The Felix Organization began as a humble dream in 2006 shared by two adoptees: our co-founders, Sheila Jaffe and Darryl McDaniels. After meeting through a mutual friend, they bonded over their similar experiences with discovering later in their adult years that they had been adopted as children. Compelled to give back to this community they suddenly found themselves part of, Sheila and Darryl teamed up to create The Felix Organization.
The first idea was simple: a sleepaway camp for children in the NYC foster care system. Out of this vision, Camp Felix was born. In partnership with the New York Foundling, Camp Felix had its first summer in 2006. Since then, over 1,000 children in the NYC foster care system have been sent to Camp Felix in upstate New York.
With the incredible feedback and success of our premiere program, The Felix Organization knew it could do even more to support foster youth. In 2012, we launched our grant-giving initiative, Beyond Camp. When the camp season ends in August, the support that Felix provides does not. Beyond Camp grants funding to NYC youth in foster care for extracurricular activities throughout the year. In recent years, Beyond Camp distributed funds for dance lessons, gymnastics, college textbooks, sports leagues, photography equipment, tutoring, laptops for school and more.
When our children are at Camp, they have the opportunity to participate in activities that they may not be part of when Camp is over, including Dance, Swim, Sports, and more. Beyond Camp gives our most inspired campers and other youth in the foster care system the opportunity to pursue their interests and sharpen their skills during the school year.
Recently we received a request from a young man, Anthony, for a professional camera to practice his favorite medium of expression: photography. Anthony discovered his passion for photography as a junior counselor at Happy Trails for Kids, “Capturing all those smiling faces….it was one of the best things for me at camp.”
For Anthony, being behind the camera “helped [him] see the better in life.”
These opportunities are only made possible through the generosity of our donors and supporters who make it possible to provide the best resources for our campers. Our youth are so proud and excited to receive these opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions!
If you are interested in applying for a Beyond Camp mini-grant, our application can be found below: