Guest post by Corey Simon, former NFL player and founder of Corey’s Kids, a camp for children in foster care. The 2012 camp begins July 25. The camp is a part of DCF’s Camps for Champions and brings foster youth together with sports stars and celebrities.
I was horrified when I heard the rampant stories of young girls being brutally sexually assaulted when I visited South Africa in 2004, and it jump-started my involvement helping kids.
When I returned from my trip, I heard about children in my own area who were suffering at the hands of those they trust. They were neglected, unwanted and went through life not trusting people. Kids in foster care really fell on my heart. That’s why I started Corey’s Kids.
The Corey’s Kids camp gives children in foster care a chance to get away from their normal lives. To forget about the problems of today. To focus on tomorrow. To have a week to just let the kids be kids. They get lights in their eyes when they show up to the camp. It is amazing how strong a child can be if they believe in something – and know that you believe in them. I want to foster that.
It can be hard for people to hear about stories like this. It should be. But don’t let that deter you from helping the kids in your community. Pay it forward. If you have the time or resources to help, please help them. Mentor. Be a part of their lives. Just a little bit of time gives these kids the confidence and opportunity to succeed.