Camp Fire Columbia helps 4,000 youth annually find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they truly are.
Real LifeSarah is a bright and spirited student in Camp Fire's after school program, but struggles with several challenges at home. Like many students in the program, Sarah lives with a single mother who is barely able to make ends meet financially. Sarah relies on the free meals at school to feed her during the week. Her mother recently spent several weeks in jail, which noticeably affected Sarah's behavior. Further, Sarah is overweight and suffers from teasing and social isolation. It is a lot for a fifth grader to shoulder.
At Camp Fire, Sarah has been able to make friends, learn new talents through enrichment activities, and benefit from caring adult mentors. Camp Fire has provided Sarah's family with food boxes during the holiday breaks and connected her to a counseling group.
During one recent afterschool activity, youth were led on a scavenger hunt. At the end, students gave each other compliments. As the girls in her group offered Sarah kind words, Sarah quietly cried. When asked why she was crying, Sarah admitted that "no one had ever said nice things about me like that." Because of opportunities like this, and your support, Sarah is showing wonderful increases in social connections, confidence, and self-esteem.