Name: Lindsey Monroe
What is your job?
I am the Special Events and Public Relations Coordinator for Camp Sunshine in Decatur, Georgia. Camp Sunshine provides year round recreational, educational and support programs for children with cancer and their families. I manage all of our large fundraising events, maintain our social media and website, and work with outside groups who plan fundraisers for our organization.
What social causes are most important to you?
Camp Sunshine is more than a job to me. I give a lot of my time on the weekends to help out with our programs and I spend a full week at our summer camp. The children and families that we support are an incredible inspiration to me; they really put things into perspective. They are faced with one of the most awful things I can imagine – a child who is critically ill through no fault of their own – and they come through the experience with such strength, grace and dignity. Some of our kids are recently diagnosed and just beginning their journey while others have been cancer free for years; I learn something from every kid I meet. I think that helping these families feel “normal” – even if it’s just for a few days – is important and desperately needed.
What charities do you support – and how?
In addition to Camp Sunshine, I also support Project OpenHand which provides meal deliveries for chronically and terminally ill people. My mom and I started volunteering with them by delivering food years ago and we have continued to support them as a family. I like to help pack food for the meals in the kitchen. I have spent hours individually wrapping hoagie rolls or bagging up snacks for Open Hand’s clients. It seems like a simple thing but home delivered, nutritious meals are vital to the people who receive them.
Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?
I have a passion for Camp Sunshine because I used to work at one of the hospitals where many of our campers are treated. I got to know many of the kids while I was there and saw the struggles that they experienced with their diagnosis and treatment. Cancer is really hard on a kid and chemotherapy is rough, even though it is making you better. A lot of the kids lost their hair or had to have limbs amputated so they felt like weirdos. I can relate to feeling like a weirdo or an outsider so these kids have a special place in my heart.
Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
I would encourage readers to support Camp Sunshine by volunteering, donating items from our Wish List, or by making a financial donation. We can make even small donations go pretty far around here! We’ve gotten really good at planning more with fewer resources, but we rely solely on private donations for our funding. We provide more than 145 programs every year for over 900 families across Georgia so we are busy!
How would you define social responsibility?
To me, social responsibility means that you are a helpful and compassionate member of the community to which you belong. I believe that I have a responsibility to use my energy and efforts to help others. It can be something as small as a random act – buying someone’s coffee on a Monday morning – or something large like getting your company to volunteer together at a summer camp. Being socially responsible helps build positive relationships and inspires others to give as well. And it makes you feel good! I feel so happy when I am able to do something for another person, even if it’s just a hug or a quiet walk.
Do you have any tattoos that relate to your social work?
I do! I have a stylized flower in shades of magenta, coral and orange on my left wrist (no black outline!) that is my reminder that there are still amazing things to be found in the world, even when things seem really awful. There were a couple of months when several of the campers I was close to passed away and I was feeling really sad. We had a camp program and I got to see a child who was on treatment and desperately ill climb up a ‘pamper pole’ – a 20 foot telephone pole! – stand up on top of it, and jump off to grab a trapeze like it was nothing at all! It was incredible. At that moment, I knew that wonderful things were always possible, so my tattoo reminds me of that.