Gabrielle Aaron tells us that becoming a Bat Mitzvah means becoming a woman and not only thinking about yourself all the time. It means helping others in your community because you want to. She decided to take a portion of her Bat Mitzvah gift money and buy a piece of playground equipment for Sunrise Day Camp. (The Aaron Family left at playground dedication ceremony).
Gabrielle chose to share her gift money with Sunrise Day Camp because it is special; it is the only day camp in the nation designed for children with cancer. The camps’ programs strive to meet the emotional, social, recreational and physical needs of the children who attend while allowing them to enjoy the comforts and safety of their own homes at night. The camp is situated on the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, a 300-acre wooded site that borders Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Gabielle tells us in her own words about her project:
I am a kid and I am very fortunate for my good health, and these kids are not as fortunate as I am. I tried to think of what it would be like if I had to miss all my childhood and spend it in a hospital. I was not capable of feeling anything close to what they felt. So I decided to find a place where kids with cancer and life-threatening illnesses can get away and just be a kid. That is how I found Sunrise Day Camp. Sunrise is an amazing place where kids can be kids and all worries seem to disappear.
For Gabrielle’s Mitzvah Project, she took $5,000 and donated it to the Camp so they could purchase a slide for their playground. She also visited Sunrise and planted flowers. Gabrielle and her family recently held a large cocktail party for friends and family who wanted to get involved with Sunrise Day Camp. And Gabrielle plans on working at the Camp in the summer of 2010 as a non-profit counselor. Her goal will always be to help kids.
Gabrielle Aaron with Arnie Preminger, CEO of Friedberg JCC and Sunrise Day Camp
It would be great for other kids to get involved because most kids at my age take their good health for granted and don’t understand the effects of having cancer at such a young age. When you see these kids you would never think that they have cancer, they smile as we do and laugh. But they are only able to do this because they have such a great place where there is nothing to worry about for the summer.
Summer Fun at Sunrise Day Camp
What a great Project and an amazing organization! Thank you, Gabrielle, for sharing your story with our readers. If you are interested in creating a Mitzvah project with Sunrise Day Camp, please contact Amy Pilott, Team Sunrise Director at 516-766-4341 x:161.