The DermacareCARES charitable program was created in 2006, and for the past eleven years, DermacareCARES has helped to send volunteers and resources for a week-long, overnight Bible school camp called Camp Hands of Joy for over 200 Deaf children. For these children, many of whom live in severe poverty, a week at camp means three square meals per day, a feeling of security, and a chance to just have lots of fun.
Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic Camp Hands of Joy for the year 2020 and 2021 were cancelled. Plans for 2022 are already underway though and the volunteer team is looking forward to returning!
Another way DermacareCARES has helped Deaf children in the Dominican Republic is by providing the salaries for a much-needed Teacher’s Aid and a seamstress for a deaf school in Santo Domingo, Centro de Sordos. The seamstress teaches the older girls a trade, so when they graduate they can earn a living. One of the graduates, Gileania, has already found her path in life making beautiful curtains for the more expensive homes in the D.R.
Three years ago one of the Camp Hands of Joy volunteers remained in the Dominican Republic to open a trade school for the Deaf. Opportunities in the Dominican Republic for the Deaf to have a career and earn a living wage are few and far between. Skills such as computer typing, small business management, generator repair (greatly needed), and cosmetology are just a sample taught to these very talented adults. DermacareCARES is proud to have played a small part in helping to obtain a building for the trade school. The popularity of the trade school in the Deaf community has made it necessary to find a larger facility as they are quickly outgrowing the current one. Fundraising efforts in 2021 are underway to support this endeavor.
Subscribers to our Dermacare e-newsletter are kept informed of ways they can help with this very worthy cause such as donating items to the Camp Hands of Joy rummage sale, purchasing Thanksgiving Day casseroles and pumpkin bread, donating $8o to sponsor a designated child to attend camp, and purchasing pumpkins at the Fall Pumpkin Patch in Alachua, Florida. For details on these events or other ways, you can be a part of making this camp a reality for these beautiful children, call Jennifer at 352-331-5355. Thank you for your support!