Kids ‘n’ Cancer, Camp Agape Philoptochos Ministry

Kids ‘n’ Cancer, Camp Agape Philoptochos Ministry

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“Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Matthew 18:5

Metropolis Philoptochos hosts camps for children with cancer

Every year, 100’s of families have the opportunity to witness the love at Camp Agape, provided through the dedication and generosity of the Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Metropolis of San Francisco.  The name of the camp especially embodies the Philoptochos’ spirit of charity and the experience of the camp’s participants, from the Greek word ‘Agape,’ meaning ‘love.’  The mission of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos, Kids ‘n’ Cancer Ministry, is to provide support for children afflicted with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The Kids ‘n’ Cancer, Camp Agape, offers a life-changing experience for children and their families. The kindness and caring that surrounds them offers an ideal environment for therapy and healing.

Annual fundraising event is scheduled

The Kids ‘n’ Cancer – Agape Celebration of Love is a yearly event held to bring awareness to this ministry by providing a beautiful, fun-filled afternoon giving those in attendance the opportunity to participate in fundraising, meet Camp Agape families, and fellowship together.  Please prayerfully consider how you will “give your heart to a child” by attending this event. Register online at:

Registration for the 2016 Agape Celebration of Love Fundraiser Event, April 10, 2016 in Southern California.

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Click here to listen to an episode of Come Receive the Light where Fr. Chris Metropulos spoke with Jeannie Ranglas, President of the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos Society, about Camp Agape.

The after effect of the families is especially moving, when they return to the hospital, the elevator door opens, and they see familiar faces.

What is camp Agape?

The story of Camp Agape began 25 years ago, when His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco visited the Children’s Hospital Central California near St Nicholas Ranch and Retreat center in Dunlap, CA.  He walked through the Oncology unit, encountering families struggling to help console and save their children, and was especially bothered not seeing anyone talking with one another and being isolated.  Upon his return, he asked Philoptochos to open a camp for these children and their families, with all their expenses to be paid.  Today, with the continued support of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, this ministry operates 5 camp facilities yearly.  The first Camp Agape started at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat center.  It has expanded to Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Ramona, California; and Mayer, Arizona.  Camp Agape offers an all-expense-paid summer camp experience to hundreds of cancer-afflicted children and their families from less fortunate homes.  Families can apply for a spot at the camp through the social workers at each of the Childrens’ Hospitals, and they are selected together with Philoptochos.

Camp Agape is a special place where families have the opportunity to enjoy four carefree summer days, away from the sights and sounds of doctors, laboratories, and hospitals, where they spend so much of their lives. Children and their families engage in hands-on group activities that provide a reprieve from their daily challenges. For children and their families, this is a truly therapeutic camp experience.

Funding for this ministry is raised throughout the year from many different events.  The largest event takes place in Southern California annually, called Agape Celebration of Love. At this afternoon luncheon, the money raised by each Philoptochos Chapter within the Metropolis of San Francisco is presented to His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos. Yearly, the donations regularly total 250K!  The funding is not spent on administration costs and goes straight to funding the families who attend the camp.  Additionally, the funding supports oncology transportation programs in San Diego and Orange counties, providing families rides to and from the hospital through the Emilio Nares Foundation.  Please continue to support and pray for this special ministry, and help them succeed in funding a 6th Camp Agape coming soon to Northern California!

Register for this year’s event on April 10, 2016 in Southern California: Registration for the 2016 Agape Celebration of Love Fundraiser Event

Click here for: Photos and Videos from the 2015 Agape Celebration of Love Event.

For more information on Kids ‘n’ Cancer, Camp Agape Ministry, please visit their website at: Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos Society Camp Agape.

Photos from http://www.sfphiloptochos.org/

 

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Eleni Alexiou

Eleni brings to the Orthodox Christian Network diverse experience as an accomplished director in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She holds a BS from Florida State University, a Master’s of Clinical Social Work from Simmons College School, a LCSW-C (License in Clinical Social Work) with years of experience working within the Orthodox community. She is a leader in non-profits and administration with 20 years of supervisory experience, staff development & management, coordinating of volunteers, community outreach, and fundraising. Eleni joined OCN to inspire and spread media ministry in the Orthodoxy.