Kids love summer. Pool parties, sleepovers, outdoor play, family vacations and quick stops for fast food are the norm. But for children with special dietary needs, it can mean a season of sickness or just not fitting in. Some have behavioral issues, neurologic challenges, fear issues or insecurity - all resulting from their bodies' rejection of gluten. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder affecting children and adults. People with celiac disease are unable to eat foods that contain gluten, which is found in wheat and other grains. In people with celiac disease, gluten sets off an autoimmune reaction that causes the destruction of the villi in the small intestine. People with celiac disease produce antibodies that attack the intestine, causing damage and illness. Nearly 1 out of every 133 Americans suffer from celiac disease, according to a study by the University of Maryland, Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore.We are committed to helping these children, located in Indiana, and the surrounding states and have stepped forward to fund a camp that caters to their dietary needs. In June, the good will of two individuals made it possible for 11 children to experience a fun-filled "normal" week with peers who have similar dietary issues. The cost to fund a camp of this nature for 40 campers is close to $15,000 with facility, activity, food and instructor costs. The daily program included team building activities, leadership development, and many activities centered around developing self confidence and dealing with the daily challenges that Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance can create. The daily program included three full meals of delicious gluten-free foods, snacks, and all the camp experiences that create lasting memories.In order for those children to have a repeat experience, and have additional children join them, they need the help of Super Heroes like you. You have the opportunity to be a sponsor for a child whose life can be quite challenging based on their dietary needs. The children who participated this year explain it best:10-year old girl: She learned to explain her dietary needs and now feels confident in facing kids who were bullying her.11-year old girl: Overcame her fear of heights at camp and developed lasting friendships.12-year old boy: "It was great to meet other kids just like me. At times it is frustrating and you think you are the only one."10-year old boy: "I have never been to camp because my mom was always scared, and so was I, that I'd get sick. This gave me the opportunity to experience camp for the first time."
Here are the levels of commitment we need from you. The levels of Super Hero sponsorship include:Awesome Gluten Destroyer - $3,000 ... Donators to this Super Hero Club receive a framed, personalized caricature of themselves as The Destroyer and a free booth at the Fall Gluten Free Living Now Expo. If you choose to do this option and pay after September, 2012, we will reserve a spot for the 2013 Gluten Free Expo. Captain Cook Club - $2,000 ... A plaque denoting your support of all Celiac children and 50 gluten-free cupcakes delivered to your place of business. Your proceeds are guaranteed to be used, in part, to feeding the children gluten free food at camp.Super Celiac Supporter - $1,000 ... You believe in children. For your donation, you will get a letter from each child, telling you about their experiences at camp.Individual Child's Hero - $250 - $500. This level will pay for one child's experience who is not financially able to come to camp without your support. You will receive a letter from the child you sponsored with how this camp has had a positive impact on him or her. Camp Supporter - $5 -$250 This level will keep you updated during camp as well as receiving a thank you from the campers who you supported. Please know that NO amount is considered too small when it contributes to the lives and development of our future leaders! In order to book this event, we need contributions from you by Dec. 31. All companies that donate products or funds to support he campers, will be listed on our website, facebook page and twitter feeds. Please consider these children and their needs and how your contributions will help their minds, bodies and spirit develop.
Please be a Super Hero. For additional information phone (317) 379-2350 or check out our website at http://www.glutenfreelivingnow.org and click on CAMP GLUTEN FREEDOM. This camp is a function of Gluten Free Living Now, Ltd. a registered non-profit group supporting the community and providing resources for those with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Tina Duncan Camp Gluten Freedom Project Lead & Co-Founder of Gluten Free Living Now