A Summer of Wonder for Kids in Need
So when an Intouch client reached out to us and asked for Intouch’s assistance with a nonprofit that they support, we were intrigued. Our client’s passion for this organization matched ours for our philanthropic work, but we had no way of knowing how impacted we’d be by this partnership. Not until we met Francesca.
In 1996, Francesca Tenconi was diagnosed with pemphigus foliaceous, a life threatening autoimmune-based skin disease. She and the other children she met while receiving medical care felt isolated, and at that time, there were no associations that focused on the unique challenges faced by children with such visual diseases. Thus, Francesca started the Children’s Skin Disease Foundation (CSDF) when she was 16 by asking for donations from friends and family in lieu of birthday celebrations or gifts.
CSDF’s mission is to improve the quality of life of children with skin disease by creating a strong support network and increasing education and awareness about these severe, life-threatening conditions. CSDF relies primarily on volunteer staff and board to ensure that the donations received go toward improving the lives of children with skin disease and their families. Over 94% of their funds go directly toward programs like scholarships, research and a remarkable program called Camp Wonder.
Camp Wonder is a special place specifically created for children suffering from severe and life-threatening skin conditions. Its goals are two-fold:
- Give the children an escape, a place to not feel embarrassed or judged by the way they look, by creating an environment of acceptance and support that allows kids to be themselves.
- Empower the children to feel stronger and give them skills to help them cope with life after they leave camp, knowing they aren’t alone.
At Camp Wonder, they are part of the crowd. Beneath all the layers, they are still just kids who want to experience life without feeling isolated — and that’s what Camp Wonder gives them. Additionally, because of the financial burden many of these families face due to the high costs of caring for their ill children, Camp Wonder is 100% free to all who attend, including travel to and from camp each summer.
Intouch was motivated by Francesca’s generous and tenacious spirit, and without hesitation, we asked what we could do to lend a hand. After several strategy meetings, we determined numerous ways Intouch could help CSFD and Camp Wonder achieve their primary goals: raising awareness about relatively unknown skin diseases, raising awareness about the Foundation and Camp, and helping raise money for both.
Intouch’s 2012 summer interns — lead and mentored by numerous managers and senior leaders — redesigned CSDF.org and the Camp Wonder area of the website from inception to launch. The effort included organizing online marketing and fundraising materials and filming Francesca for a short video. Other areas of focus included helping elevate her fundraising success through creating a PayPal account and highlighting all the ways individuals can contribute or support CSDF and Camp Wonder.
We worked closely with our client, Francesca and partner agencies to coordinate a nationwide give-back campaign. The promotion raises awareness about CSDF and Camp Wonder, as well as gives consumers a way to help donate to the camp through purchases of a special-label product.
Additionally, Intouch sent a film crew and creative director to Camp Wonder this summer (2012) to film hours of footage and interviews with campers, staff, nurses and parents. The film is intended to be used for years to come in additional marketing and advertising materials.
Elizabeth Rooney, Creative Director at Intouch Solutions, attended, saying, "I’ll never forget the experience. Being a part of Camp Wonder for only a few short days transformed my perception of what it is we do here on a daily basis. I always wanted to find a way to create meaningful influence with my craft. The service Camp Wonder provides is a living example of the beauty found between the continuum of illness and the unfettered love and support of a like-minded community."
Intouch is proud to be recognized as a media sponsor for Camp Wonder, and we look forward to our continued relationship with them. In keeping with our own mission, we’re passionate about helping people get the medical and emotional support they need. CSDF and Camp Wonder are amazing organizations that provide critical support for children who need it most.