I know that we all think of the month of November and Thanksgiving quickly comes to mind, but do we really spend time thinking of all that we really have to be thankful for?

You might say, “Think of things to be thankful for? Between work, household chores, and coping with small children, I don’t even have time to think.” I can certainly identify with the hectic pace that young families have to keep up with, but I’d like you to take a moment to look at thankfulness in another way.

For years I have supported Camp Ukandu, a one week summer camp for children who are living with cancer, and their siblings. My college roommate, her brothers and sisters, and many of their own children work as counselors and support staff at this camp. The beautiful thing about this camp is that for one week these children get to have fun and do activities where no one looks at them as “different.” They don’t have to explain why they don’t have any hair or have a prosthetic leg. Everyone is fighting the same fight. When you hear these young people and their parents talk at yearly events, you get a small glimpse of a world that you may or may not have been touched by. You realize the struggle of not only supporting your child in their journey but also possibly having to say good bye to them long before you should. The feeling of thankfulness that pours over me in this setting not only includes being thankful that my children have all lived into adulthood, but that all my grandchildren are healthy as well.

Due to budget cuts, the American Cancer Society has withdrawn their support for camps of this type. Camp Ukandu has had to restructure their financial support to cope with this loss of funds. If this cause has moved you in any way, there is an easy way to become involved. If you shop on Amazon, you can sign in each time at www.amazonsmile.com.  At this point you can name a charity that you would like to support. Each and every time that you sign in to Amazonsmile.com a portion of the money you spend will be directed to Camp Ukandu. It’s easy and doesn’t change your cost in any way. 

When I give to charities it is very important to know where all of my dollars are going. I will tell you that the counselors, camp staff, nurses and doctors involved in Camp Ukandu all volunteer their time.

I know we all lead busy lives; and I know all the small difficulties that come with parenting a preschooler, but seeing and hearing about these families really puts our own daily struggles into perspective. The next time your toddler throws themselves on the floor in the supermarket, or wets their pants during the challenge of potty training, stop and think of where you could be. These noisy, headstrong, messy children of ours are HEALTHY!! I know where my thoughts of Thanksgiving will be this month.