June 24th, 2015
The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia paid a visit to our friends at St. Edmond’s Home for Children, a truly inspiring facility. St. Edmond’s, located in Bryn Mawr, received a $500 Community Impact Award from CFGP to support their summer program, Camp Rainbow. CFGP presented the award to Ms. Denise Clofine, the Home’s Administrator, and Ms. Julia Vivanco, their Activities Coordinator.
St. Edmond’s Home is soon approaching their 100th anniversary, with 2015 being their 99th year of operation. Since opening, St. Edmond’s has been home to thousands of children with severe special needs. Today, St. Edmond’s houses 44 children, all of whom require 24-hour nursing care. But despite their disabilities, the children at St. Edmond’s home welcomed the CFGP staff with smiles, and expressed their happiness in their own unique ways.
The children of St. Edmond’s Home are given a lifestyle of comfort, kindness, and most importantly, fun! Every child is taken on regular field trips to sporting events, the movies, museums, and more. Perhaps the most exciting trip planned for the children is their fourth annual visit to Disney World, a trip that will surely be magical. Although most of these children are non-verbal, their faces were lit with joy when asked about the upcoming trip in December. Their Disney vacation, along with the many other trips offered at St. Edmond’s, are planned with the intention of giving these children a chance at a normal childhood.
During the summer, St. Edmond’s Home hosts Camp Rainbow, an extension of their year-round educational program that is open to both St. Edmond’s Home residents and children with disabilities in the community. However, what makes this summer camp so special, is the effort that goes into its planning. The children at Camp Rainbow need extra care, and the passionate staff and volunteers at St. Edmond's do everything they can to ensure each child is always comfortable. At the same time, staff members are hard at work building an 8-week interactive program that gives campers the opportunity to grow, learn and play. Their finished product, Camp Rainbow, is remarkable.
At Camp Rainbow, children participate in educational activities that focus on learning through “active treatment.” This year, Camp Rainbow has brought “Theme Weeks,” to the children of St. Edmond’s, featuring Celebrity Apprentice Week, Phillies Week, and Luau Week. The children also participate in swimming and cooking classes with their friends.
CFGP’s Community Impact Award will be used to purchase supplies to support this summer’s Camp Rainbow program. The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia congratulates St. Edmond’s Home for Children on their Community Impact Award, and thanks the staff and volunteers for their incredible work in the community.