Little Smiles was selected as our Outstanding Non-Profit for the month of July 2019. In a series of four articles, we found out who they are, how you can help, special requests, and Camp Care. We hope you continue to follow their mission and their events in the future. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
Little Smiles believes Christmas is every day of the year for kids who are in the hospital, hospice, home health care and or a shelter. However, August is a special month thanks to Carrie Keuten and Camp CARE. From August 5- 10, 200 kids with cancer come to Camp CARE for one week. It is held at Camp Lurecrest in, Lake Lure, NC. That one week is a joyful experience for all involved.
How does Little Smiles get involved?
Little Smiles is involved with Camp CARE by providing every kid’s favorite—junk food and activities for the kids at Camp. Camp is a time for them to feel normal, healthy and doing what kids do best. Swimming, being with friends, eating great food and celebrating life.
The little things that make the experience great
Over the years some of the activities we have done include setting up a karaoke night for the teens. Another we provided a huge screen and a movie. Little Smiles volunteers also made 200 capes for the campers because they are our heroes. It was a labor of love and the kids loved them. This year we will be supplying new bandanas with three different colors for team events.
Volunteers at Camp CARE
All the counselors are volunteers, including some doctors and nurses. It is such an inspiration to watch 200 kids that have been so sick—just be kids and act normal. The love and energy for that week is amazing. The bond of friendship will stay with these kids for life. It is truly a week they will never forget.
We fulfill little and big requests
We also help kids facing other ailments, besides cancer. Little Smiles works with nurses to help determine what would put a smile on each patient’s face. Sometimes they need an iPad, laptop or phone to stay connected or to do their homework. That is what we do best. Birthday parties, chemo parties and going home parties are a great way for Little Smiles to celebrate patients. Our smallest request was a Big Mac, fries and a milkshake, while our largest was a van. We got one donated within 3 weeks.
You can help
It takes so little to put a huge smile on a child’s face. They ask for so little and appreciate anything. Most of these kids are in our own back yard. If you would like to donate to Little Smiles NC- go to www.littlesmilesNC.org/donate/ and a tax form will be provided for any donation over $100.00.
Little Smiles prides itself on being local, hands on and immediate! Kids can’t and shouldn’t wait if they are in need. Little Smiles does the little things that make a big difference in a child’s life.
Margi Kyle is the founder of Little SmilesNC. Started in 2010, it is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that strives to fulfill the dreams of children in local hospitals, hospices and shelters. Their mission statement: Little Smiles helps heal hearts and create little smiles by providing gifts and fun activities to children impacted by serious illness, homelessness or tragedy. Giving Kids the chance to be kids during difficult times! “We are Local, Hands-On and Immediate.”