The Ripple Effect
How do you affect real change?
Visionary Lynn Price fuels a need
and ignites a bonfire
BY BARBARA MCNICHOL
When Lynn Price was
eight, she learned her
parents were really her
foster parents. The
news created an unending and sometimes confusing series of changes, getting to know her birth parents and the
older sister she never knew existed.
That profound childhood experience
also sparked a lifelong commitment
from Lynn to improve the lives of kids
in foster care.
Today, she draws from her career in
the burgeoning cable TV industry, a
consulting business and a non-profit
organization called Camp To Belong to
inspire others to set a bonfire for
change. Not just change for change’s
sake but, by example, to envision, provoke, promote and accomplish real
change that makes an immediate and
long-term difference in others’ lives.
The Camp To Belong Spark
Like rubbing together two sticks at a
campfire, two incidents fueled Lynn’s
desire to ignite change. In 1995, she
often volunteered at Child Haven—a
place for young kids waiting for placements into foster homes or back into
their own homes when deemed safe.
During a break one day, she sat down
near a shy little girl at an outdoor table.
“Hello, sweetheart,” Lynn said, trying
to spark a conversation with her. No
response. Instead, the girl stared silently
across the courtyard at a slightly older
boy. Curious, Lynn asked, “Who is he?”
“My big brother,” the little girl whispered back.
Reflexively, Lynn wanted to bring him
to his sister but couldn’t because Child
Haven required its residents to stay at
their own cottages.
“That’s exactly when I relived the pain
of being apart from my sister, Andi, during our childhood. I knew I had to do
something so this sister and brother didn’t have to be separated like we were for
our entire childhood,” Lynn explains.
Shortly after, Lynn overheard two
women talk about Camp Care-A-Lot,
two camps in Central Illinois for kids
from low-income families. “That’s it!
Camp To Belong—a camp that brings
together siblings who get separated
through foster care.”
After identifying a need for change, then
envisioning a solution, Lynn exploded
into action. Only three months later, she
and 20 passionate volunteers welcomed
32 siblings from foster homes to the first
Camp To Belong at the University of Las
Vegas. They were eager to give these
young boys and girls in foster care memories of a lifetime—if only for one week.