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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 128: Camp Harmony

Today is day two for Harrison & Spencer working as camp counselors at Camp Harmony. The camp is a haven for homeless children residing in homeless shelters and foster care homes throughout Los Angeles. For many of these campers they have never attended camp, never seen the beach, never slept in a bed, never had three meals a day, never been given clean clothes and toiletries -- these children have never had a lot of nevers.

For one week they get to have a lot of whatever they want especially hugs and love from the teenage counselors who serve as their friends for one week at sleep-away camp.

I am so happy that my niece Olivia Bernstein made us aware of this worthy camp. She was a counselor last summer and was so impacted by her experience that she enlisted her two young cousins to join with her this summer.

My three sons have had a charmed life. They want for nothing. Not for love, affection, warmth, shelter, food, parents, family, or education. It breaks my heart to know that so many children live in poverty right here in the City of Angels. That so many children go to bed with hungry tummies. That many have none of the bare necessities that we all take for granted.

When given the opportunity to be counselors and spend one week with such children I knew I wanted my boys to have this experience. You can not teach poverty. You can read about it but unless you experience it, touch it, see it close-up you really can't begin to understand the depth of this issue and the sorrow that it burdens our children with.

When I was in college I did many, many internships dealing with abused, troubled or homeless children working with such wonderful programs such as Children of the Night based here in the San Fernando Valley, Delancy Street in San Fransisco for young boys and in Santa Monica at a homeless shelter. I stood in food lines and scooped out food to shelter attendees. I listened to young girls talk about pimping themselves out to survive. While you may momentarily feel good that you are giving back and making use of your time, it really just makes you sick to see that in this rich country, there are so many that have so little.

So yes, my children can afford one week of their summer vacation to give to other children. They can give up sleeping in comfortable beds, having clean clothes, having endless food, having all the comforts of their home. It will be an invaluable experience I am sure as it was and has been for me. What a great lesson for our boys. I feel blessed that there is a Camp Harmony and that my children are participating. If you want to help or make a contribution, please visit


Anonymous said...

Go Harrison and Spencer!! So happy they are getting this experience!

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Thank you so much for your interest in my 49th year! I appreciate your support! -Robyn