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Roanoke Rapids woman creating summer camp for neighborhood children

Posted May 11

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— A retired preschool teacher wants to give children in her low-income neighborhood a chance to experience summer camp, so she's creating one in her backyard.

Kathleen Robinson said Camp Save A Child will offer sports and arts and crafts activities, will have a garden and a health expert will come to provide lessons on nutrition, She also plans to feed campers breakfast and lunch for free.

"Then, you don't have to worry about them being in gangs, because gangs and drug dealers, they prey on our children," Robinson said Wednesday.

She's now accepting applications for the camp, which will run on weekdays from June through August. Because it will be free, she doesn't need a license for it.

"Here, (children) can come and experience life and realize it takes a whole village to help raise a child," she said. "I don't never see it as work. I see it as pleasure."

Robinson has been working at raising her whole neighborhood since moving to Roanoke Rapids a few years ago.

Her mission began with a Thanksgiving feast, but then she realized that some of neighbors struggle for their daily bread. So, the meals became more frequent.

"First, it was a few families. Then, it was a few more. Then, I feed 80 to 100 people a day," Robinson said. "'If you feed people, it softens their heart. They know somebody else cares."

Food banks and stores donate food to keep her kitchen going.

"People don't want canned food. They want something that tastes like love, and that's what I do," she said.

Robinson is looking for volunteers to help her operate the summer camp. She's working with local churches and other organizations, and anyone else who wants to help is encouraged to call her at 571-233-7445.

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