Children, community step up to help save burglarized summer camp in Blount County

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 6:27 PM EST
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Summer camps can easily add up to thousands of dollars, but the reality is some parents just don't have that kind of money.

"My husband and I both found ourselves working in the summer and hadn't budgeted for very expensive summer camps," Amy Gilliland, a parent, said.

That's when parents like Amy Gilliland turn to Camp in the Community in Blount County. For the first time, the free-camp is asking for the help of their own.

"Our trailers and everything we owned were stolen," Camp Director Whitney Winston said.

Sixty-thousand dollars worth of almost everything they had for the camp was stolen in October. Up until that moment, they were helping children.

Now, the children are ripping a page out of the camp's book. Three sisters started a city-wide book drive in all Maryville schools collecting nearly 2,000 books.

"We're feeling a lot more encouraged than we did a few weeks ago," Winston said.

Another student is expected to start an arts and craft supply drive in Alcoa Schools next month.

The generosity didn't stop there. Every day the community checks off items from the camp's online wish list.

"It's really impossible for me to stay discouraged whenever they are making such a huge impact. Not only have they replaced our supplies, but they really encouraged us in a lot of ways."

Still no word on who took the items or why they would.

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