When the staff and campers at Chai Lifeline’s “Camp Simcha Without Borders” program in Miami heard about the tragedy in nearby Surfside, they realized that they wanted to do something to help in some way. The camp for children battling serious illnesses like cancer and other highly debilitating conditions arranged for an activity of graffiti and mural painting to create a tribute mural in solidarity with the community affected by the building collapse.
“Chai Lifeline kids know a thing or two about adversity and overcoming trauma and crisis as they’ve encountered personal challenges like medical diagnoses and the loss of loved ones and overcome traumas like chemotherapy,” explained Matthew Weisbaum, Southeast Regional Director for Chai Lifeline. “Through their perseverance and strength they wanted to get together a create a mural to bring that message of hope to the Surfside community.”
The campers, in tandem with the local mural artist company, Sprays and Strokes, produced the mural with a theme of “Strong Together” that will now travel to Surfside to be displayed for first responders and families of the victims of the collapse.
Last summer, as the world was confronted with the challenges and limitations imposed by the Coronavirus, Camp Simcha Without Borders was created for those who were not able to travel to Camp Simcha, Chai Lifeline’s New York campus in Glen Spey. The local day camps set up in several communities around the United States and Israel were able to take the joy of Camp Simcha and reach 1200 campers, more than ever before, in their own communities.
“Our success with Camp Simcha Without Borders last year encouraged us to keep the program going and allow even more campers the ability enjoy camp in their own backyard,” explains Jack Tabbush, Director of Camp Simcha Without Borders. “Given the even greater challenges these campers have had to experience this past year, it’s particularly inspiring to watch them paint this picture of hope for the community of Surfside with a message that even in the depths of our personal tragedies, we can always find inspiration for better days ahead.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)