Friday, February 22, 2013

Matthew’s Camp Challenge

In the past six years, Memorial High’s Matthew Stephenson has raised more than $40,000 for disabled children. Now, 15-year-old freshman Matthew has begun an ambitious, new fund-raising effort called “Matthew’s Camp Challenge” that has a goal or changing the lives of 30 children.

Matthew was born with mild cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that often affect muscle tone, coordination and motor skills. As a child with a disability, Matthew has made it his responsibility since he was 9 years old to help other kids just like him.

On Feb. 11, Matthew gave a speech to the junior class at Memorial High School, presenting a challenge to raise money that will send 30 kids to Camp Smile—a United Cerebral Palsy-sponsored, residential summer camp for individuals with and without disabilities. The camp is located in Mobile, Ala.

Matthew attended the week-long camp last year. He wants to give other kids the chance to experience a camp that is specially designed for disabled children. His fund-raising campaign will take place online, with donations collected there.

“My goal is to raise $30,000 so I can send 30 kids to summer camp. I am so lucky because my parents send me every year. I get to ride horses, canoe, play basketball, archery and swim. I love the rock wall with a zip line – a lot! It is so much fun.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids that don’t get to go because their parents can’t afford it and space is limited. My goal is to open three more cabins so more disabled kids like me can enjoy summer just like any other kid,” he stated online.

His Easter Seals of Greater Houston donation site is found here: 

KHOU Channel 11 reporter Dee Brown talked to Matthew about his passion for helping others at Memorial High earlier this month. His interview was set to be broadcast on the local television station.

Communications Department intern Kali Venable helped compile this report.



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