VOL. 127 | NO. 95 | Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Law Firm Ensures Children Enjoy ‘Worry Free Summer’
By Aisling Maki
For five years, Daniel Law Firm has been providing Memphis children and parents with a Worry Free Summer Camp.
When the economy tanked, the husband-and-wife attorney team of Elizabeth and Ben Daniel wanted to do something to lift the spirits of the community’s children.
The firm sent 50 children to the Memphis Park Services summer camp program absolutely free.
“When we approached Park Services, they were excited because their attendance had been so low in the past few years,” Elizabeth Daniel said. “Some of the community centers were only half-filled. Some centers are more popular and get full ever year, so we took some of the ones that were struggling and supported sending kids to those.”
Each year, the firm has steadily increased the number of campers it has supported. In 2011, Daniel Law Firm, whose office is Downtown at 8 S. Third St., with the help of friends, family and business associates, sent 130 campers to camps at community centers across the city.
Interested children and parents were asked to apply to the Worry Free Summer Camp program through the firm’s website, and close to 700 applications came pouring in from across the city.
Each applicant included a paragraph on how summer camp would benefit their family, and the husband-and-wife law team said many of the stories were heart-wrenching, making the selection process a major challenge.
“It broke my heart,” Elizabeth Daniel said. “A lot of the children themselves applied, saying they really didn’t have anywhere to go and that this would keep them out of trouble, or that their mom has cancer.”
This summer, the Daniels are hoping to send even more children to camp with support from the community.
The firm is recruiting adopters for its 2012 Worry Free Summer Camp who can help cover all expenses for underprivileged children ages 5 to 12 to attend their local Memphis Park Services summer camp program.
Camps are held at community centers across the city each weekday from 8:30 am. to 4:30 p.m. for eight consecutive weeks.
Participating children spend their summer days in a secure environment, making friends, enhancing their creativity and engaging in fun learning activities such as swimming, dance, and arts and crafts.
Campers each day also receive a healthy lunch and snack, and parents can rest easy knowing their kids are enjoying a host of fun, safe learning experiences daily.
“Worry Free Summer Camp was simply an opportunity for us to help others in a different way than our usual legal services,” said Ben Daniel. “Next year, we’d love to send every applicant to camp.”
The full fee to send a child to camp for the entire eight-week period is $162 per child and $81 for families on government assistance. While affordable compared with many other camps, the cost of the summer camp program is beyond the reach of many families.
Businesses and individuals who would like to adopt a camper should visit www.daniellawfirm.com for more information.