Making a Difference Royally
Courtesy Delta Living Magazine, November 2017 – January 2018
Every year in our area, hundreds of children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. For these precious souls, life has come to a dead end even before it has begun. There is hope however, as the foster care system plays an integral role for these children. Foster parents become the heroes, and through Royal Family KIDS (RFK), the lives of these children can be changed as the healing process begins.
RFK is a non-profit organization that holds weeklong camps for children in the foster care system. Most of these kids experience security, warmth, and love for the fist time in their lives. For them, it can be a life-changing experience. Royal Family KIDS goal is to offer a week of camp—any given summer, to every foster care child ages six to twelve. One such camp is offered here locally in the East Bay.
Brentwood, California launched a Royal Family KIDS camp in June of 2013. The Brentwood camp’s goal for growth is to actively engage and mentor other local churches to start RFK camps. The RFK vision is for every foster child age six to twelve, to have a weeklong summer camp experience—leaving no one behind.
The Royal Family KIDS Brentwood camp is funded 100 percent by donations to provide camp services at a cost of $60,000 per year. The cost covers all meals and lodging for the campers and staff that attend full time. Each child is given a variety of new items during the week of camp that they can take home with them and call their very own. Over the past four years, RFK has take over 230 local foster children to camp where they are treated like royalty throughout the week. When the children arrive at RFK camp, they are assigned a caring counselor, along with a surrogate “Grandma,” “Grandpa,” “Aunt,” and “Uncle.” For so many of these precious children, this is their first experience with how a real family functions. Some of the children attending camp have seen more in a lifetime than one could ever imagine; some have never had a birthday party. The kids celebrate with a daylong birthday bash. There is a tea party and many sports activities for the boys and girls. The week of camp provides a safe place by which the kids can ‘just be kids’ with plenty of love and care during their stay. They discover self-worth and a feeling of success as they accomplish projects and make new friends.
Royal Family KIDS Brentwood hosts a major fundraiser each year in which many local business and individuals attend and gift financial donations, as well as silent auction items. Currently, a significant amount of financial contributions come from individuals.
Some of Brentwood’s RFK camp sponsors are JDK & Associates, Movement Mortgage, REPOWER Solar, Victory Fire Protection, OneHeart2Homes, Ackerman & Towson Dentistry, Walmart, PAK Integrations, and Edwards Construction.
One week at a RFK camp each year, will forever change the life of not just one foster child, but all of those individuals who volunteer as well. There are opportunities for those who want to volunteer at camp, during the fundraising season, or behind the scenes in many other areas.