Testimonials from parents, children, family, and community ....
Thank you for taking time to get to know the Burned Children Recovery Foundation. We believe every burned child should have an opportunity to heal from both physical and emotional injuries. Our foundation strives to offer these children from all socio economical backgrounds these opportunities. With your financial assistance and support we are able to bring children (and family members) to Phoenix House for immediate support as well as provide children a Camp experience (Camp Phoenix) to meet other children and engage in meaningful learning and friendship environment.
If you have questions regarding our foundation, please feel free to contact us.
Hallie Jayde - October 2020
My name is Hallie and I am 13 years old , for the last several years the BCRF has been a part of my life emotionally and financially. They made the impossible- possible! I was burned when I was 6 years old- 2 years later ( I think) i attended Camp Phoenix for the 1st time. I learn so much at camp. It teaches me not to care so much about what other say about my burn. I use to look at it as a burden but now when I look in the mirror I see a Survivor- someone who overcame what a lot of people can't, and I wouldn't have ever learned this if it wasn't for the people at camp. Camp Phoenix is my best thing that comes around each year. Mrs. Kathleen and Mr. Micheal are such a blessing to know. It's amazing how two individuals can care so much about the world as they do... about us burned survivors. They definitely make the world a brighter place. I know they do mine- just knowing I can talk to them if I need to help. Their continued support is so much appreciated ❤
BCRF Mother - October 2017
I do not know where my daughter would be today if it was not for Michael Mathis and his wonderful Burned Children Recovery Foundation. He has helped her so much during her recovery . She was having so many emotional hardships and Michael can relate so well - being he has been in her shoes. I love what he does to help all of these kids!!!
Frank S. - October 2020
The burn children recovery foundation is a foundation that helps young burn survivors and their families, by supporting them with love, empathy, compassion, understanding, and financial needs. I’ve had such a great opportunity to be a part of this group, and volunteer for their summer camp every summer as a counselor. What this group does for these young people is absolutely amazing and beautiful. Being a burn survivor myself and a volunteer counselor, I feel like not only am I part of something big and helping others, but I am part of a family. I will continue to volunteer and support this wonderful group, because of the work that they do and the love that they give to these children and their families.
TJ - October 2020
“Hello my name is TJ I was burned on November 21 2013 was 13 years old I was in the ICU for 2 and a half months. It was hard and very painful. Even though I got better, I didn’t see myself the same. I felt different. For years I would always ask myself why me. It is very hard for me to talk about it. I knew I would look different and not like everyone else. Even though my family and friends would tell me how amazing and strong I was. I thought that is what they are supposed to say. The amazing people at burned children’s recovery invited me to Camp last year. They showed me how beautiful I was inside and out. They always there when I need someone to talk too. It made me feel so much better having someone to talk to that went through what I did. They taught me not to be afraid of being myself and proud of the person I am today. I even started going back fishing and hunting. Before that, I thought I would never do the things I loved before. They was even so nice to send me a gift card to get new clothes and fishing stuff. The love and support they give is sIf there’s one thing I can say burned children help me so much.
Thanks so much for everything TJ .”
Tony O. - October 2020
My name is Cruz Ontiveros father of Gabriel Ontiveros ..we are a family of 5 here at New Mexico Burned Children Recovery Foundation help us with my son needs every tjme he needs to travel to shriners hospital. On Galveston Texas..every burn survivor is not alone ..i want to tell a lot of things but my english is not very well. But I want to said special thanks to Kathleen and Michael Mathis and all the people involved in this organization..
Jessica- October 2020
The BCRF is AMAZING! I never imagined 8 years ago when my son got burned during a family camping trip,that we would be beyond blessed to have people in our corner, supporting Donovan and cheering him on every step of the way, people who know our pain and the struggles and challenges faced that come along with being a burned child, our Phoenix family! The provide everything Donovan needs and then some! Thanks to them he plays all the sports he can, is one of the most rocked out kids with the coolest skateboard at Skateboard Club, he doesn't have to be worry about being bullied for other things like his clothes being small or his shoes being worn out because as he grows so does his wardrobe and Christmas mornings are more Merrier then we as parents alone could ever give him and his siblings. Most of all though he has people that are her for him, here for us, there in his corner through the good and the bad! We love our Phoenix Fam!
Sam- October 2020
The Burned Children Recovery Foundation has made our life so much easier throughout the years. The Emotional and financial support they proive is absolutely amazing and much appreciated. Without them my children may not have seen Christmas last few years, my daughter would not make it to her surgeries which is 6 hours away, they paid for my daughter to take dance and art classes... and much more! My daughter has an amazing support group because of the BCR. Having a child who is burned can be a very difficult thing at times but knowing you have a support group behind you like the BCRF is the best feeling - knowing your not alone in what sometimes feels like a lonely world.
