Frequently Asked Questions – General
How is HIS KIDS different than other organizations that help kids with cancer?
The main difference between us and other organizations is that HIS KIDS helps the ENTIRE family affected by cancer. We understand that having a child with cancer affects not only the child, but the siblings and parents as well. Each goes through different obstacles depending on the role they have in the family. We know and understand that the divorce rate among couples who have a child with cancer is 78%, much higher than the average marriage. This is one reason why family preservation is our number one priority.
Where do you get the funds to operate HIS KIDS?
HIS KIDS relies on contributions from various sources. The majority of our funds come from private donations, outside fundraisers by groups and clubs (e.g. Trivia Nights, Bowl-a-Thons, etc), and internal fundraisers (the HIS KIDS Dinner Auction and Golf Tournament). We also get support from some private grants. Since HIS KIDS provides so many services and programs to help families affected by childhood cancer, we need continued support throughout the year. If you’d like to see how you can help, click on the link below.
Why should I donate to HIS KIDS?
The reasons to contribute to HIS KIDS are endless. The needs of families having a child with cancer go far beyond the obvious. There are emotional, physical, and social needs that require both time and money. The parents’ time, money, and energy are focused on meeting the needs of their child(ren) with nothing left over for fun or for meeting the family’s social or emotional needs. HIS KIDS is dedicated to helping families in all of these areas.
Is my financial contribution tax deductible?
Yes. HIS KIDS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Contact your tax accountant to determine your specific needs.
What will my donation be used for?
We are proud to say that 88 percent of all of our donations go directly to programs & services to meet the needs of families affected by childhood cancer. Nine percent of our donations are fundraising expenses and 3% are for management and general expenses.
Does my donation stay in the area?
We know and understand that people like to give back to their own community. That is why we make sure that the money donated to HIS KIDS is used to serve childhood cancer families in the region where it is raised.
How can my family participate in HIS KIDS programs and events?
We love our HIS KIDS families and strive to do anything we can to meet the needs that you have while enduring these difficult and trying times. If your family is affected by childhood cancer, you must first fill out the Family Information Form (below) and return it to the Highland office. You will be added to our contact list once your form has been received.
If your child is in remission or has gone onto heaven, you can still be a part of HIS KIDS. You may participate in our programs whether you are a sibling or a parent. Your personal experiences have provided you with the knowledge of knowing how to help others that are currently dealing with the struggles of childhood cancer. You will experience great satisfaction from helping others. PAY IT FORWARD !
HIS KIDS sounds so amazing! How can I volunteer?
There are so many opportunities here at HIS KIDS. We love our volunteers and cherish them deeply. We could not operate without their hands, feet, and hearts. If you’d like to volunteer for HIS KIDS, fill out the Volunteer Application Form (below) and return it to the Highland office. Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted. Volunteers are needed throughout the year in many different aspects. Some of our volunteers help out in the office while others volunteer at our events or on their own time schedule. Please call the Highland office at 618-654-4020 to see what our current volunteer needs are. You can also take initiative to do something with your family or friends that doesn’t require help from the office. See our list of suggestions below.
Frequently Asked Questions – Camp
With medical bills, we are financially strapped. How much does Camp cost?
Camp HIS KIDS is provided completely free of charge to all of our campers. This includes all transportation to and from the hospital that week (if needed).
How old do I have to be to go to camp?
In order to attend Camp HIS KIDS, you must be at least 8 years old and no older than 17.
What could you say to make me feel better about letting my child go away for a whole week?
We would suggest that you talk to the medical staff at the hospital, talk to the parents of other campers you meet during treatments, and talk to the kids themselves. You will find that Camp HIS KIDS has become a valuable tool in their physical and mental healing process. Even though you may be a little scared now, by the end of the week you’ll be a Camp HIS KIDS fan, too!
I’m scared to go to Camp.
If it’s your first time away from home, any camp can be scary for a little while. Most kids feel pretty comfortable by dinner their first night. We would encourage you to talk to other kids that went to camp and they’ll probably tell you that they were scared at first too, but now say HIS KIDS Camp is their favorite week of the year!
Having cancer is weird enough. Won’t going to a “cancer camp” be even weirder?
You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But because there are other kids and counselors there that have been through exactly the same things you’ve experienced, cancer becomes a non-issue. You’re no longer different. You’re just you!
What if I need treatment while I’m at camp?
No problem. Our Health Staff Director is a pediatric oncology nurse from St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She stays on-site day and night throughout the week to meet any of your child’s medical needs. She is assisted by several rotating day-nurses from many hospitals in the St. Louis metro area. If your treatment requires you to go to the hospital, that’s ok too! A HIS KIDS Camp staff member will take you to your hospital and your parents can meet you there for treatment; then you get to go back to camp with all of your new friends for the rest of the week. You will also need to let your physician know that you will be attending camp that week.
My parents don’t let me do anything anymore. Is camp as boring as home?
No way! You’ll swim, learn archery, go fishing, have s’mores by the camp fire, go on a “treasure hunt”, and much much more.
My brother/sister has cancer, not me. Can I go to camp, too?
Absolutely. There are LOTS of siblings of kids with cancer at camp HIS KIDS! We actually have a separate camp just for the siblings that takes place at the same location during the same week. You get to meet other kids your age who also have brothers or sisters with cancer. You get to have lots of fun and do the same camp activities as your sibling on treatment, but with your own cabin group. At HIS KIDS, we know that siblings are important, too!
How do I volunteer for Camp HIS KIDS?
All volunteers must be at least 17 years old and must complete an application, which is available on our Events page or at the HIS KIDS office around mid-March. If your application is chosen for consideration, you may be asked to do a phone interview with one of the camp directors. If you are accepted as a Camp HIS KIDS volunteer, we will notify you of your position title and any other information you need.
Come back and check our website for more updates about this event!
What is the time commitment to volunteer at camp?
All volunteers must attend orientation weekend beginning the Saturday before camp. They must be available to stay on-site 24/7 with their campers for the entire week. Volunteers must also be able to stay for a 1-2 hour wrap-up session after camp is over.