Today, one of our long-term office volunteers (Russ) quickly popped into the CHIPS office to drop off a gift to commemorate 21 years of our Life Gets Better Camps.
The gift is a beautiful cross-stitch of a little child and their Grandfather, walking down to a lake (with their fishing rods and old, faithful dog), along a narrow dirt track. Across the bottom of the picture are the words- "Changing Little Worlds in BIG Ways"...CHIPS' motto.
Sometimes it's hard to know how much we can truly change a little world in a BIG way when our time with children is so short, but then we receive beautiful letters like these below (and pic):
"Hey Cathy. Sad that I can't be at the upcoming Life Gets Better camp but I'm thinking about you all and praying for a great camp. As I write this I am bumping down the highway in a big, old American school bus in New Jersey USA. For the last 10 weeks I have had the privilege of working at summer camp, with a group of 8 and 9 year old boys. My time here in the U.S comes to an end in a few weeks’ time and I have been reflecting on my journey to this point.
Back in 2002 I attended a Life Gets Better Camp and a few years later began volunteering on camps. I can say without a doubt that without Life Gets Better camps and the countless amazing program's that C.H.I.P.S does I would not be the person that I am today.
All the way from New Jersey USA I just want to say a huge thank you to the C.H.I.P.S team for the amazing work they do in encouraging kids to be kids. I can't wait to hear about the camp when I get back."
"I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the CHIPS team for the amazing experience they enabled my boys to have during camp over the weekend. It melted my heart to see such joy & happiness from both of them. It's certainly a credit to you all for doing such a great job. I cannot thank you enough for giving two boys the best experience of their life. Thank you."
Oh, how we've missed seeing all of those little faces, and catching up with our amazing team of volunteers this year and how sad we are that we aren't able to celebrate the positive impact that we've ALL had in these precious little ones lives, over the past 21 years.
BUT...how grateful we are that we have been given the opportunity to be "present", to "see, hear, understand and accept" the children JUST AS THEY ARE, because each one is of intrinsic value.
So, today we say- THANK YOU! Thank you to EVERY ONE who has supported CHIPS' Life Gets Better camps over the past 21 years and for going on this amazing journey with us.
You truly are continuing to Change Little Worlds In BIG Ways.