Faces of Courage is an organization that provides children with cancer a chance to attend camp for free.
Going to camp is a fun event for kids. They get to experience the great outdoors, but for a child who has cancer, camping is something they may never experience. Peggie Sherry, chief operating officer of Faces of Courage Cancer Camp, wants to make sure every child who has cancer experiences the fun of camping.
“Faces of Courage provides day outings and overnight camps for women, children and families touched by all cancers,” Sherry said, “All programs are made available at no cost to the participants.”
Sherry founded the camp in 2004 after a cancer camp she was directing in Tampa suddenly closed. She used her inheritance to start Faces of Courage. Since its beginning, more than 4,000 participants in the free program.
Registration is open on a first come fist serve basis. Any household that has a child who has been diagnosed with any type of cancer is eligible, along with any well siblings living under the same roof. It takes 150 volunteers to run the camp.
“We rely heavily on a large volunteer group who performs all services at the camp,” Sherry said, “Everything from lifeguards, overnight counselors, kitchen staff, to doctors and nurses.”
The next camp that the organization will offer is “The Women of Color Cancer Retreat.” Sherry said her organization will be the first in the nation to host a camp specifically geared for the African American community, who has fewer instances of cancer, but when they are stricken with cancer it is more aggressive and occurs earlier in age. It also has a four times higher death rate.
The organization is now looking for land to build a permanent camp facility. They currently rent space for their camp at Rotary Camp Florida in Brandon.
“We are looking for over 50 acres with a lake so we can run camps all year long,” Sherry said.
For more information or if you would like to make a donation,visit www.facesofcourage.com.