As recipients of the $1,250 grant, Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries of Oklahoma, Inc. can now send five children from Shawnee and Seminole to New Day camp at Lake Texoma thanks to a grant from the Avedis Foundation.

As recipients of the $1,250 grant, Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries of Oklahoma, Inc. can now send five children from Shawnee and Seminole to New Day camp at Lake Texoma thanks to a grant from the Avedis Foundation.

New Day is a camp each summer for children across Oklahoma who have at least one incarcerated parent. There are approximately 28,000 children in Oklahoma with a parent in prison. Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries of Oklahoma, Inc. offer three camps to these silent victims — children from age 8 to 18 — allowing them to gather with other children from similar situations and discuss the obstacles they are facing.

At New Day, trained professionals provide coping skills, along with other offerings such as swimming lessons taught by an Olympic swim coach; high and low ropes courses; mountain biking; and more. Transportation is provided to and from camp, as well as bedding, hygiene, clothing and all items needed for camping.

“This program provides an important opportunity for children to have a meaningful camp experience with their peers,” Avedis Program Director Tracy Meeuwsen said. “In addition, it provides a supportive environment where mentoring is delivered and coping skills are taught from trained professionals.”

The program provides a safe environment surrounded with caring people, and plenty of fun activities, she said.

“The Avedis Foundation made it possible for five children to attend camp from the Pottawatomie County area so that the kids could experience a fun-filled week without being forced to hide trauma they have experienced, and just be themselves,” Executive Director Kristin D. Harlin, Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries of Oklahoma, Inc., said.

Avedis President Kathy Laster said the foundation is honored and pleased to fund this project making a difference in the community.

To support the perpetual mission of this organization both now and in the future donations can be made directly to Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries of Oklahoma, Inc.

The Avedis mission is to measurably improve health, wellness and the quality of life for the people of Pottawatomie County and surrounding areas.

For more information about the Avedis Foundation, visit avedisfoundation.org.