The Mautner Project and CAMP Rehoboth Cares have teamed up to fill a gap in the health services provided to LGBT members of the Rehoboth Beach, DE community. For over 22 years, Create A More Positive (CAMP) Rehoboth has fostered community, provided services, and planned activities for the LGBT citizens of Rehoboth. Now in conjunction with the Mautner Project, the national lesbian health organization, CAMP Rehoboth will be training volunteers through their latest collaborative effort: CAMP-Mautner Cares.
“It’s very exciting for us,” says Leslie Calman, director of Mautner Project. “It’s our very first expansion project outside of the Metro D.C. area,” she explains. Historically, the Mautner project has serviced women in the Metro D.C. community.
This new Client Services program will provide the LGBT male and female residents of Rehoboth, DE, with such services as transportation to doctor and chemotherapy appointments, grocery shopping, household chores, pet care, among others.
CAMP-Mautner Cares was inspired by the story of Georgette Krenkel, who, after retiring to the Rehoboth Beach area, was diagnosed with lung cancer. “My reaction to that was fear,” said Krenkel. “I had just retired. I wanted to travel. I didn’t want to have chemo and radiation and all that.” Upon learning of her friend’s diagnosis, Janet Redman took action and organized a group of women to provide Georgette with the help and support she needed. “Just looking at how much was ahead of her, I knew that it was something I wouldn’t be able to do on my own,” says Redman, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. She began her efforts by sending a simple e-mail.
The women of the Rehoboth community responded immediately. “Within two minutes of sending it out,” she explains, “I began to get responses.” After organizing schedules of doctor visits and maintaining her list of volunteers, she reached out to Mautner Project for support. Mautner then contacted CAMP Rehoboth, and together, they formed CAMP-Mautner Cares.
“We are just talking about somebody to walk along the journey,” says Steve Elkins, executive director of CAMP Rehoboth, who hopes to recruit 50-100 volunteers for the project.
Much like a buddy system, volunteers report to CAMP Rehoboth to receive training and support for clients in the program. “Often times, volunteers feel like they have to do everything, but that’s not what they’re designed to do,” Elkins continues. “They are called upon to help clients find the resources they need, and they come back to CAMP-Mautner Cares”. CAMP Rehoboth will provide the facilities while Mautner Project will provide the training. “It is a big need in the lesbian community…We are all getting older down here at the beach and things are happening to people,” says Krenkel, who has volunteered for over 20 years with the Witman-Walker clinic and the Mautner Project herself.
Through Georgette’s story, it is evident that both volunteers and clients reap the benefits of this new project. “I know that everyone who volunteered made an impact on Georgette, but I also know she made an impact on those who volunteered.” Redman reflects.
With the help and support of her friends and community, Georgette is currently cancer free.
The official CAMP-Mautner Cares launch reception will take place on Saturday, October 20 at CAMP Rehoboth located at 37 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Volunteer training sessions will begin in early November.
Persons interested in volunteering may contact Steve Elkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
Persons interested in donating to this specific project may log on to www.mautnerproject.org and specify “CAMP Mautner Cares” in the memo section.