Family Services Needs Items for Campers

KODA Camp is a week-long summer camping program for youngsters who live with a parent or guardian who is deaf. KODA stands for Kids of Deaf Adults.

The special camp is a program of Family Services’s Community Services for the Deaf, which provides interpreting, counseling, case management and other important services for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals across the Miami Valley.

“These are kids who spend a great deal of their time interpreting for their loved ones and helping them navigate a hearing world,” says the director of program development Karen Via. “All of these kids are hearing and deal with the stress and pressures of being interpreters for many things that other young people would never have to experience.”

She says the camp is a really good time for the kids to have fun, make friends and be “hands down” for a week. (“Hands down” means not having to have hands up to sign.)

The camp gives youngsters a week of carefree fun with kids who share similar life experiences. Campers participate in a variety of activities — from ziplines and wall climbing to craft projects and swimming. To support health and wellness, campers also receive drug and alcohol prevention education and participate in KODA time – an opportunity to safely share what it’s like to be a KODA with their peers and counselors.

Through grants, fund-raising and donations from our community, the agency is able to offer this unique camping program completely free of charge to more than 35 youths each year.

Executive Director Bonnie Parish says these are the wish-list items most needed at this time:

* Bottled water

* First aid kits

* Sunscreen

* Gift cards to restaurants for adult and junior assistant staff

*White T-shirts of all size (youth through adult for art activities)

*Large/camping backpacks (carried at all times full of medicines and medical supplies)

* Underwater cameras

* Juice boxes

* Craft items

* Disposable cameras

Items can be dropped off at Family Services main office location, 2211 Arbor Blvd., Dayton, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Camp donations must be dropped off by July 3.

All donations are tax deductible.

Another way you can support Family Services is by attending the fifth annual bowling fundraiser on Saturday, July 13. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. at Capri Lanes in Kettering. Proceeds from the event benefit KODA Camp and other programs for children, youth and teens across the Miami Valley who are deaf, hearing-impaired or otherwise impacted by hearing loss.

If you would like to register to bowl, provide a sponsorship, or donate an item to the Silent Auction, visit or contact Karen Via at (937) 222.9481.

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