This week’s Jewish Chronicle Charity Matters supplement featured an article about some young supporters of Camp Simcha who are doing their part to make a difference.
Whether it is sponsored events, Camp Simcha’s Share Your Simcha initiative, the B’nei Mitzvah Digital Detox challenge or their own independent activities, young supporters are constantly stepping up to raise funds to support our work helping seriously ill children and their families.
“We are so grateful for the support we get from all generations in the community, but it is particularly gratifying to see children having an awareness of those less fortunate than themselves at such a young age,” says Camp Simcha chief executive Neville Goldschneider.
One such example is 13-year-old Asher Nagler, who last summer set himself a tough pre-bar mitzvah fundraising challenge with a deconstructed triathlon.
Feeling blessed to be celebrating his bar mitzvah in good health, Asher chose to share his simcha by completing three separate challenges raising £1,000 to help fund Camp Simcha’s practical, emotional and therapeutic support services for all the family.
Asher began in June with the Maccabi GB 5km fun run, followed by a 1.2km cycle ride on wet grass during the St Albans duathlon in September and a one-hour swim of 1,440m in October.
Asher, who is a pupil at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, said he believed it was important to do something for charity to tie in with his bar mitzvah. “I felt I couldn’t have a big simcha and not think about others who were having a less good time.
“I really enjoyed all the challenges and I had a real sense of achievement when I completed them all and raised the money.
“I had heard about Camp Simcha when I was at primary school at Sacks Morasha. I was really inspired by the work they do for children who are seriously ill so that’s why I chose them.
Youngsters Alfie Bladon, ten, and his sister Mia, nine, know exactly how important Camp Simcha’s support is to families.
In December they headed up a new campaign to raise funds for Camp Simcha’s respite care provision – the Evie’s Night Owls service established in memory of their little sister Evie. Evie was born in 2012 but oxygen deprivation during her birth resulted in severe brain damage and doctors didn’t expect her to survive past 48 hours.
Evie lived to the age of three, but the 24-hour care she needed put an enormous strain her parents, Sam and Lee, and in turn Alfie and Mia.
‘Evie’s Night In’ is Alfie and Mia new fundraising initiative which invites children and adults to have a night in to raise money for Camp Simcha’s Evie’s Night Owls service.
Alfie explains: “It can be a dinner party, quiz night, poker night for parents or a sleepover or movie night for the kids … anything is fine. You just invite some friends and ask them not to bring you a gift but instead to donate on the night to help someone else. Camp Simcha has made special packs, which will give you party bags, stickers and a collection box. We are asking everyone to take a picture of their night and post it on social media.”
Sam Bladon explains that respite support makes a world of difference. ‘Our hope is that we can raise enough funds for Evie’s Night Owls to become an ongoing service through Camp Simcha so that all families like us, who need respite but aren’t eligible for it, can get this regular support from carers that they come to know and trust.’
To find out more about Share your Simcha, Digital Detox or Evie’s Night In, Contact Sammy Kemp