Mar 8, 2014
Our very own Jane Saccaro, Camp Kesem CEO, was featured on FOX 32 News to talk about Camp Kesem and tonight’s Family Night at the Museum event. In her interview, Jane talks about how Camp Kesem was started, why she got involved, and how Kesem would influence her life in ways she hadn’t originally anticipated. Watch the interview with our fearless leader here.
Feb 6, 2014
Dara Levy, owner of Cellular Intelligence Luxury Medspa, joined 103.5 Kiss FM Chicago for their Whitney’s Women feature on Monday. Levy is involved with Camp Kesem in the Chicago area, and she spoke about the Family Night at the Museum event, which will be held on March 8th, 2014 at the Field Museum in Chicago.
Listen to the full feature >>
Jan 21, 2014
5 days. 50 states. 550 runners.
Steve Cannon is planning the 550 Relay which, if successful, will be the largest marathon relay in history. There will be 11 chosen participants from each state, with a goal of raising $2.5 million dollars for cancer survivors and their families. Are you up for the challenge? Click here to learn more about how to join this record-breaking team.
More on how Steve got to organizing the 550 Relay:
“In 2009, after months of contemplation and trepidation, I decided to run across my home state of Iowa. The event would cover 292 miles and average a marathon a day for 11 straight days. I wanted to attempt the run for two reasons: first, to see if I could do it, and second, to raise money while doing so. My aunt died of breast cancer when I was 12, and my grandmother from lung cancer more recently. Both were incredible women who touched my life more deeply than most. I was not sure what charity to choose as this was new territory for me.”
Visit the blog >>
Jan 6, 2014
What happens when one young person wants to make a difference? Jill Sammons, the daughter of one of Camp Kesem’s corporate donors, decided she wanted to contribute to Camp Kesem as well, but don’t let her young age of 10 fool you. Her dream? To raise $300 by creating and selling 60 luminaria bags. The reality? 250 bags and $1,250 toward Camp Kesem. Jill has experienced the magic of Camp Kesem, the way people are compelled to join this cause, and she saw these bags end up in 18 different states!
Jill, on behalf of Camp Kesem we cannot thank you and your family enough. Thank you for having a dream, and thank you for making that dream come true for so many children in tough situations. What a way to spread holiday cheer!
Dec 16, 2013
How My Sister’s Cancer Battle Strengthens My Resolve
“Before taking on the role of Camp Kesem’s Chief Executive Officer, I spent 15 years working for corporations. And while I loved my work, I felt compelled to find a role with a larger social mission and impact that would truly make a difference. During my search, I learned about Camp Kesem, a unique organization that not only served an often-overlooked population — children affected by a parent’s cancer — but empowered college students to make a difference. As a mother, I was drawn to the mission. And as someone who has always valued leadership opportunities for young adults, I loved the method of how Camp Kesem achieved such great impact. I was hooked.
Seven weeks after I became Camp Kesem’s new CEO, my younger sister Susan was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer. She was just 35 years old, and her three young children — Teddy, then three, and 10-month-old twins Benji and Caroline — suddenly became Camp Kesem kids, and our organization’s mission really hit home. As I watched Susan fight her battle with this brutal disease, I gained an appreciation of why Camp Kesem’s work was so important. As a parent, all you want to do is protect, love and be there for your kids. And when you cannot do that, it is beyond powerless. As hard as Susan fought to be there for her kids, she did not win this battle and died just 11 weeks after her diagnosis. I still struggle with losing my best friend and confidante every day. So I do the only thing I know how to do. I honor Susan’s legacy by doing everything I can to bring support, comfort and love not only to her three children, but to the three million children who have or have had a parent with cancer.”
Read the full article >>
Dec 16, 2013
Michael Beahm, Channel Marketing Manager at Blackbaud, talked to Mai-Lan Pham, Camp Kesem’s Marketing Manager, about her efforts in leading Camp Kesem through a very successful #GivingTuesday!
“For #GivingTuesday, Camp Kesem sought to inspire the big kid in all of us by encouraging students and faculty members on their campuses to take a photo in one of 45 #BigKidsGive #GivingTuesday photo booths with a sign to encourage online donations to their local college’s Camp Kesem chapter and then share their photo via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Camp Kesem Marketing Manager Mai-Lan told me this was their biggest social media campaign to date! Over 1,300 #bigkidsgive photos were shared on social media, including celebrity posts from NBA star Blake Griffin and B.J. Novak of The Office. And $10,000 was raised to send more kids to camp this summer.”
Read the full article here >>
Dec 16, 2013
Reach to Recovery International is “a network of individuals, groups and organisations committed to improving the quality of life for women with breast cancer and their families through peer support, advocacy and consumer involvement in research.” Bloom is their international e-newsletter, which allows women who are breast cancer survivors to tell their stories and share their experiences, both emotional and psychological. Camp Kesem was featured in Bloom’s November issue, which focused specifically on the children of breast cancer patients.
One of our amazing Camp Kesem parents shared her story of joining the CK family and how it has affected her family since. She explains how she is reassured to know that her kids “will always have Kesem,” because “Kesem is family.”
Read the full issue >>
Nov 29, 2013
It’s been a big year for EJ Manuel
Since last Thanksgiving, he’s led Florida State University to an ACC title and an Orange Bowl win, graduated from college, been selected in the first round of the NFL draft as the first quarterback overall, moved to a new city, established himself in the Bills starting quarterback role, and led his team to dramatic victories in a new era of Buffalo football.
He’s also watched his mother battle and overcome cancer.
And among all those milestones, among all those achievements, her survival is what he’s most thankful for.
