Help Create Summer Memories They Will Never Forget!
As I was starting to write this letter, I decided to ask some of my friends what were their greatest memories of summer vacations. I expected to hear about exotic travel destinations, breath taking thrill rides, or crazy pranks at summer camp. I got some of those, but the most compelling stories were the ones with a common theme – family.
“I remember my uncle and cousins coming and spending a week with us each summer. Even now, decades later, they are more like brothers and sisters than cousins.”
"My grandparents had a place in the country and I can still remember jumping into piles of hay and riding horses through the woods. Mimi and Papa always made a point to spoil us when we stayed with them.”
“Every year dad would take me and my sister camping. He was always traveling for work, so an uninterrupted week together was the highlight of our year. We would fish, hike, and sit around the campfire while dad told us scary stories.”
Others remembered packing on top of one another in a station wagon for a long road trip, watching fire works with their cousins on the 4th of July, or learning from grandpa how to use a pocket knife to sharpen sticks for roasting marshmallows. For all the fun things we take for granted – the best summer vacations were really about family.
To a large extent, the children and families who come to Mount Dora don’t have those kinds of memories. Few have experienced the kind of wholesome upbringing many of us enjoyed. Our “Leave it to Beaver” and “Happy Days” memories of youth are a far cry from the poverty, hardship, and struggle most of these families have known.
Our effort to share Jesus with the children at Mount Dora Children’s Home happens as we share life with them. Our goal is far greater than a trip to camp, or a summer vacation – it’s recreating family. The children and families learn to love when they are loved. They learn to give when we give of ourselves. And, they learn about family when they experience it firsthand.
Summer vacation at Mount Dora Children’s Home is an opportunity for our house parents, social workers, and volunteers to create a vision of a different kind of life for the children. Yes, we go on road trips, outings to the beach, and week-long vacations, but these excursions are simply the window dressing on something far more important – it is a time for them to experience family memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.
Each year we reach out and ask you to help our kids and families enjoy a memorable summer. While your gift may buy a ticket to a theme park or pay travel expenses for a week’s vacation, what you’re really doing is sharing in our family adventures. When children experience the joys of a godly family life, they are more likely to recreate that image in adulthood.
Summers are special here at Mount Dora Children’s Home because of your willingness to give. Your gift of $100, $250, or $500 isn’t just helping to pay for a great summer vacation, it is funding family memories. It is laying foundations for a transformed future and changing the way a child thinks about family.
For the Children,
Dr. Brian Mast
P.S. Please consider making a generous gift to our Summer Campaign. One day, one of these children will be telling their children and grandchildren about the “single best day” of their life. That is the day that you created, and a memory that will never fade away!