A man and woman hold a large check to donate to MDA Summer Camp in the camp cafeteria

Sponsors Share in MDA Summer Camp Magic

For many youths living with neuromuscular disease, MDA Summer Camp is the highlight of the summer. The free, week-long, sleep-away camp provides a place for campers to participate in accessible activities and create lasting friendships with their peers and counselors while gaining independence and confidence, and – most importantly – having fun. The camp program also provides volunteers with an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and to build relationships in a role that is crucial to the execution of camp. The MDA Camp Team celebrates the culmination of a year’s worth of work, cherishing the experiences, adventures, and moments shared with campers. And there is one more key group of people who not only play a huge part in making summer camp dreams a reality, but who also often have the opportunity to share in the magic of camp: MDA sponsors.

Volunteers in Safeway t-shirts serve food at MDA Summer Camp

Volunteers in Safeway t-shirts serve food at MDA Summer Camp

MDA Summer Camp wouldn’t be possible without the dedication, commitment, and generosity of sponsor driven donations and fundraisers across the country. For anyone who has ever wondered how MDA is able to provide a week of overnight summer camp free of charge to so many kids each year, the answer is that it wouldn’t be possible without the enormous impact of our sponsors. And in addition to supporting the funding of camp, many companies and organizations relish the opportunity to support camp by providing in-person educational, nutritious, and fun activities during the camp week.

Increasing funds and fun for MDA Summer Camp

For many sponsors, like the Albertsons Companies Foundation, their role is a valued combination of national fundraising support critical to the execution of the camp program and in-person activities and adventures as their local divisions visit MDA Summer Camps throughout the country. Through their Boost Their Abilities campaign, a national fundraising endeavor that includes pin-up and round-up campaigns throughout their grocery stores, The Albertsons Companies Foundation raised and donated more than one million dollars for MDA Summer Camp last year. But their commitment to camp didn’t stop on the dollar, as their teams from local divisions visited MDA Summer Camps to provide snacks, dinner spreads, ice cream socials, supplies, activities, manpower, and more. Sponsor led programs not only benefit campers, but also allow sponsors to see first-hand the impact of their partnership with MDA as they visit MDA Summer Camps to participate in the happiest week of the year and create memories that last a lifetime.

Headshot of a white woman with short brown hair in a suit coat

Christy Duncan Anderson, the President and Executive Director at Albertsons Companies Foundation

“I’ve attended summer camps all around the country. They are memorable experiences where the kids can just be kids,” says Christy Duncan Anderson, the President and Executive Director at Albertsons Companies Foundation. “One year, I spent the day helping children get ready for a dance by making paper ties for them to wear. Each tie was designed to share the camper’s personality, and I helped make ties with everything from Lego designs to one that was completely covered in googly eyes. Spending the time with the campers and getting to know them individually has always been a highlight of my summer.”

Christy oversees the Foundation’s fundraising campaigns, implementing programs nationwide and overseeing the distribution of funds to nonprofit partners. She plays a key role in promoting the company’s mission and purpose of bringing people together around the joys of food and inspiring well-being that extends far beyond the walls of their stores. “The mission of Albertsons Companies Foundation is to make our communities better,” she says. “Our communities are better when all people have the independence MDA talks about.  Our Foundation works hard to improve our communities, and MDA helps us achieve that goal for our neighbors living with neuromuscular disease.”

Whether it is providing a meal, hosting an ice cream social, or participating in a camp-planned activity with the campers, sponsor volunteers bring a bit of extra fun to the camper experience during their visits – and share in the joy and excitement that their fundraising efforts made possible. “Many of our teams visit camp and help make the day a little more special,” Christy says. “My favorite is when we bring ice cream sundaes for an afternoon snack. One year, I had to go through multiple rounds of water balloon fights to get my ice cream, but it was worth it!”

Campers and volunteers from local Albertsons companies division play beanbag toss at MDA Summer Camp.

Campers and volunteers from local Albertsons companies divisions play beanbag toss at MDA Summer Camp.

Those experiences remind MDA’s dedicated sponsors why they do what they do to support programs like MDA Summer Camp and the incredible impact that their endeavors have on the community. Through their time at camp, they are able to create memories in motion to pair with the thousands of pin-up photos and fundraisers that they promote in their stores throughout the year. And just like the campers, sponsors who visit camp carry those camp memories and smiles with them for years to come.

“I still have the googly eye tie that the camper gave to me when the dance was over as a souvenir,” Christy says. “I keep it as a reminder of how important these programs are to the youth.”



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