Indiana nonprofits form partnership to better serve youth
Counselors lead campers in challenging
climbing experiences this summer at
Jameson Camp, which strives to enrich
the lives of Indiana youth by inspiring
them to discover their strengths.
When two good causes team up, the results can be phenomenal.
Jameson Camp is a nonprofit establishment located on the west side of Indianapolis. The organization offers a summer camp experience for children who might not, under normal circumstances, be able to attend a summer camp. Not only do campers participate in typical camp activities, but the organization also places an emphasis on promoting a healthy lifestyle, building character and providing outdoor education.
Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (IOPO) serves as the vital link between people waiting for an organ transplant and potential donors. The organization is dedicated to providing Indiana citizens with the information necessary to make an informed decision about organ donation, and it also helps with the donation registration process. Trained volunteers and staff members offer various educational programs and participate in multiple events throughout the state.
These two nonprofit organizations have formed a partnership, thus enabling them to better serve their communities.
According to Kim Charles, IOPO special events coordinator, IOPO first partnered with Jameson Camp through one of its programs known as the Employee Giving Campaign. Through this initiative, more than 75 percent of IOPO employees donate money from their own pockets to fund community outreach programs.
For some children, this partnership has provided opportunities that once seemed impossible. IOPO worked with IPS 61 to sponsor four children to attend a week-long session at Jameson Camp. “The employees [at IOPO] wanted to assist a school near our offices and make an impact on the lives of children near us,” Charles said.
Through the sponsorship, IOPO provided the children with many of the supplies that are necessary for campers to enjoy a week-long summer camp. The organization’s Employee Giving Committee supplied sleeping bags, pillows and sheets for the sponsored children who needed them. “We really wanted the kids and their families to be able to enjoy the experience and not worry about supplies they might not have,” said Charles.
In addition to sponsoring campers, IOPO also puts on educational programs for Indiana youth. The children who attended Jameson Camp’s “Wellness Week,” a week-long camp session with a special focus on forming and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, experienced one of these programs firsthand.
On July 17, IOPO hosted “Life Is Cool,” a unique hands-on program “designed to teach young people about their bodies, healthy choices, healthy living, tissue donation and transplantation,” Charles said. Campers rotated between various stations and activities, and they were even able to see and touch animal organs while learning about the functions of their own bodies and how to properly care for them.
Though the partnership is still new, Charles sees a bright future and anticipates many opportunities for the two nonprofits to work together in the future.
“We are starting small and hope to grow this relationship in the future,” she said.
Taylor Brown is an intern at Jameson Camp. For information about the program or to sponsor a camper, visit http://www.jamesoncamp.org/.