The 2011 North Essex Camp Fund, sponsored by the United Way of Northern New Jersey, is now underway, with a goal of $36,000. This annual campaign raises funds to send underprivileged children from the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona for a visit to camp.

United Way chief professional officer Cynthia Villarosa explains that staff members work with the camps to insure that slots are available for children sponsored by the Fund. Needy and at-risk youngsters are identified by local community agencies and guidance counselors, and “camperships” are made available according to each family’s circumstances and the specific camp.  The Fund is affiliated with both day and sleep-away camps, she notes, and also works to send children with special needs to appropriate camps.

“Thanks to the continuing recession, more families than ever have been turning to the Camp Fund for help,” says Villarosa. “With our goal set at $36,000, we hope to send some 250 underpriviledged kids to camp this summer. The recession is making life difficult for a good many families.  Your donations can make a big difference in the lives of many innocent kids who, we think, deserve the same opportunities available to their peers.”

In addition, the North Essex Camp Fund offers the Camp Counselors’ Club.  Donors who contribute $300 can fund a week at camp for an individual child. “The child you sponsor will personally acknowledge your generosity with a thank-you note recounting his or her special camp experience,” explains Villarosa. “It’s a terrific way to see your donations at work, and learn just what a difference you, personally, can make in the life of a child in need.”

In conclusion, Villarosa emphasizes, “One hundred percent of the funds raised go to the Camp Fund to help these at-risk children. So please, won’t you send a check today and help these kids start the summer off right?”

Donations to the North Essex Camp Fund are fully tax-deductible and may be sent to the Fund at:

 The United Way of North Essex Building
60 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042

For more information about the Camp Fund and other United Way programs, call 973.746.4040.