Oakland County nonprofit offers free summer camp for foster children

There are roughly 13,000 children in foster care across Michigan. They were pulled from their families because of abuse, neglect, or trauma, and many are forced to grow up quickly.

There is a program that gives children of foster care an opportunity to get away from it all, an attempt to let them focus on having fun and just being a kid.

Love For A Child is a nonprofit that organizes a camp every summer in northern Oakland County. The event is free for children to attend.

The following information was given to Local 4 by Love For A Child:

Who Pays?

Love for a Child Kids Camp sponsors the entire week cost-free to the families we host. Generously we have partners and sponsors who come together to raise over $25,000.00 to give this week of royalty to the children inside the program. We travel throughout the year, speaking at seminars, churches and business groups to raise awareness and support for the program. The families we serve often have a hard time with expenses out of the norm that the state helps them with. The camp is a week where we do not want to be a burden to the parent, but allow them to know their child is experiencing days of positive filled memories, new friendships, and the opportunity to "Be a Kid." There is no value large enough to raise than the joy of laughter within a child. It is our honor to raise these funds in full to help give back to the families.

How do the kids get selected to attend?

Every year we receive applications during "Foster Care Awareness Month" which is May. We hand-select 40 children to attend the week-long experience based on family story, need, or request. The children all suffer from severe trauma in the cases of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. We try to reunite children with biological siblings or give them a week of fun, where their normal childhood weeks are filled with courts, doctor visits, and counseling. Each child is a story that we can impact to replace the hurt with some hope.

Are any of the kids from Detroit?

Yes! We serve Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Lapeer, and St. Clair counties. We also have a few families that live outside these counties that we still offer resources and programming.

How long has this camp been going on?

Our 2019 camp will be the 11th consecutive year it has been held.

About the Authors:

Kayla Clarke

Kayla is a web producer with an English degree from Michigan State University. Before joining the ClickOnDetroit team in 2018, she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.