Angels Unaware started Camp Ray-Ray 23 years ago after a 4-year-old boy named Ray passed away from AIDS.
At the time, there wasn’t any programs to support families as the community was focused on the gay community.
So in Ray’s memory, a small group of volunteers created an oasis for children and families dealing with HIV and AIDS.
Once a year, the group from Angels Unaware hosts the camp at Snow Mountain Ranch. It’s free to children and parents and the only requirement to attend is that families be infected or affected by HIV or AIDS and have a child under the age of 18.
100 percent of any money donated to Angels Unaware goes directly to paying for camp. The non-profit has no overhead so they are able to make sure that money doesn’t go to other things like paying for an office space.
For many people who attend camp this is their only vacation and allows them to escape the stigma that can come from having HIV or AIDS.
Around 20 to 22 families attend each year.
That’s about 120 people along with 25 volunteers to staff Camp Ray-Ray.
The volunteers say campers are like family and it’s heart-warming to see kids faces light up at all the fun things they get to do.
With all the things these families have to deal with on a daily basis, from doctors visits to not always feeling well, it’s nice that kids for one weekend can get away from all it and simply be kids.