Student volunteers spruce up camp

Ten Manatee Technical Institute student volunteers from the Network Support Services class spent a recent day cleaning up Dream Oaks Camp.

The students, who are all members of SkillsUSA, were taking part in the United Way of Manatee County’s “Hands-On Manatee” volunteer initiative.

“I was looking for a way to help the class bond with each other and inspire them to volunteer in the community,” instructor Joel Hall said. “It’s a great feeling when the work is completed and you really feel good about helping someone.”

Several of the students had personal connections with or interest in the camp. One student attended the camp when he was younger.

“The camp did so much for me,” MTI student Joel Ibarra said. “I love feeling this atmosphere again. It reminds me of all the hard work and dedication I put into this camp previously. It’s exciting to be able to give back to the community.”

The nonprofit Foundation for Dreams operates the camp off Upper Manatee River Road for children ages 7 to 17 who have special needs and chronic illnesses.

“Lots of little projects around the camp the need to be completed to get ready for camp this summer,” camp Executive Director Susannah Cripe said.

For more information about the camp, call Cripe at 284-4235.

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