RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond woman is running her own summer camp to give neighborhood kids a safe place to go at an affordable price for parents.
It’s called “Indie Camp,” and it’s run by India Ford, a woman who said despite rough upbringing, she has found a way to live a purpose-driven life.
Now, she does it all for the kids.
"When it comes to these children, I do a lot of stuff,” Ford said.
The camp is five days a week, but the kids spend little to no time indoors. Instead, they go just about everywhere.
The camp includes trips to local parks, museums, the beach, the library - you name it. Ford pays for just about all of it out of her own pocket.
“I do go to work on the weekends, so I can have enough to fund my children for the week,” Ford said.
Parents pay a one-time deposit of $25 for their children to attend, and that’s it. Parents can donate additional money if they wish, but it’s not a requirement.
Ford gives parents the opportunity to save a substantial amount on child care, without sacrificing the peace of mind knowing their child is taken care of.
“I met India about three years ago and we talked a lot about our mission to help kids, especially those who aren’t afforded the same opportunities as others," Chantel Wood, a friend and volunteer at the camp, said.
As a kid, Ford said she wasn’t given much opportunity.
Her parents weren’t around, she was raised by a foster family and she didn’t get a chance to be a kid herself.
So being with the kids in her camp, it's her chance to fill a void and give back.
“They love her to pieces," Wood said. “It’s like an extra aunt, an extra sister, somebody to look up to help keep it together. Somebody that’s always interested in what they have to say. She really made a tremendous impact.”
Wood said she knows how much the kids love the woman affectionately called “Miss India.”
Ford believes all the kids should be able to just be kids and embrace the joy that comes with jumping on the trampoline and to see new and fresh opportunities while reaching for the ones they want.
And when life knocks them down, these kids will have the tools to get back up.
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