A Very Special Organization, For Very Special Children - Our Mission Statement
The Children’s Burn Foundation of Florida, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of children who have suffered severe burn injuries. Made up of representatives from local fire service organizations, hospitals, and businesses, Children’s Burn Foundation provides special programs which focus on assisting children and their families in rehabilitation, social adjustment, and motivation to facilitate main-streaming them back into society as productive people. The life of a child who has suffered a severe burn injury is changed from the moment the fire occurs. The psychological impact on a burned child is often more painful than the physical injury itself.
Each year there are two million burn injuries in the United States of which are one million are children. Fire and burn injuries are the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children aged one to four and the third leading cause of injury and death in ages one to eighteen. Over 100 children a day are being treated in emergency rooms for kitchen and scald burns alone. Although, we cannot lessen the pain and suffering of a burned child we can all join together to help send a burned child to camp.
The Children’s Burn Foundation of Florida, Inc. is the first statewide burn camp of its kind in Florida. We are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that benefits children to enjoy “a weekend of memories” and meet new friends. Our camp, Camp Tequesta meets every November for four days at the Florida Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla, Florida in a camp like setting. Every child has his/her own adult buddy to accompany them for the weekend. Fire department personnel, burn units, educators, burn survivors, corporate representatives and many dedicated friends make up our buddy/staff volunteers. We have enjoyed great success with this program and always look forward to attending each year. Last year, we invited 55 children, buddy and staff volunteers from California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and from across the pond – London, England. This year’s camp is scheduled from November 7-10, 2018 (celebrating our 29th anniversary).
By attending burn camp, children that have been burned will have many life-enhancing experiences that will help them learn, grow and develop. The burn camp allows children that have been burned to realize that they are not the only ones with burn-scarred bodies. The camp provides an environment where children can share their feelings about being burned, realizing that others have had similar experiences, forget that they look different and know that they are “someone special.”
Although the camp is once a year, we maintain contact throughout the year with the children with parties, barbeques, emails, Facebook and the like. It is a very exciting time for us to make changes in these children’s lives (and ours). None of our volunteers are in a paid status and we depend on contributions only.
Additionally, we provide gift cards, college, medical and hardship scholarships. For example, along with providing funds to further our kid’s education, we have purchased a powered medical scooter, new clothes and gift cards for those facing challenging times. We have fundraisers year round where the buddies/staff and the children, (including their families) are invited to attend. We sponsor the following programs annually - girls to attend the Angel Face program, a child and their buddy to attend the International Association Fire Fighters Burn Foundation’s Burn Camp in Washington D.C., a child and their family to attend the World Burn Congress and a young adult and a buddy to attend Oklahoma’s Young Adult Conference. Every year the list grows for conferences to attend.
The goals of the burn camp are:
- To provide a lifetime of memories.
- To provide an opportunity to make choices and be independent.
- To develop new skills.
- To develop new friendships and renew old ones.
- To provide the special attention the burned children desire.
- To provide GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN!