Editor's note: Michaela Margida is one of Knotice's summer interns who specialized in technical writing. She devotes her time to a worthy cause, and we wanted to take a quick break from our usual coverage of direct digital marketing and inform our loyal readers about it! Good luck at school, Michaela!
I'd like to tell you about a service opportunity that truly touched my heart: Camp Quality Ohio. It was my third year volunteering and I plan to keep going back. It's a cause I really believe in. No matter how far away from Ohio I am, or how busy I get, I will make time for this incredible experience.
Camp Quality Ohio is a week-long sleep-away camp for children with cancer (and their siblings), located in Portage Lakes, Ohio.
In addition to the kitchen staff, the craft leaders, the camp directors, and other staff that make the camp run, CQ has almost 100 volunteer companions. I have volunteered for the past three years as a companion.
Companions spend the week working one-on-one with a camper, making sure that his or her week is the best it can possibly be. A companion’s principal duty is to watch out for a camper’s health and safety. This includes making sure the camper visits the nurse’s office to take meds or receive first aid (if needed).
The best part of being a companion is to being a camper’s friend—not a disciplinarian or parent, but a true buddy. In many ways this involves finding your inner child for a week, which is an experience both enlightening and fun!
Being a companion is hard work, but I think I speak for all companions when I say that the week of fun we help provide for a sick child or a sibling of a child is worth it. Watching a camper forget about cancer for a week and pursue normal childhood activities and make new friends is priceless.
Ann Frank once wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” There are opportunities for service all around us, starting with this one! The cool thing is, we all stand to gain more from service experiences than we put into them. The potential for learning and growing is limitless.
I’ve learned so much from my time at Camp Quality, and I’ve gained good friends in my camper and my camper’s family. I really do wish this experience for everyone. It’s a week filled with laughter and love, geared toward making special kids smile.
Get in on the act and help support families who have a child with cancer by volunteering at next year’s camp, July 10-17 2010. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Michaela Margida. You don’t need to wait a single moment!