Doing Good: Kids with vision ailments benefit from summer camp
By Devika Rao
For the AJC
For two weeks, Dawn Seabolt’s daughter, Kate, had the time of her life at summer camp. Not an ordinary camp, Kate attended Vision Rehabilitation Services’ Kids Camp that aimed for visually impaired kids.
Kate’s favorite activity was sewing. “I have never sewed before with my hands and it was a new thing for me. I got to make a frog pillow,” she said.
“It was really nice to have this camp close to home and know that Kate was having so much fun and learning new things everyday,” said Dawn Seabolt. Kate suffers from albinism, which causes poor vision due to the lack of melanin in the retina. She can see, but not in detail, making certain tasks difficult for her.
After surveying the 33 counties VRS serves, the organization developed and launched the inaugural summer camp to serve the Marietta, Kennesaw and Smyrna areas. “The kids were a part of day time programs with their respective schools, and the schools told us that the they needed a program for the afternoons,” explained Executive Director Sharon Croyle.
Activities such as meal preparation, technology day, martial arts and nature walks helped VRS’ emphasize their mission and give children independent living skills all while having fun. The children also had a theater day where they performed Old MacDonald.
One of the things Croyle and her staff took away from the experience was that, “the camp is definitely needed in the community,” she said.
The first camp had six children, but, “We are going to work on expanding this idea and encourage the community to get involved whether it is providing activities, becoming sponsors, or volunteering,” Croyle added. “ It really makes a difference in these kids’ lives.”
Vision Rehabilitation Services provides services such as low vision evaluations, training in orientation and mobility, computer access technology, independent living skills and counseling for coping with vision loss.
In other news: Fayette County Civitan Club presented $2,000 to Christian City benefitting the boys and girls who live in the cottages at The Children’s Village at Christian City. Children placed at Christian City are dealing with life crisis such as death of a parent, divorce, or sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. The nonprofit offers a safe environment allowing children to have access to a traditional family unit and support systems to heal their wounded spirits.
To volunteer with Vision Rehabilitation Services, go to www.vrsga.org
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