Tuesday, February 18th, 2020, our Work4Eli team visited Camp Sunshine for an e-waste pickup. Camp Sunshine is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization whose mission is to “enrich the lives of Georgia’s children with cancer and their families through recreational, educational, and support programs.” Camp Sunshine is near and dear to our Work4Eli department, as Arianna White, Work4Eli Team Leader, is a former Camp Sunshine attendee. Below, Arianna shares her experience attending Camp Sunshine, and her excitement for the organization’s support for Digital Technology Partners’ Work4Eli department.
Why Camp Sunshine is Important to Me
by Arianna White, Work4Eli Team Leader at Digital Technology Partners
I was 7 years old when I was diagnosed with Fibrillary Astrocytoma, which is a type of brain cancer. Some of the doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta told me about Camp Sunshine. I was finally able to go when I was 8 years old. I never imagined a place that could be so wonderful. They had all sorts of things to do that I had never done before. I thoroughly enjoyed being a radio DJ, horseback riding, kayaking, and more. I made a lot of new friends. Years later, I moved up to teen week where they had ziplining, a dance at the end of the week, lock-ins at the Sunshine House, and teen retreats at the campground throughout the year. I was able to grow with my cabinmates whom I thought of as my cabin sisters.
I ended up being homeschooled my senior year of high school. Camp Sunshine provided me with all the senior year things that I would have missed out on. I went to Washington D.C. with them, which I considered as my senior trip. I considered the dance at Camp Sunshine as my prom. We even crowned a Miss Sunshine and a Mister Sunshine every year. Every senior camper was nominated accordingly, but every camper voted. I was honored to be chosen as Miss Sunshine by all my peers.
I took a year off after I graduated high school because I had a difficult senior year other than everything that happened with Camp Sunshine. My brother went to Ola Middle School and High School where he became friends with Jonathan’s Kendrick’s nephew, which is how my family and I got to know Jonathan. Jonathan was finally ready to start his program at Digital Technology Partners to hire people with disabilities. He knew about my cancer history and offered me a job with the Work4Eli Program. I was thrilled even though I didn’t know exactly what I’d be doing. This job has turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’ve learned a lot, I have the greatest bosses in the world, and I even got promoted to Team Leader recently. Not to mention, everyone at Digital Technology Partners is friendly and helpful.
I was very excited to tell my friends from Camp Sunshine about the Work4Eli program, and I thought Camp Sunshine would be a great client for us. I gave a flyer to the Camp Sunshine Program Director at the 2019 Young Adult Holiday Party at the Sunshine House. She made sure it got to the right person who recently contacted the Work4Eli Program Director. They made arrangements for a pickup of Camp Sunshine’s old electronics. I was so excited that my two favorite organizations were working together. Camp Sunshine was providing more business for Work4Eli by donating their unwanted electronics. Work4Eli was helping Camp Sunshine safely dispose of their old electronics.
I hope that the two places I love most will continue to do business together in the future. They both help people in wonderful ways—Camp Sunshine, by providing an environment where kids with cancer can just be kids and do things they never imagined being able to do, and Work4Eli by providing a service for our clients where we not only take people’s unwanted electronics for deconstruction and recycling, but also clean all of the personal information off of the hard drives with a degaussing machine. The main goal of Work4Eli, though, is to provide jobs for people with disabilities. More donations of electronics means more work hours provided for current employees and more jobs we can provide for new employees. Camp Sunshine and Digital Technology Partners are two places that have touched my life in such a meaningful way and I am excited to see them work together in the future.