Non-profit Project Kindle has been operating a number of retreats and programs for disabled and physically and mentally challenged children since 1998, including their camp in Hordville, Nebraska.
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Project Kindle’s main office is in the Santa Clarita Valley, and Founder and Director Eva Payne has long wanted to offer programs specifically for local youth, in addition to their national Camp Kindle.
This year, Project Kindle hosted their inaugural SCV Dance Marathon on Friday, May 17, a fundraiser designed to get youth involved in raising money for their peers with disabilities.
Westfield Valencia Town Center donated space and several bands such as False Puppets, DJ Beatz and Slater donated their time for the event.
“We hope to make it an annual fundraiser that really involves the teens here in Santa Clarita,” Payne said. “There’s so many events that really focus on adults here in the valley, and not as many charity events where teens can get involved and really give back.”
Payne’s daughter Emmi Payne, a 7th grader at Rio Norte Junior High, helped publicize the event.
“I was so happy to help promote the event on my campus and through social media,” she said.
Though this is Project Kindle’s first Dance Marathon in the SCV, they have hosted similar events with Edison High School, Agoura High School and UCLA. Final totals for the SCV Dance Marathon are still being calculated, but previous events have raised as much as $100,000.
Project Kindle is also looking for volunteers to help with their second annual Kindle Ranch day camp at in Santa Clarita.
Partially funded by the Boston Scientific Foundation, the day camp will take place at Placerita Nature Center, June 17-21, and will focus on involving kids in math, science, music and art.
The camps is specifically designed for children 5-12 “who are dealing with a serious illness, a disability or other special needs,” according to Payne.
Currently, Project Kindle needs an additional 25 to 30 volunteers, 16 years or older, to help them reach their goal of a one-to-one volunteer/camper ratio.
There are also still a few camper spots still available.
“We’ve been running camps for fifteen years, and we have run residential camp programs, and we decided that we really wanted to help kids in this community,” Payne said. “Our other residential program is more of a national program, so we wanted to do something local and really help kids here in the Santa Clarita Valley, because we are based here…”
About Project Kindle
Project Kindle has been providing cost free services to children, adolescents, and families since 1999. A 501(c) 3 nonprofit, serving those with serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges, began as Camp Kindle, with a week long free summer camp for those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Since 2004, the organization has expanded its services to offer multiple camping sessions and year round support, a peer led speakers bureau, a continued education scholarship fund, as well as and education and outreach programs.
Kindle Ranch Day Camp serves children with special needs, disabilities, and serious illnesses such as cancer, autism, downs syndrome, and visual impairments each summer in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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Source: Santa Clarita News