Anoka Teen Burn Victim Makes Sure Other Kids Have Same Positive Camp RED Experience he Did
Some people have good-luck charms or keepsakes that mean a lot to them. For Anoka teenager Sam Hanks, it’s a bracelet he always wears — a token from a summer camp for kids who’ve sustained burn injuries.
After attending the camp for three years, 15-year-old Hanks is about to age out of Camp RED, but he’s sending other kids there thanks to $5,000 from a fundraising event he organized in November.
“My original goal was $1,000, which [supports] one camper, and then when I saw the $5,000, I was amazed and super-surprised with how well it turned out, of how such a small idea came to a big ending,” Hanks said.
The camp, in Crosslake, Minn., and free to children with burn injuries, is put on by the nonprofit Firefighters for Healing, in partnership with Camp Knutson. Hanks was introduced to the organization as he was recovering from a bonfire accident in 2016.
It was the summer before sixth grade and Hanks was spending time with friends outside one of their homes. Hanks was watching over a bonfire when some spray paint cans ended up in the flames, unnoticed.