With a mere 10 days to go, our Send a Kid to Camp campaign is in trouble.
Last Thursday, we passed the halfway point in our efforts to raise $124,000, the sum needed to send 1,200 underprivileged kids to camps in rural Virginia this summer. I haven't trotted out the adding machine since then, so I don't know exactly where we stand as you read this. But I can tell you that we're well short of our goal -- perhaps as much as $40,000 short. Things are looking gloomy unless a lot of you help, and help today.
If you haven't been following the campaign, it works this way:
With the money that you send, kids from all over the metropolitan area get to spend two weeks in the woods doing those exquisitely non-urban things we all remember doing as youngsters -- paddling canoes, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, climbing mountains, shortsheeting the counselors' beds and many others.
More than 1,200 kids were promised early this year that they would go to camp this summer. That promise was made so soon because I and the staff at Family and Child Services (the social welfare agency that runs the camps) had faith in your generosity. But if we can't reach our fund-raising goal, the phone calls will have to go out, informing kids that the promised sojourn at camp isn't going to happen.
Thousands of readers of Bob Levey's Washington have recognized the need, as well as the benefit to the community of the Send a Kid to Camp program, and have sent checks. If you haven't done so, the kids and I urge you to uncap your pen right now. You readers have never failed to come through in the 36 years that the campaign has been conducted. Don't let the kids down now.