Hope Loves Company slates seven camps for 2023, which will occur in six states from New Jersey to California.
One of the camps will be virtual.
The camps are designed to bring together children and young adults whose families have been impacted or are affected by ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a fatal disease that causes the loss of muscle and body function of an individual and the breakdown of their nervous system.
The virtual Hope Loves Company (HLC) Camp in March kicks off this year’s HLC Camps that will go from March through November.
The 2023 camps include: Virtual Camp HLC from March 10-12 through Zoom, Camp Fairview Lake YMCA in New Jersey from May 19-21, Camp Nageela Midwest in Illinois from June 2-4, Flat Rock River YMCA Camp in Indiana from June 18-23, Camp Emerson in Massachusetts Aug. 11-13, Camp Twin Lakes, Will-A-Way in Georgia from Oct. 13-15, and Camp Campbell in California from Nov. 17-19.
HLC, a nonprofit based in Pennington, has been providing the HLC Camps during its 10-year existence.
The camps bring the children and young adults together with swimming, boating, fishing, yoga, music, games, s’mores, and other activities.
According to the nonprofit, the children attending will meet peers going through the same challenges as young caregivers.
The nonprofit provides support, care packages and programming for children and young adults primarily from age 6 to 21.
HLC not only helps children and young adults, but also helps parents, who may be caregivers, with support through their HLC camps nationwide and volunteer efforts.
Growing from family fun days to nationwide camps, founder Jodi O’Donnell-Ames established the nonprofit after the disease became personal for her when her first husband, Kevin Gerard O’Donnell, was diagnosed with the disease and lost his life in 2001.
In 2003, she remarried with Warren Benton Ames, who also lost his wife to ALS. O’Donnell-Ames became the mother of his two children with his wife.
HLC has grown from camps in New Jersey all the way to California. The nonprofit now has its sights on growing camp locations to the Midwest by 2024.
In 2022, HLC had 238 children and young adults participate in seven camps during the year with 81 volunteers.
For information about the HLC Camps or Hope Loves Company, visit www.hopeslovescompany.org.