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Three young Mainers raise money to help send kids to summer camp

Elle Foley, Sophia Turker and Emma Bowden have created the group 'Gratitude for Maine' and are selling postcards and calendars to help send kids to summer camp

FALMOUTH, Maine — Three young Mainers are on a mission to help create the summer of a lifetime for those less fortunate in the community. 

"I believe that children should have the chance to have fun, and be with friends and go be in summer camp and just experience that whole opportunity," said Elle Foley, a 6th grade student at Falmouth Middle School.

Foley, and her two friends Emma Bowden and Sophia Turker, formed the organization 'Gratitude for Maine.' They may be young, but they've set out to have a major impact. 

"They're living in such a beautiful place, it should really be used, you should go outside every day, experience the outdoors, nature, the ocean," said Turker, also a 6th grader at Falmouth Middle School. 

The young Mainers behind 'Gratitude for Maine' are looking to raise around $10,000 to help send two kids in Maine to summer camp. They're doing it by selling post cards, calendars and soon T-shirts, with all of the money they raise going right to their fund to help send kids to camp.

"Children will really get to experience Maine, which is what we're trying to do," said Foley. 

Foley, Turker and Bowden are all close friends, and each have had their own summer camp experience. 

"Last year, obviously, everything shut down and last summer we had to be creative in what we we're doing," said Bowden, an 8th grader at North Yarmouth Academy.

When the pandemic hit and cancelled camp for the season in 2020, the three focused on their photography for the summer, building an impressive collection of their own photos. 

"We had a lot of amazing pictures of Maine, but nothing to do with those pictures," said Bowden. 

That was until the three sparked the idea for 'Gratitude for Maine.' Since then, they've taken those photos, and placed them on calendars, and postcards. So far, they have raised about $2000. 

"It's very important to me to give back," said Foley. "It's a very important part to being a child, I believe, and I feel like more kids should have that experience."

Foley, Turker and Bowden look forward to returning to summer camp themselves too, but are extremely pleased that while they look forward to their own days in the sun, they get to help give back. 

You can purchase post cards and calendars from 'Gratitude for Maine' by visiting their website.