“I’m thankful for my mom’s health,” said Manuel, without hesitation. “That’s the biggest thing I’m thankful for. Family. I’m just thankful for life. I think my mom going through this really put life into perspective.”
In August of 2012, just as Manuel set out for a promising year as the quarterback of FSU, his mother Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. There’s no easy way to cope when a parent is diagnosed with cancer, but it’s certainly no easier when you’re competing on the national scale, expected to play without missing a beat on the football field.
“Obviously I had a lot of responsibilities and I’d already graduated but I had a full season ahead and at Florida State you’re expected to win each and every Saturday,” he said. “Beyond that pressure you still have your mom and her health. But she helped me out a lot because she always sounded upbeat when I talked to her. She was always positive about everything. She helped me probably more than I helped her.”
Read the full article >>
Nov 29, 2013
CAMP KESEM COLLEGE STUDENT VOLUNTEERS JOIN NATIONAL #GIVINGTUESDAY MOVEMENT
Encouraging other Big Kids to GIVE BACK with the launch of Camp Kesem themed Giving Tuesday photo booths nation-wide
November 25, 2013 (Los Angeles, CA) – Camp Kesem, a non-profit supporting children affected by a parent’s cancer, will encourage college students, “Big Kids”, across the country to GIVE BACK this #GivingTuesday with the launch of its 2013 #GivingTuesday #BigKidsGive Photo Campaign. On Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, thirty-six Camp Kesem college chapters nationwide will activate on-campus Camp Kesem themed #GivingTuesday photo booths inviting their fellow students to take photos and share them through various social media channels using the #GivingTuesday and #BigKidsGive hashtags. With these photos, Camp Kesem’s Big Kids will unite to spread the spirit of #GivingTuesday across the social media sphere and inspire their peers to take collaborative action to give back to their communities and help send more of Camp Kesem’s little kids to camp.
Each participating Camp Kesem college chapter will set up its own photo booth on campus and invite its fellow students to help spread the magic of Camp Kesem and the spirit of #GivingTuesday. Each photo booth will feature three special props for participants to creatively integrate – the beloved Camp Kesem mascot, Karl the Caterpillar; a “Donate to Camp Kesem” sign unique to each campus; and a #GivingTuesday #BigKidsGive sign. Each participant will be invited to take a photo and share it via their social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the special #GivingTuesday and #BigKidsGive hashtags.
Camp Kesem operates from 54 college campuses nationwide, each providing their surrounding communities with a student-run summer camp for kids affected by a parent’s cancer, as well as year-long peer support. “For Giving Tuesday this year, we are asking our 1,500 student volunteers from campuses all over the country to do what we know their generation does best – tweet, facebook, Instagram – all things social media”, says Jane Saccaro, CEO of Camp Kesem. “These photo booths will be a fun and creative way for college students to engage in #GivingTuesday and inspire the spirit of giving amontheir peers.
“This year we are seeing so many dynamic campaigns coming together to form one community. There is so much energy and entrepreneurialism throughout the #GivingTuesday movement,” said Henry Timms, #GivingTuesday founder and interim executive director of 92nd Street Y. “It has been humbling to see an idea that took root in one of 92Y’s core values – repairing the world – resonate with people, organizations, and business entities around the world who have taken it upon themselves to create new and innovative ways to inspire and facilitate giving.”
Participating college chapters include: Augustana College, BYU, Case Western Reserve University, College of William and Mary, Columbia University, Duke University & University of North Carolina, Emory University, Florida State University, George Washington University, Indiana University, John Hopkins University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Saint Louis University, Stony Brook University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UCSD, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Illinois, University of Miami, University of Missouri, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Southern California, University of Richmond, University of Texas – Austin, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Yale University.
On December 3rd, 2013, Camp Kesem hopes to blanket the online community with photos of college students from across the country, under the #GivingTuesday and #BigKidsGive hashtags, encouraging their communities to GIVE BACK!
About Camp Kesem
The ever-expanding Camp Kesem provides children affected by a parent’s cancer with a supportive, lifelong camp community that recognizes and understands their unique needs. Since its establishment in 2000, Camp Kesem has provided over 5,000 children ages 6-16 with free, college-student run camps, offering the chance to escape from reality and an opportunity to just be kids. Camp Kesem currently exists at 54 college chapters in 28 states. Camp Kesem operates off donations and community support and requires no cost to families and children attending. For more information on Camp Kesem, please visit www.CampKesem.org, Facebook.com/CampKesem, and @CampKesem on Twitter & Instagram.
About Giving Tuesday
#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give. It will culminate with a global day of giving on December 3, 2013. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners – charities, families, businesses and individuals – to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global moment that is dedicated to giving around the world.
To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:
To join in on the fun, all you have to do is print out these signs take a picture with both, and post it to your Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter using both the #givingtuesday and #bigkidsgive hashtags! We suggest using this wording with your tweet - “Today, I support @CampKesem and #GivingTuesday. Join me as I give back! #BigKidsGive. Donate at www.CampKesem.org“
Nov 20, 2013
Amber Connolly, a mother of some awesome Camp Kesem campers, won the Pink Power Mom Award this year! The Pink Power Mom Network “has transformed individually unique journeys of moms fighting, surviving and thriving into a powerful network of first-respondents for any individual impacted by breast cancer. This compassionate network empowers Pink Power Moms to continue giving back and positively impact families as they serve as community activists, sources of inspiration, and premier patient advocates.” As a mother of Camp Kesem campers and a member of the Camp Kesem Advisory Board, Amber has decided to make her charity of choice Camp Kesem!
Read more of Amber’s story here. >>