Camp Amerikids was founded by AmeriCares in 1995 as a residential summer camp program for children living with HIV/AIDS. We were one of the first to develop a transitional program for HIV affected youth. In 2005, we launched a leadership program called the Leadership-In-Training (LIT) Program, an initiative to support teens who have aged out of our summer camp.
Unfortunately in 2009 AmeriCares made the difficult decision to cut programs that were not core to their mission of disaster aid. Amerikids was one of those programs but we picked up the pieces and forged ahead as an independent not for profit with a great team of loyal donors, board members, and friends.
In 2011, staying true to our roots of being at the forefront of underserved health conditions, and at the urging of our hospital and agency partners, we opened our doors to include children with sickle cell disease.
In 2015 we launched our most recent project, our mentorship program. When our programs first started children with HIV/AIDS had shortened life expectancy. Thanks to great advances in research the life expectancy of people with HIV/AIDS has increased phenomenally. Our youth with Sickle Cell also have lengthened life expectancies and need assistance transitioning into adulthood now more than ever.
Our programs aren’t just meant to provide a few programs but to create an atmosphere where growth isn’t pushed on youth but something they strive for. For many families in our program, The ELM Project is the only place where their children can go to feel safe and supported.
We are more than a not for profit, or a camp, or LIT, or mentorships.
We are a family.