CLAYTON — Now that summer is here, many children are headed to camp – at least nine of them for the first time.
Thanks to a grant funded by Arby’s and secured by the Woman’s Club of Clayton, two local families will get money, food and clothing to send their children to YMCA and Town of Clayton summer camps.
Lois Best is rearing seven of her grandchildren, and all are on their way to camp. “This is their first big summer,” she said. “The kids have been so excited they haven’t been able to sleep.”
The children, who range in age from 7 to 14, will take part in cheerleading, basketball and volleyball camps.
Arby’s is funding the $5,000 “Share our Strength: No Kid Hungry” grant. Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit that aims to end child hunger, and businesses can partner with the organization to provide grants.
Typically, the grant pays to keep a school cafeteria open throughout the summer.
But Woman’s Club President Margaret Lee pitched the idea of allowing the grant dollars to send kids to camp, where they could get meals, and Share Our Strength said yes.
During the school year, the Woman’s Club supports Backpack Buddies, a program that sends schoolchildren home with food for the weekend.
Lee said the club wanted to find a way to help children in the summer.
The camp project is a collaboration of the Woman’s Club, Tom Ricks of Rotary Club and social worker Endra Pugh, who also connects the Woman’s Club with families in need at Christmas.