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Summer camp for foster kids; letting heroes be kids

Non-profit giving kids the chance
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 18:26:01-04

BIG BEND, Fla. (WTXL) — "Where heroes can be kids" is the slogan for a summer camp happening for kids in foster care.

Clay Owens, CEO of Every Child Home, said "you see the faces of these boys and girls and you know the struggles that they're going through."

Over 100,000 kids across the nation are waiting for a permanent home.

Over 20,000 of them often age out of the foster care system. The nonprofit organization, Every Child Home, is helping families take the first step toward adoption.

Owens added "there's so many people out there who think they can't get involved, they think that maybe they're too old, and they think that they need to be wealthy or well off, and we try to let them know it doesn't cost a lot of money to adopt out of foster care."

Every Child Home is also helping kids be kids at Camp Hero.

With the support of community donations, they're serving almost 10% of kids, from ages 7 to 12, in foster care around the Big Bend.

Bringing them together, with the help of volunteers, to have them walk away with more than just memories.

Owens exclaimed "they'll realize that they are heroes and they'll realize their value and they're important."

They'll get a chance to hear from guest speakers once in their shoes, to inspire and give kids the tools they need to succeed in life.

One of the speakers, Catriese Johnson, is now an author but was once a victim of abuse in foster care.

She hopes kids will stay determined and excited about life. Johnson, who is also a motivational speaker, said "it takes courage to get up and try again. For me, the benefit is that they see me as one option of who they can be."

Camp Hero is happening all this week in Panama City Beach. This is the first of many programs Every Child Home hopes to do in the future…and next summer they plan to do a camp for older teens.

If you would like to help, Every Child Home is always in need of volunteers and donations to support kids in foster care. Click here for more.