Grant supports camp that provides hope and encouragement.
A Chance to Be Kids
About 12 percent of children in the U.S live with a parent who is dependent on or abuses alcohol or other drugs.
More than 8 million children under the age of 18 live with at least one substance dependent or substance-abusing parent*.
Jhanise Cardona knows first-hand about these statistics.
“My mother fought with drug addiction my whole life, and my father was incarcerated,” says Jhanise,” so I was basically the adult in my family. After witnessing things a child should never witness, at age 11 I left my home to go live with my grandfather.”
After hearing about the State Farm® Neighborhood Assist grant program, Jhanise nominated the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua, N.H. (BGCGN) for consideration.
Neighborhood Assist grants are awarded annually to amazing causes doing amazing work to help others. One of last year’s 40 winners, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua, N.H., used its grant to help those hurt most by a loved one’s addiction – the children.
The $25,000 grant helps support Camp Mariposa. Mariposa is a bi-monthly weekend camp started in 2016 by the BGCGN for 8- to 12-year-olds who have been negatively affected by addiction in their families.
“I went to the Boys and Girls Club to escape my reality and find a sense of normalcy,” says Jhanise. “At the Club, there are many opportunities to better yourself, from coding classes to cheerleading clinics. Kids who go there see there is something better for them out there. I knew winning the grant could really make a difference.”
State Farm Agent Dan Bantham, Merrimack, N.H., attends a fundraiser for BGCGN every year. “I noticed the Club was a contender for a Neighborhood Assist grant and helped get the word out in support of the cause. The community really got behind it and helped make the Club a winner."
“Five other agents joined me to attend the check presentation ceremony at Camp Mariposa,” says Dan. “We took a tour of the facilities and met camp workers, as well as many of the kids. Some of the kids have been through incredible hardships and this camp is a great place for them to get away from their current life situation and just be kids.”
Today, Jhanise is a counselor at the Camp.
“I’m so thankful Camp Mariposa is going to benefit from the grant,” says Jhanise. “The camp provides these children with counseling and caring adults some, like me, who understand what they are going through on a personal level. I’m so happy to be able to give back and show these kids it’s possible to be more than just their original story.”