Karrie M.1- October 2020
This nonprofit is never failing at addressing a child’s needs and wants. They have assisted my sweet 5 year old in reaching her potential in self-esteem and extra curricular activities. They are an amazing support and an amazing non profit.
Kaylim - October 2020
They have helped our family more than anyone during this time of recovery for our daughter. There is honestly no way to thank them enough for all they do and have done.
Anonymous- October 2019
There isn't enough words in this world to describe our gratefulness to have this foundation in our life. They always go above and beyond with compassion and support and do all that they can to alleviate our stress. We are blessed to be a part of the BCRF Family!
Sincerely a Forever Grateful Mom of a 9 year old Burn Thriver
Anonymous- October 2019
I couldn't imagine my life without this foundation! The people who support it and those who receive the support create a family like no other. We are there for each other in some of our best times and we can share with them some of our worst times. Our lives are forever changed and we are forever grateful and blessed because of BCRF!
Dan-Linda H. - September 2019
I have been the camp cook for the past 19 years and have seen so many of the older burned survivors volunteer to come back and encourage the younger children by their stories and life experiences and love because of how they have received love and support from the foundation. Michael Mathis helps so many families survive emotionally as he has gone through everything they have.
HallieJayde - September 2019
My name is Hallie. I have been attending camp Phoenix for several years.. it's my absolute favorite part of my year. Camp get me through the rest of the year. I am very thankful for all the burned children recovery foundation has done for me.. from paying for dance.. making sure I can get to my appointments 6 hours away..making sure I always have good clothes and all my school stuff. And for sure making sure me and my brother have a great Christmas. My mom tries but cant do it all on her own. Thanks
Angelique L.1 - September 2019
This is an awesome place for burn victims . Michael Mathis and his team are some of the most kind, caring people you will ever come across. Michael Mathis has turned something so tragic (being burned as a young boy) into something so amazing. If you are a burned victim or know someone who is. Please do not pass up the chance to attend the summer camps. The benefits are out of this world.
kaliwinward - September 2019
Burned Children Recovery Foundation has been such a blessing to my son and our family. My son was burned in a horrible accident when he was 7 years old. He has had over 23 surgeries and recovery had been extremely difficult for him. Burned Children Recovery Foundation helped us financially when my son was staying in the hospital. It was a huge relief. My son was able to attend their burn camp and it made such a huge difference. Being around others burn survivors and helped him so much on his recovery. He didn't feel alone. I am so thankful for this foundation and for what they have done for us.
Feike van D. - September 2019
What an amazing organization, run by amazing and experienced people that have experienced loss and grief themselves. Burned Children Recovery Foundation has a heart for burned children and their families, helping their journey through suffering and pain. They organize amazing summer camps where burned children and their families from all over the United States learn coping mechanisms and have shared fun activities. Next to the camps BCRF helps funding for children through medical treatments, accommodations and meals during specialist visits, have a place for families near Seattle for families to stay during their treatments. BCRF help children with school supplies, sports and activities, helps families that have experienced with Christmas presents for the children and much much more. Our family has experienced a tragic and devastated fire and BCRF has had helped us through and through emotionally and financially over the last 4 years. Michael and Kathleen Mathis founders and director have been part of our family since the day Michael reached out with the promise to help our family.
We will always be thankful for what BCRF has done and continues to do for my family.
Michael M.10 - September 2019
What an Honor it has been to be the founder of the Burned Children Recovery Foundation. Since 1989 we have helped over 126,400 burned children return to full and productive lives. We are humbled by the thousands of volunteers and donors who have come to support our children since 1989, because we can't help our families without them. Thank you for supporting our children, it means a lot.
Blessing to all, Michael and Kathleen Mathis
Brett B.3 - September 2019
I have worked with the foundation the last few years and I'm blown away every year at camp by how the lives of everyone are changed. This is simply an amazing organization, and I'm incredibly blessed to be able to witness the incredible work that goes on here.
Tara Adams R. - September 2019
My daughter suffered traumatizing burns two years ago, when she was 11 years old. She experienced lingering post traumatic stress from the experience, and it was impacting her daily life. She was very uncomfortable being around any sources of heat, including birthday candles, the oven, cozy cups of cocoa in the winter, etc. The Burned Children Recovery Foundation sponsored her to attend a burn camp for fellow children burn survivors, and it was transformational for Claire! Within two weeks of returning home, she asked to help bake cookies! She now makes her own eggs, tea, etc., and she lights her own birthday candles! She continues to benefit from the Foundation's love and support. She maintains friendships with fellow survivors around the country, and she has started to volunteer at her local burn unit to give back some of the love and support. I can't celebrate this Foundation's vital and completely other-focused work enough. It is proof that angels exist on earth. Thank you!!!!
