Life is hard for foster children. With no consistent parent or home, they move frequently. They switch schools, they say goodbye to friends — they even say goodbye to siblings. It’s painful to imagine, but its reality for foster children.
Hephzibah Children’s Association works hard to comfort and nurture children, finding creative ways, like Camp HepSIBah, to support them. This camp reunites siblings separated in foster care for four days of fun and adventure each summer. Camp HepSIBah also allows children the freedom to be themselves with other foster kids and helps them strengthen broken family bonds.
Six-year-old Joshua, a Hephzibah foster child, couldn’t wait to reunite with his older brother at camp last summer. However, camp was tough for Joshua, who struggled with his emotions. One way found to keep Joshua calm was time with a Junior Counselor (JC) named Max.
The JC program allows older campers more responsibility, and helping younger campers is part of their role. Joshua and Max bonded right away. Max readily gave up his counselor privilege of staying up later, to help Joshua settle to sleep when he struggled with bedtime. With Max’s help, Joshua was able to sleep, stay calmer, and focus more on enjoying time with his brother.
Joshua and his brother enjoyed time together at camp making life-long memories. Max learned that a true leader puts the needs of others first — none of which would have happened without Hephzibah.
Hephzibah Children’s Association
Founded in 1897, Hephzibah Children’s Association is Oak Park’s oldest social service agency. Serving children and families for over 125 years, Hephzibah’s mission of helping children thrive and families flourish is muti-faceted. We offer a residential treatment program for severely abused, neglected, and traumatized children and those in need of behavioral intervention ages 3-11. In addition, Hepzibah offers foster care services, comprehensive services for children and families in crisis, positive parenting services and an abuse & neglect prevention program. Hephzibah also provides affordable after-school care and summer camp for Oak Park families of all income levels. To make a donation, visit https://www.hephzibahhome.org/donate-now/