About Us

Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent's cancer. Kesem's flagship program, Camp Kesem, operates free summer camps for children who have been impacted by a parent's cancer. Founded at Stanford University in 2000, Camp Kesem has since expanded to 116 chapters in 42 states across the country.

Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem

The Need

With over 5 million children impacted by a parent's cancer, Camp Kesem must continue expanding to meet this need. Kesem is the largest national organization dedicated to this unique population, and for many children their Camp Kesem experience is a life-changing event–providing them a community of children with similar experiences, and a safe and welcoming environment to have fun and rediscover their childhood.

Beyond that, our replicable and highly scalable funding model also allows for rapid expansion. Kesem now serves 10 times the number of children supported ten years ago. In summer 2018, nearly 9,000 children attended over 100 week-long sessions of Camp Kesem held at fun and exciting campsites from coast-to-coast. And with your help, we hope to continue supporting more and more children each year!

Thank you for being an important part of our growth as we support children through and beyond their parent's cancer with innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community!

Our Impact

Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem

About Us

Kesem’s mission of supporting children through and beyond a parent’s cancer, and our vision of ensuring that every child impacted by a parent’s cancer is never alone, can only be realized through an ongoing, steadfast commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in every part of our organization.

To that end, Kesem makes the following commitments:

  • To continually expand the communities we support and work with - our camper families, volunteers, staff, alumni, and supporters - with attention to engaging underrepresented communities.
  • To strive for equity in delivering a transformative, healing, and empowering experience to those communities that recognizes and embraces our differences in race, religion, ability, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, family structure, cancer stage or type, or socioeconomic status.
  • To work to ensure that every member of the Kesem community feels safe, loved, and respected.

Kesem fulfills its commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through daily efforts in the following areas:

  • Hiring and Professional Development
  • Camp and Year-Round Programming
  • New Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Chapter Expansion
  • Recruitment of camper families, volunteers, board members and supporters

These efforts are vital to Kesem’s continued success and will be pursued with passion and a lasting pledge to continually improve.

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