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 drive runs through July 15.

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.

Donation list

Items that are needed, which must be new, are the following:

 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

 New T-shirts and shorts

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

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.

To view a video of Camp Hope, click here.

The need

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,” said Rita Bailey, executive director of the Darien Domestic Abuse Council, Inc.

According to Bailey, children that come 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.”

Bailey said she hopes to organize a collection every year for Camp Hope.

Camp activities

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.

DDAC mission

According to its website, the mission of the DDAC is to promote the education, awareness, and prevention of domestic abuse in the community of Darien by providing education on domestic violence and on the services available to victims as well as their families through programs and events, and to foster positive interpersonal relationships in the community and provide local families tools to resolve conflict during exigent stress-points in their lives.

sfox@darientimes.com