COVID-19 & UKANDU

To Our UKANDU Community,


I am reaching out to share updates on our UKANDU programming. As you know, we made the decision to shift all traditional, in-person programming in 2020 to the virtual environment. Our mission is to bring joy, hope and connection to communities battling childhood and adolescent cancer. Our commitment to this mission remains steadfast. Though we were saddened by not connecting in person this year, we were heartened to find new ways to bring our community together. UKANDU virtual programs resulted in more than 750 engagements in 2020 and reached new families around the country! The staff and volunteers are planning even more opportunities for our families to connect in 2021. 

Recent news about COVID vaccines brings us hope, but there is a lot we still do not know.  We will look to national public health experts and our UKANDU Medical Director to help us understand when it will be safe to bring back in-person programming. As more information becomes available, we will provide additional updates. And even after we are able to gather in person again, we will continue to offer opportunities to connect virtually.  

Silver linings are sometimes hard to see and too often still leave us unfulfilled. But it is times like these where we can really show our “You Can Do!” spirit and that’s what we’re going to do… that’s what we’ve always done at UKANDU.

One more time, to our community, thank you for your support. Some of you are donors and some of you are corporate sponsors. Some of you are parents who share their children with us and some of you will have attended camp over the last three decades. Some of you are the more than 100 volunteers who take a week away from work, from vacation, and from family. UKANDU would not exist without all of you doing what you do. What we do together is special. What we do is everything we can to ensure each of our campers enjoys the “gift of childhood”.

As we continue to navigate unprecedented and confusing times, please remember your own “You Can Do” spirit. Be good to yourselves, be good to others, and stay safe.

Warmly,

Jason Hickox – Executive Director

Our Proud History

Planning for Camp UKANDU began in 1985 when a small group of Candlelighters parents decided, despite their children’s illness, they wanted them to be able to go to camp like every other kid. Thanks to an initial grant by the Fred Meyer Charitable Trust, 48 campers brought to life the first Camp UKANDU on August 10, 1986 at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp. In 1988, many of  UKANDU’s special traditions began, including the dance, sleeping in teepees, and Memory Circle – where we honor those campers who have passed. That year, the all-volunteer staff took 90 campers from Mt. Hood to Camp Yamhill, and then in 1989, the UKANDU volunteer board of directors began a long-standing relationship with the American Cancer Society. Just one year later, in 1990, the number of campers attending Camp UKANDU increased to 132.

In 1996, our 10th year was marked by another move...

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Leadership

UKANDU is a volunteer-driven organization. More than 100 adults give of their time and talents every summer to create a week of outrageous fun for the children and families of UKANDU.

UKANDU Employees

Jason Hickox
Executive Director
Ashley Light, CFRE
Development Director
Kendra Gish
Program Director
Sage Nicholson
Development Coordinator

Board of Directors

Our board is comprised of impassioned leaders with diverse skills and experiences committed to the mission of providing hope, joy, and connection to the families of UKANDU.

Mark McGraw
Chair
Chris Schwab
Vice Chair
Julie Desimone
Board Treasurer
Kay Yancey
Board Secretary
Ted Haley
Director
Darin Vick
Director
Christina Wood
Director

Committees

Committee volunteers provide vital leadership and work in conjunction with the board and staff to further UKANDU's mission and reach in the community.

Sue Lindemulder
Medical Director
Mareshah "MJ" Jackson
Communications Committee Chair

Marcie Walsh

Development Committee Chair