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Kiwanis supports Burned Children’s Recovery Foundation | Guest Editorial
Not long ago the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland was blessed by the presence of a very special man at our weekly meeting who spoke about his life-long passion: Michael Mathis is the founder and CEO of the Burned Children’s Recovery Foundation (BCRF).
The foundation supports burned children and their families with education, emotional support, medical expenses, airfare, lodging, a 24 hour call center - basically, anything and everything that is needed. Michael is very well-qualified to run the foundation. In 1967, he was living a normal life with dreams like any other child. He had just received an all-star award in the Snohomish County little league and dreamed of playing professional baseball. When Michael was staying overnight at a friend’s house, his friend poured gasoline on a camp fire. Michael was burned over 64 percent of his body after the gas can exploded.
Michael states: “After years of surgeries and negative reactions to my scars I learned that I had been given a unique gift and have the opportunity to affect peoples’ lives just by meeting them. I now have the opportunity to share my wisdom with the 280,000 children that are burned in America every year.”
With the help of many dedicated volunteers and specially trained individuals, the BCRF provide unique opportunities for burned children and their families.
They have a home called The Phoenix House, a 10-bed recovery center for recluse and high trauma children struggling in their recovery. They also run Camp Phoenix which is a recovery camp where burned children go and have a week of fun and emotional support without fear of stares or negative reactions to their scars. The BCRF philosophy is that you are beautiful on the inside. The children come away from camp with lifelong friendships and a strong emotional support system to assist as they progress through their lives. If you would like to know more about BCRF please go to their website. This is a wonderfully well managed foundation which impacts hundreds of children and their families each year. Visit their website at www.burnedchildrenrecovery.org.
The Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation is honored to be able to contribute to such an impactful program. If you would like to know more about the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland or the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, please visit our website at www.kirkland.kiwanis.org or come to one of our weekly meetings at 12 p.m. every Wednesday at Hector’s downtown.
Kat Cannon is a member of the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation.