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Camp Tikkun Olam awards grants, teaches children about philanthropy

[by Rachel Lipkin, JCC Middle School, Assistant Camp and Camp Tikkun Olam Director]

A group of teens at the Jewish Community Center’s Camp Tikkun Olam participated in a group process of learning about giving to non-profit organizations and how non-profit organizations function. Campers acted as a foundation board, reviewed proposals submitted in response to RFPs (requests for proposals), went on site visits and awarded four grants to their selected non-profit organizations.

The group awarded $700 to the Kentucky Humane Society. Elijah Shina, 13, said he “learned about all of the care involved in the Humane Society, enjoyed playing with puppies and kittens, and chose to fund the Humane Society because they protect innocent cats and dogs.”

Ben and Jonah Wilga, 12, said, “We did many things at the Humane Society. We visited puppy dogs and baby kittens. We also got to take out four pets and play with them. I really liked how the Humane Society takes such good care of all of their pets.”

The money that was awarded to the Kentucky Humane Society will go towards the Help Me Heal Fund. The mission of this fund is to heal the bodies and spirits of needy pets who require medical diagnosis and treatment or advanced behavior help before they can be adopted. Last year more than 100 dogs and cats were served through the Help Me Heal Fund and with this grant, they hope to serve even more animals.

The group also awarded $150 to the Children’s Hospital Foundation for their Second Chance Prom, $100 to the JCC Early Childhood Education’s expansion of the Discover CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health) program that they began earlier this year, and $50 to the Dare to Care Food Bank for their Backpack Buddy program. The group had a great time learning about all of the non-profits that applied for the grant and hope to be able to participate in a similar program in the future.

The participants in the camp were Gabrielle Aberson, Ben Bedichevsky, Eliza Brodsky, Derrick Couch III, Alexis Desmond, Dawson Dornick, Micah Ehrman, Garrett Grubbs, Emily Renco, Elijah Shina, Spencer Shina, Benjamin Wilga and Jonah Wilga.

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