December 1, 2020

Where can a child impacted by a parent’s cancer find support?
How can I help my child feel less alone when I’m dealing with cancer?
How can you change a life today?

Help us reach our





Dollars raised

We’ve endured changes this year—many of them unexpected and most of them challenging. Yet, the one thing that hasn’t changed and never will is Kesem’s enduring commitment to serve the 5 million children impacted by parental cancer. Our 20th year marked a new chapter in Kesem’s resilience and more than ever before we witnessed the generosity of spirit that radiates and reflects off of everyone in the Kesem community.

What started 20 years ago with 5 young leaders founding Kesem has grown to more than 5,700 student leaders working to transform the lives of more than 12,000 children across the country—creating spaces, experiences, and services that ensure every child we touch can navigate the realities of a parent’s cancer diagnosis while feeling safe, loved and respected. Children living with parental cancer or who have lost their parents because of cancer may have physical symptoms of anxiety, including problems sleeping, stomach aches, and tiredness. Moreover, parents with cancer identified the need for psychosocial support for their children, yet only 9% of cancer survivors reported actually using this support during their cancer journey. Kesem is there to help.

We’re grateful to be a part of the stories of the children we serve. Privileged for the role we’ve played in their journey. Proud of how we’ve all taken this special experience to positively shape our lives and impact others we touch. Yet, we know there are many more kids who have parental cancer as a centerpiece of their story. We know we can reach and help to rewrite those stories too.

What does it feel like to share your story?
What if you saw it reflected back in the faces of those you told?  
How will you (share your) shine today?
Kesem at 20. Shine on.

why kesem?

Over 5 million children have been impacted by a parent’s cancer nationwide. While every child experiences this journey uniquely, there are common and significant effects including isolation, loss of interest in academics and activities, and assuming adult-like responsibilities.

Kesem is the leading national organization dedicated to this unique population. We support children through and beyond their parent’s cancer with free, fun-filled creative programs and a lasting community.

With oversight and training from Kesem, our volunteer college student leaders are responsible for recruiting and training volunteers, finding families in need, raising funds for their programs, and creating fun, supportive, life-changing programs.

Over the past year, Kesem transitioned from hosting over 10,200 children at 120+ sessions of in-person summer camp to creating and implementing an entirely new program designed to bring Camp Kesem magic home for our camper families. As a result of this pivot to virtual programming in summer 2020, we are grateful to have worked with over 5,000 volunteers, sent out over 11,500 activity books, and served over 7,000 children nationwide through Kesem at Home.


Check out our official #GivingTuesday store at, featuring limited-edition 20th Anniversary pieces that benefit our nationwide network of Camp Kesem programs.

the word

Join Camp Kesem for a national day of giving on Giving Tuesday. In our Social Press Kit you’ll find pre-made social media status updates, templates and assets available for download that you can use to adapt for your chapter and support awareness and engagement.

What is


#GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 through a partnership of New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. This goal of this partnership was to find a way for the world to give back following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. More information about #GivingTuesday can be found at

Kesem has raised over $5 million as part of
#GivingTuesday since 2015.


In celebration of Giving Tuesday and Kesem’s milestone 20th anniversary, we are excited to share our Shine On Tin Can Punch craft. Community members are encouraged to use our custom templates or get creative making their own Kesem keepsake “lanterns” from tin cans, a fun and meaningful reminder that no matter the darkness we may face, the Kesem light will always shine.

CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS and get ready to share on #GivingTuesday.


Contact with any
Giving Tuesday-related questions or requests.