Halloween is over and the holidays are on their way, and now is the time of year when we start to think about celebrating with friends and family. It’s also a time of year when many families take time to give back to those less fortunate.
At Bryn Mawr, we have always emphasized the importance of sharing with those who may have less than we do. Generally, our campers are fortunate enough to come from homes where they have loving parents, regular meals, a roof over their heads, and in many cases, opportunities and advantages that not all children have. At camp, we make an effort to promote a sense of generosity among our campers, and we have provided a number of opportunities over the years for campers to help make a difference in the lives of others by volunteering and raising money for charity. This summer, we were proud to be part of the American Camp Association initiative Making a Difference: Celebrating 150 Years of the Camp Experience Through Community Service. Campers participated by making cards for soldiers overseas, making toys for a staff member’s children who recently lost his house to an electrical fire and swam laps for Project Morry.
Of course, for more than a decade now, one of our most popular community service initiatives at Bryn Mawr has been our support of Morry’s Camp (please see our previous blog called Making A Difference: Camp and Communality Service), a program inspired by Dan’s mentor, the late Morry Stein, who believed in the importance of a quality summer camp experience for all young people. Our campers have swum hundreds of thousands of laps and raised more than $110,000 to support Morry’s Camp, and many of our Bunk 1 campers and Leaders in Training have had the opportunity to visit Morry’s Camp in person and participate in the good work that’s done there. Later this month, we will attend the 15th Annual Morry’s Camp Autumn Elegance Gala at Chelsea Piers in New York, an event that benefits Morry’s Camp and its year round programs for disadvantaged youth. If you’d like to join us in celebrating 15 years of summer fun for all, you can find ticket information at www.projectmorry.org.
Of course, Morry’s Camp is just one of many organizations doing good in the world, and there are many ways you and your family can give back to your community all year round. Check with your temple or church to find out what family volunteer opportunities are available, or call your local food bank to see if your family can sign up for a shift helping in the pantry. If your children love animals, consider volunteering at or collecting donations for the local animal shelter, or volunteer to foster a puppy that will go on to The Seeing Eye or therapy dog training. There are websites that can connect you with volunteer opportunities as well, such as VolunteerMatch.org and VolunteerNewJersey.org. Volunteering with your kids is a great way to model generous behavior and show them that giving back can be fun!