According to the American Camp Association (ACA), the average cost of summer camp in the United States is around $178.49 a day. While expensive, summer camps allow children to stay engaged over the school break and prevent learning loss. In response to rising camp costs however, many parents are weighing the importance of summertime engagement, against the financial pressure such prices put on their families’ budgets.
Last summer, Dara, a Navy veteran and single mother of 3 children, was feeling the extra stress of rising camp costs. Dara was pursuing a degree and as a result of her service, attended regular medical appointments. Throughout her children’s school year, Dara was able to attend her appointments and classes while her children were at school.
As summer approached, Dara wasn’t sure how she was going to be able to balance her studies, her health, and the cost of sending her three children to camp. She also was in a bind searching for a camp equipped to meet the needs of her daughter who is autistic. A fellow veteran recommended that Dara reach out to us. She was overwhelmed with gratitude upon receiving assistance for her three children to attend summer camp.
“I am so grateful for FFWW. You all have helped my family and I tremendously, and I’m so happy there’s an organization like yours to help veterans like me.”
While Dara’s sons enjoyed developing their skills and making new friends at soccer camp, her daughter grew her confidence at an art camp uniquely designed for her needs. With her children in safe and reliable care, Dara was able to progress in her health and keep up on her coursework. Each of her children were able to easily transition back to the classroom when school convened in the fall.
Additionally, with the skills learned in our financial literacy classes, Dara created a budget for the school year and was able to enroll each of her children in an affordable afterschool program allowing her the flexibility to attend evening classes and accelerate her progress towards completion of her degree.
Without our assistance, Dara risked putting her own education on hold and would have likely missed her appointments, thus neglecting her personal well-being and health. Additionally, her children would have missed out on opportunities to continue building upon their learning.
Today, Dara is employed, earning a stable income for her family, and continues to attend our financial wellness and Summer of Self-care webinars in support of her financial and personal goals.
Our ability to support Dara and her family would not have been possible without our donors. The continued success and sustainability of Dara and her family is owed to the generosity of our community and its dedication to empowering our nation’s women veterans. This is Your Impact!
As Month of the Military Child ends and we approach the highly anticipated summer break, we are calling on our community to support our 2023 Childcare Camp Campaign, so that veteran mothers like Dara may continue to pursue their next mission, and so that their children may thrive.
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