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Letter / Person-to-Person gears up for camperships

Published 1:33 pm, Wednesday, May 9, 2012
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Summer is a time for fun with family, for being outside, swimming, having picnics, and for taking advantage of all that our local libraries, museums and parks have to offer.

But for children like Erin and Henry, whose single mother cannot work for several months due to a disability, summer would have been very different this year. Instead, thanks to the Person-to-Person Camperships, Erin and Henry will be able to play, learn and experience summer activities while their mother recovers.

For many low-income Stamford families, summer is a time of stress -- high costs place summer camp programs out of reach, and when school is out of session, childcare expenses put a strain on already too-tight budgets. For the children of these families, without opportunities for education or perhaps adequate adult supervision, summer learning loss in their early school years adds up. Over time, children lose academic parity, affecting whether they will graduate from high school.

The Person-to-Person Campership Program sends more than 500 Stamford Public School children from low-income families to Stamford-area day camps each year. Opus, a dedicated group of fundraising and awareness-raising volunteers, is one reason why so many children get to go to camp.

Opus for Person-to-Person, with the support of Kelly Associates, is asking for Darien's support of the Campership Program during the annual Balloon Day event. All those who donate to the Balloon Day mailing this year will receive a red balloon tied to their mailbox on Saturday, May 19. Donations can also be made online at www.opus4p2p.org/balloonday.

For 15 years, Opus members have been an important component of Person-to-Person's efforts to help those who lack basic needs in Fairfield County. Balloon Day is vital to the success of this year's Campership Program and we hope there will be a sea of red balloons on mailboxes on May 19.

Thank you for your support.

Ceci Maher

Person to Person

executive director

Sara Franzese and Betsy Wilson

Opus for Person-to-Person

co-presidents