I know that times are tough for everyone right now financially but if you have a few dollars to spare, Camp Mays could use the help!!
I would love it if readers could share this on their own blogs, facebook, twitter, etc.
As most of my readers realize, parents of students with severe autism face several challenges once school is out for the summer. Our county's extended school year only lasts three weeks which leaves almost two months where my students are at home. While summer break is, for most kids and families, full of opportunities and fun, that's not the case a lot of the time with my students. It is often difficult if not impossible for parents to find a babysitter or child care provider who is qualified and willing to care for some of my students so they have almost two months with no break at all from caring for their child - a child who requires constant active supervision. Additionally, my students' parents spend so much time, money and energy just providing everyday care for their kids that they often have little time, money or energy left over to do "fun" things.
In an effort to provide some respite for my students’ parents and provide some opportunities for "typical" summer fun experiences for my students over the summer months, a few years ago I began taking my students on day trips to places like White Water, Children's Museums, parks, etc. What has evolved has been dubbed “Camp Mays”. Last summer, I rented a van each week and took my students (along with several of my friends, family and coworkers who volunteered to help) to a movie, Jungle Jumpers, Stone Mountain, the Georgia Aquarium, and swimming. Some of my students' families may not have otherwise been able to provide these opportunities for their child. In the past I have funded “Camp Mays” almost solely from my own pocket – purchasing the admission tickets, renting the van, buying the gas, and buying lunch for each child and volunteer. Families do not have to pay anything at all for their child to be able to participate in Camp Mays. In each of the past two years I have spent over $3000 of my own money on Camp Mays. This year my husband is out of work so I am scaling down the activities and doing more free things (like swimming at a friend’s pool, going to the playground and park). I feel that these opportunities provide such a great service to my students and their families – mainly giving the parents a small break from the extreme demands that a child with severe autism present almost constantly and providing opportunities for my students to participate in fun activities just like other children. So even though I really can't afford it, I still want to go forward with Camp Mays this summer and am trying to find ways to do so.
100% of all money donated will go to van rental, gas, admission tickets, lunch and snacks for Camp Mays adventures.