One Simple Wish grants wishes in 48 states and has served more than 35,000 children since its inception in 2008.
Dayton-based foster agency CHOICES, Inc. faced a dilemma. Earlier this year, they ran a fundraiser to send 20 deserving local foster children to Camp Joy’s special week designed just for children in care, but the group came up short and could only pay for 13 kids to attend.
The seven children, ages 8 to 15, who would miss camp included 10-year-old Skyler who was so excited at the prospect of going to camp she jumped up and down when her case worker told her.
“It’s a particularly rough time for Skyler,” said Ashley Schiffer, Development Director of CHOICES, Inc. “The court is in the process of placing her into permanent custody because reunification with her biological family is not realistic. That means a lot of court hearings and back and forth, which is a lot for a young girl. Camp Joy was going to be something to take her mind off the process and let her be a kid.”
Another child who would have missed out on camp was 15-year-old Jamal who comes from a situation of neglect. In his day-to-day life, Jamal plays the stressful role of parenting his two younger siblings.
“Jamal simply wants the freedom to be a teenager, and Camp Joy was going to provide him with a week where he could be just that—a kid creating happy memories,” said Schiffer.
That’s when Schiffer turned to a technology platform named OneSimpleWish.org that allows donors around the country to grant wishes to children in foster care. One Simple Wish grants wishes in 48 states and has served more than 35,000 children since its inception in 2008. Schiffer posted the wishes for each of the seven children to attend camp and all were granted by both local and national donors.
“We’re so thrilled the children will experience camp this year,” said Schiffer. “Foster Care Week at Camp Joy represents a safe place where the kids can feel respected and try new things, which is particularly hard for children in foster care. The kids don’t have to hide the fact that they are in foster care or worry about having to explain things like they do in school and other places.”
“This is precisely why my husband and I started One Simple Wish,” said One Simple Wish founder Danielle Gletow, “To empower more people to support children who’ve been victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment in very simple yet meaningful ways. Children deserve happy childhoods.”
The group leaves for Camp Joy on June 22.
Note: The children’s names have been changed to protect their identities.
CHOICES, Inc. (Children Have Options in Caring Environments) is a non-profit Foster Care, Independent Living, Home-Based Services, and Mentoring agency in the Southwest Ohio region. CHOICES has been successfully helping children and families for 27 years. CHOICES’ mission is to foster a meaningful quality of life for youth and families. They provide exceptional service delivery to kids in care, but also recognize the importance of providing enhancements to the children’s foster care experience. CHOICES wants their kids to have important childhood memories that are often missed in foster care, and with community support CHOICES is able to provide them extraordinary opportunities. Find out more at www.choicesfostercare.com.
One Simple Wish allows anyone to make a direct difference in the lives of foster children and vulnerable families by granting them simple wishes through the website at www.onesimplewish.org. Most wishes range in value from $5-$100, making wish granting simple and affordable. One Simple Wish has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Katie Couric Show and The Nate Berkus Show, among many others. In October 2013, founder Danielle Gletow was chosen as a Top 10 CNN Hero among tens of thousands of nominees worldwide.