COVID-19 forces Camp Woodeden for kids with disabilities to cancel summer camps
LONDON, ONT. -- Hundreds of children with disabilities have been notified that Camp Woodeden has been closed for the summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Upset,” but understanding is 11-year-old Dalia Bjelic of Ilderton, Ont. Most of all she’ll miss “The high rope, swimming, (and) the giant swing.”
Tucked away on the edge of London, Camp Woodeden acts as an oasis for a couple weeks each summer for kids with physical disabilities.
On Wednesday, Easter Seals Ontario cancelled summer camp for 600 kids in Ontario.
President and CEO Kevin Collins says it was a difficult but necessary decision,”We made the decision yesterday morning so it’s been an all-hands-on-deck reaching out to our campers and our staff.”
COVID-19 has also forced Easter Seals to postpone its telethons and other fundraising events - impacting the bottom line.
“We’re going to do our very best to have those events happen again later on this year, when things quiet down with COVID-19, but it has had a major impact on our fundraising,” explains Collins.
So the organization is turning the tables on COVID-19, creating a new online fundraising initiative called C21 Times Challenge for Easter Seals.
Participants post a video of themselves on social media performing a favourite activity 21 times. Then they donate $21 (or more) to Easter Seals, while challenging three friends to do the same.
Donations support Easter Seals camps as well as programs parents can access to help pay for expensive equipment required by their children.
Easter Seals is already preparing virtual activities that will allow kids to still socialize and experience camp, online.
In September, Easter Seals will begin accepting applications for 2021 summer camps.