Children of Camden: How to Help

Find out about organizations working to improve children's lives.

Nov. 9, 2007 — -- There are many great organizations in Camden, N.J. and nationwide, that are helping kids realize their dreams daily.

And, if you want to find out about how to donate to the individual children featured on "20/20," click here.

The Boys and Girls Club of Camden:

The Boys and Girls Club of Camden County provides a safe haven for the young people of Camden. Every day, the Boys and Girls Club strives to improve each child's life by implementing self-esteem, courage and positive values through all of the educational programs. Club members receive tutoring, computer training, sports education, homework help and mentoring.

Cooper University Hospital:

Cooper University Hospital is located in downtown Camden and is engaged in numerous outreach programs to Camden city youth, from health education programs to career shadowing. They are currently undergoing a $222 million dollar expansion, which they consider an investment in the city's future.

Creative Arts High School:

Creative Arts High School is the school Billy Joe graduated from, and Wade and Joseph are currently seniors there. The mission of the Camden City Creative Arts High School is to provide compelling experiences and opportunities for the diverse Camden City student population to empower them in their pursuit of sustained academic excellence through the arts.

DUE Season Charter School:

The goal of DUE Season is to create a more effective teaching and learning environment in Camden and to connect with parents and the community to overcome learning barriers. Many of the new children featured on "20/20" attend DUE Season Charter School. DUE Season is housed in Virtua Health Center and is looking for a new building capable of accommodating its growing student body.

The Institute for the Development of Education in the Arts:

The Institute for the Development of Education in the Arts (IDEA) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt arts education organization established in 1996 to supplement the formal education of adolescents in Camden, N.J. In the past 10 years, IDEA has been persistent in its advocacy and promotion of music, dance, theater, visual and multimedia arts programs. It contributes to providing a safe haven for young people and helps to keep them from lives of violence and drug abuse.

Single Fathers of Camden:

Founded by Billy Joe Marrero's father, Victor Marrero, and associated with Urban Promise, Single Fathers of Camden is a community based, experiential, relational program that offers support and guidance for single fathers with an emphasis on community responsibility and service. Through the groups, events and outings participants work together to both learn what responsible fatherhood means but also model it for each other and their children.

St Joseph's Carpenter Society:

The Carpenter Society was founded in 1985 to help low income families improve their quality of life and create safe neighborhoods through homeownership. Their core mission is to target abandoned homes for acquisition, renovation and sale to neighborhood families. Since 1985 they have been actively engaged in the production and rehabilitation of affordable housing for sale and rent to low and moderate income families in the City of Camden. St Joseph's Carpenter Society identified the two-bedroom apartment for Ivan and his family.


UrbanPromise is a Christian-based organization that seeks to equip Camden's children with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth and leadership. Through creative summer camps, after school programs, job training opportunities, college readiness programs and alternative schools a new generation of visionary leaders are being developed.

Woodland Community Development Corporation:

Woodland Community Development Corporation (WCDC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides services to low-income Camden City residents through the Mary Esther Williams Homework Centers, Anna B. Clark Summer Day Camp and Job Readiness & Employment Placement Program. Our goal is to improve social and economic conditions in the City of Camden, in order to build self-sufficient, self-reliant households. WCDC was established in 1997 by its president, Rev. Floyd L. White, III, Pastor of the Woodland Avenue Presbyterian Church.

There also are many national organizations working to improve children's lives. Here are just some of the organizations that can help you get involved in your own community:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America:

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. The organization has been the leader in one-to-one youth service for more than a century, developing positive relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young people. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors children, ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country -- including yours.

Boys and Girls Club of America:

In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them. Boys and Girls Clubs offer that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership:

For more than a decade, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership has been working to expand the world of quality mentoring. MENTOR believes that, with the help and guidance of an adult mentor, each child can discover how to unlock and achieve his or her potential. MENTOR is widely acknowledged as the nation's premier advocate and resource for the expansion of mentoring initiatives nationwide. As such, MENTOR works with a strong network of state and local mentoring partnerships to leverage resources and provide the support and tools that mentoring organizations need to effectively serve young people in their communities.


America's 2,663 YMCAs serve more than 20.2 million people each year, uniting men, women and children of all ages, races, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. At the heart of community life across America, mission-driven YMCAs are a place to belong and to live the values that guide and unite our members: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

The descriptions of the organizations above come from their respective Web sites or were provided to ABC News by the organization.