Team Kinship Center scored a triumphant finish…

…and raised funds for siblings separated through foster care and adoption at the recent “Camp to Belong” Amazing Race in Orange County, CA.

The friendly annual competition among civic groups in the County raises funds and awareness of  how important it is to keep sibling connections strong, even though foster and adopted children and teens may be living apart from their brothers and sisters in different homes or cities. Some 39 Kinship Center staff runners, zipline flyers, obstacle course acrobats, archery, spear and BB gun champs, and others displayed their versatile talents and their dedication at the May 2011 event to help ensure that local children can have this camp experience.

Cindy Roe, LCSW, a Clinical Supervisor at Kinship Center’s Orange County Children’s Mental Health Clinics, is director of Camp to Belong, Orange County, which is a program of the Eddie Nash Foundation. Held at the Outdoor Education Center in Irvine, CA, the camp provides a rare opportunity for children to spend time with their siblings at a five-day outdoor event of fun, healing, and family connection, says Roe.  Staffed by volunteer counselors and supported by area civic groups through donations and events such as the Amazing Race, the camp works year-round to raise the $500 per camper cost. “We have limited public and foundation resources, and the majority of our funding comes from small groups or private donations, ” says Roe. “This year’s goal is to enable 80-100 campers to attend.”

Patrick, a young adult counselor-in-training who spent his childhood as part of the child welfare system  separated from his brother, looks forward to helping others kids enjoy time with their sibings. “I wish there would have been something like this when I was growing up,” he says.

For more information or to make a donation that will help send a child to camp, visit the Camp to Belong website.

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