Camp Hope: Darien Domestic Abuse Council launches annual supply drive

Rita Bailey, left, executive director of the Darien Domestic Abuse Council, Sasha Collins, Camp Hope Coordinator and Youth Trauma Specialist and Debra Greenwood, The Center for Family Justice president with last year's donations.

Rita Bailey, left, executive director of the Darien Domestic Abuse Council, Sasha Collins, Camp Hope Coordinator and Youth Trauma Specialist and Debra Greenwood, The Center for Family Justice president with last year’s donations.

Contributed

DARIEN — The Darien Domestic Abuse Council is once again seeking donations for Camp Hope, which is sponsored by the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport.

Camp Hope is a summer camp for children from 5 and 17 who have been sexually or physically abused.

The Darien Domestic Abuse Council’s donation bin for Camp Hope supplies is located in the Darien Police Department lobby, 25 Hecker Ave.

Camp Hope is free and open to any child in Connecticut, and offers them the opportunity for a child to have a positive and life changing experience.

“Your donations give these kids the goods needed for their camp experience,” said Rita Bailey, executive director of the Darien Domestic Abuse Council, Inc.

New items needed include beach towels, backpacks, water bottles, flip flops, boys and girls, bug spray, suntan lotion, mesh bags for wet bathing suits, bathing suits, boys and girls, gift cards to Target or Walmart and T-shirts and shorts.

In addition, monetary donations are needed to coordinate transportation and many other details involving campers.

Last year, the DDAC ran a drive “to help these children, who come with nothing, have the supplies that should be available to all children,” Bailey said.

According to Bailey, children from inner cities are at a much higher rate of experiencing abuse. Additionally, victims of sexual or physical abuse have a higher risk of becoming abusers themselves.

“These children thank you. You are giving them the chance to swim in a lake for the first time, and so much more,” Bailey said. “As advocates against domestic violence, we want to teach all children what healthy relationships are. Only then can we begin to break the cycle of violence.”

Activities campers will participate in include swim instruction, boating, mini-golf, high and low ropes/team building, arts and crafts, archery, and sports.

The Camp Hope curriculum focuses on celebrating heroes in history, and reinforcing positive stories of individuals that teach diversity, inspiration and courage.

Those who would like to arrange a pick-up of the items, or make a monetary donation, can send an email to DDACINC06820@gmail.com or visit the Darien Domestic Abuse Council’s website at WWW.DDACINC06820.org.