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Norman Helps the Needy Despite His Own Plight

Times Summer Camp Program

July 06, 2001|Juan Aceves and \f7

Eight-year-old Norman lives with his mother and sister in a two-bedroom apartment in Rancho Cucamonga. His father left the family when Norman was just a baby, and they have no contact with him. Norman spends most of his time out of the house, wandering around the apartment complex and within the community that surrounds them.

The lack of male influences in his life and his small stature have led Norman to verbal and physical altercations at school and within his program with the Hope Through Housing Foundation, an organization that works to create social programs for children and adults living in low-income housing. In an attempt to fit in, Norman hangs out with troubled children and acts out in a negative way.

Still, program officials say, Norman volunteers collecting and distributing food to the needy people in the area. Although his family is one of those in need, Norman makes sure everyone else has received their share of food before bringing some home.

He is a very intelligent boy. His lack of parental involvement has caused him to mature quickly. At the moment, his grades don't reflect his intelligence, but members of the foundation believe he will one day become an active, contributing member of society.

This year the Los Angeles Times Summer Camp Program will be donating $15,000 to the Hope Through Housing Foundation so children like Norman can be kids again. By going to camp, Norman's potential will be brought to the surface, helping him reach goals and dreams he never believed he could.

Each year since 1954, readers and employees of the Los Angeles Times have sent thousands of needy children to camp through the Times Summer Camp Program. This year, the McCormick Tribune Foundation will match the first $1.2 million raised at 50 cents on the dollar.

It costs about $150 for a child to spend a week at camp. Checks should be sent to: L.A. Times Summer Camp Campaign, File No. 53401, Los Angeles, CA 90074-3401. Credit card payments can also be made by calling (213) 237-5771. Please do not send cash. All donations are tax-deductible.

It is the policy of the Los Angeles Times to maintain and promote a culture of nondiscrimination and inclusiveness.

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