[by Phyllis Shaikun]
The National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section, means a lot of things to a lot of people as can be attested to by the sheer number of worthy projects the section continues to nurture in the Louisville area.
The newest program, the week-long Gilda’s Camp, which just completed its third year, is perhaps the one that pulls at the heartstrings just a little harder than the others. Cancer is, after all, a scary business.
For an entire week, Gilda’s Camp lets 35 children touched by cancer – whether undergoing treatment themselves or living with or caring about someone who has had a cancer journey – forget about it for a bit and just be kids. Camp offers a warm and loving place where campers get to share their feelings and enjoy doing arts and crafts projects, bowling, swimming and hiking at the same time. Indulging in tasty summertime treats and learning about how to keep healthy helps foster a positive attitude in youngsters dealing with serious medical issues.
Pulling off the one-week camp experience encompassed an extraordinary 45 NCJW volunteers, three passenger vans, 40 dozen donuts, innumerable homemade sandwiches and more than 200 bottles of water, but they did it with aplomb! Far from patting themselves on the back, however, enthusiastic volunteers are no doubt readying themselves to do the same thing again next year.
Oh, and one more thing, campers raised $1,100 from a carnival they held during the session and voted to Pay it Forward to help other young people affected by cancer. It was truly a memorable week thanks to a group of wonderful children and the generosity of NCJW volunteers.