More Than Me™ is a trademark program of Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Inc. established in 2006 by Executive Director, Pam Sweetser.
Pam believed it would profoundly benefit older children, especially in the middle school groups, to “give back” a bit to where they came from. Our knowledge of child development provides more than enough evidence that pre-adolescence is a critical life stage when children experience radical changes in all aspects of their lives– physical, cognitive, emotional, moral, and social. It is a time when exploring identity, self-esteem, and belonging are paramount to healthy development. It is also a time when many adopted kids wonder “what if?” A fact sheet for families developed by the Child Welfare Information Gateway reports, “As adopted teens mature, they think more about how their lives would have been different if they had not been adopted or if they had been adopted by another family. They frequently wonder who they would have become under other circumstances…In addition to all of the possibilities life holds, adoptees realize the possibilities that were lost.”
At HCAF, we recognize the normal developmental challenges facing our middle school age kids and thought we could offer them one of “life’s possibilities” that positively affirm their unique selves and feelings with our More Than Me™ program. When working together toward a common goal that connects them to new worlds outside of themselves, our middle school (and in some cases, high school) groups have expanded their experiences of life’s possibilities, mobilized their energy, and empowered themselves as individuals and as a group to effect positive change for more than 30 different organizations doing good works around the world each of the past five years. Through the various More Than Me™ projects, our campers have raised nearly $35,000 for these worthy organizations, and sent countless medical supplies, school supplies, art supplies, and clothing to children around the world. More Than Me™ grows each year, and our goal is to sustain it for many years to come and to extend it throughout the year, not just once during camp. More Than Me™ has emerged as a program that supports adolescent developmental needs and benefits adopted kids who have attended a heritage camp since they were preschoolers, or those who will be attending for their first time. We thought you might want to see what our kids have accomplished thus far….with much more to come this year and in future years!
If you would like to donate directly toward the sustainability of our More Than Me™ program, please go to our donations page at GivingFirst.org and indicate in the “Contribution Instructions” that your donation is for More Than Me. You can also specify which camp’s program you wish to support in that area.