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Every January, we embark on new goals, new books, and maybe a health kick in hopes it turns into a good habit. January around the office, we prepare and have our Economic Forecast Breakfast, a kickoff to what is potentially good and/or bad ahead of us in the economy.

We are fortunate enough to hear from the best, Brian Wesbury, as he gives us his blunt, moderately filtered take on what he believes is to come.

While I have a sneaky suspicion he will not be as optimistic as people would hope, there is also an entirely other part of the breakfast focused on our community. This year’s community theme is philanthropy. Something that can bring smiles to faces far and wide while not being directly tied to money. I will take this opportunity to highlight an organization that happens to be nationwide and something that has been a big part of my life since attending the University of Florida: Camp Kesem.

Camp Kesem is an organization that supports children whose families have been affected by cancer.

There are over 5 million children in the US who are impacted by a parent with cancer. While there is often a lot of support for people with cancer, there is less support for their family members and the impact it has on them. One of the main goals of Kesem is to provide safe spaces with peer support for kids who are going through similar situations. We have various events throughout the year where the kids get to do things such as being out on the water via canoes or playing a lot of kickball, just to name a couple. The flagship program is a weeklong, stay overnight camp that takes place every summer. Run by primarily college students with additional onsite nurses and counselors, the kids get to do a variety of activities to take them away from struggles at home.

A neat attribute about Camp Kesem is how everyone has camp names.

This is a fun way to bring kids out of their shells through an almost alter-ego while away from home. Naturally, being the only person in the group who has been to Nebraska and can confirm it is a real place, the kids chose my camp name: Corny. One of my proudest moments in college came from leading the 6-8 year old boys group. During my tenure with this rambunctious group, we only had one broken bone. The boys learned a lot from that incident, mainly not to jump from a metal-framed bunk bed to another metal-framed bunk bed and miss the landing, especially when Corny is not supervising while using the restroom. All in all, I am ecstatic at the impact this organization has on the youth in our communities and I will gladly keep supporting them for the future to come.

January 2024

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