the heart of what they are trying to impart, it is also one of the most expensive due to the one-one care needed for each special needs child for the week they are at camp. There are five spots for each of the eight weeks of the program, and a personal support worker is essential for each of those children.
Having lost the grant, over the course of the summer instead of being able to offer the program to 40 special needs children, they would only be able to offer it to 16, a 40% reduction in the number of spots, and an incalculable loss to the children and families they are trying to support. It is one of their most popular programs, and with registration due to open in a month, Rainbow Day Camp reached out to 100 WWCG for support.
The personal story of a 7 year old girl overheard explaining to her nervous and protective mother that “the young autistic boy who had become over excited and was flapping was nothing to worry about, because he was actually really happy and the flapping was just a part of who he was”, is exactly what that program is all about – removing the fear of the “other” and replacing it with understanding and acceptance.
By choosing Rainbow Day Camp to be the recipient of their latest quarterly donation, 100 WWCG ensured the program would be fully funded for this summer, helping raise the next generation of caring men and women here in Guelph. Visit www.100womenwhocareguelph.com for more information or to join 100 WWCG and help support those in need in our community.