ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — “Do you want to purchase a bracelet to support camp day?” asks a Tim Horton’s team member through the drive-thru speaker as the customer pulls up. The woman in the white SUV agrees, orders a double-double, and continues toward the window to pick up her order.
All proceeds from coffee sales, bracelets, and events going on stores across North America are going to the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation which helps inner city kids attend summer camp.
“This is an experience of a lifetime,” said Jodi Bond, with the Children’s Foundation.
It’s an experience free of charge to families, covered by donations, most of which come from Camp Day. The 10-day experience includes bonfires, canoeing trips, hiking, and rock climbing.
“It’s all these experiences that they’ve never had,” said Erika Rivera, a Tim Horton’s co-owner. “To get them out in to the open and have them really experience something is very special.”
Rivera served as a counselor at one of the camps for several years. She says she enjoyed seeing the children transform throughout the time at camp.
“All these tools are being ingrained in them even though they don’t realize they’re learning,” said Rivera.
And that’s the hope – that the kids will take the tools and bring them home, in the long run, bettering their communities.
“When you’ve had your horizons broadened, it gives those kids more in their toolbox to be able to deal with issues,” said Alicia Bartsch, with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, an organization which helps select children to attend the camps.
Bartsch says at first they’re nervous but excited and when they come back, they’re different, transformed, and eager to make an impact.
“We know that thriving youth lead to thriving communities,” said Bond.
To find out more about the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation and Camp Day, visit the website here.