Noelle Weimann Van D. - September 2019
Hi! We are a family of 5, but we used to be a family of 7. We lost a two year old and 4year old in an electrical storm 5 years ago. My husband and I were unable to save them as we were assisting our twin babies when the fire exploded. One of our twins was badly burned while in his high chair. He survived but needed 20 surgeries ( so far) to help him grow. The Children’s Recovery Burn Foundation has helped us every step of the way. From supporting our sons surgery and travel expenses to helping our family heal together during summer camp, to supporting specialized clothing and specialized trauma intervention! We are so fortunate for this nonprofit. They have provided hope in a very dark spot in our lives. They have united us with a family of burn survivors that show us we are not alone in our journey. They have made physical, mental and emotional healing possible for our little guy and family as a whole. We can’t thank them enough. Please support this wonderful organization❤️
Linda F.1 - October 2017
In 2012 my then 4 year old granddaughter was severely burned. The Burn foundation was there to help her and her family go through some very hard times. Their love and support along with financial help for trips to and from the surgeries and appointments helped her and family get through. Without them I have know idea how we could have done it. The camp has been a great for her to be herself.
Kristina W. - October 2017
I started working with BCRF 12 summers ago as a volunteer at their annual Camp Phoenix, a week long summer camp for children who have been burned. I decided to volunteer to get community service hours and help the campers have an amazing week. I had no idea that it would be the campers and the volunteers there that would change my life forever. I continue to go back and volunteer because BCRF not only works to provide opportunities for burn survivors to be in community with those who have had experiences similar to theirs, but they also work on their hearts. Throughout the year, this foundation helps burn survivors and their families work through the emotional trauma along with the physical and financial trauma. This is incredibly admirable and I am proud to give just a little of my time to support this organization.
Kelsay Parrott - January 2017
Hello Michael! I wanted to stop in and say thank you for all the amazing work you have done! I have kept the Camper of the year award close to me where I can see it! It was a huge honor and j am great full for it. Camp was a huge thing that helped me this past year!
You do such amazing work and I don't think you get enough credit for it! I truly don't! Because if it wasn't for you and some of the talks we had, I wouldn't have left camp so changed! Some of those heart-to-hearts changed me and made me a better person. So thank you so much for that!
I have been keeping notes on camps and coming up with ideas for camps and retreats. I am truly blessed to be apart of this amazing camp and group!
So thank you so much for all you have done! You are an amazing human and deserve more recognition! I truly can't thank you enough. God bless you! I hope to talk to you or see more amazing work from you later :) god bless.
Makenzie Reed - January 2016
National burn awareness week!! I'm so thankful for everyone in these pictures an more. Camp phoenix has showed me so much in the past 6 years an I don't know how my life would be today if I wasn't burned. Being a burn survivor is all about loving yourself the way you are. Who cares if you get judged, or looked at. You are beautiful the way you are! Like everyone says, things happen for a reason! I want to thank Michael Mathis and Kathleen Boutiette for everything they have done for me and every other kid out there!! I've come a long way because of you two! Love you guys !! Flaunt what you got - burn survivors!!!
I also want to give a HUGE shout-out to harborview medical center and my other camp, Camp Eyabsut! Soooo thankful for everyone there who helped me become who I am today.
Brittany Bearden - January 2016
Friendly Reminder: It is National Burn Awareness Week!! As many of you know I've been a part of Camp Phoenix and the Burn Children Recovery Foundation since I was a little girl and I am now participating as a counselor. I just want take a minute of my time today to recognize some of the most outstanding and inspirational kids, and young adults that I've ever met in my life! We've all been through struggles in life that most people never see but each and everyone of us can say that being a part of Camp helps us see our lives in a different light...
We learn true beauty is within us and not to be ashamed of who we are! I came a long way since being a part of this camp as a kid and even farther after going back to Camp as an adult and seeing the child that I used to be and just learning to deal with the struggles of life...
It's powerful to see the strength and the courage that these young kids have! Michael Mathis - you sir - have changed more lives than you will ever know and I personally want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for me!! You are an outstanding person and without you and camp teaching me to love myself as I am ... I'm not sure who I would be today!!
Camp Phoenix is my family away from home and I am truly blessed to have you all!! Thank you!
MRS. CATHERINE HILL
Dear Mr. Michael & Ms. Carolyn,
I would like to thank you for the opportunities that you gave to my two sons, and my daughter for the time you have both spent counseling with them, and the great time that they had at Camp Phoenix . They have been through a very hard time when our house burned down. We lost one daughter in the fire. I know that it bothers all of them, as well as it does me.
The boy’s have gone backwards in their social skills and have a very hard time at school. I know that you all worked through some of their problems at camp this past summer. It was hard for me to tell you all what all I had been going through with them. You all have no idea how helpful it was for you to just tell the boys how bad it was for them to not go into the bathrooms to go to use the bathroom.
It was hard for me to constantly tell them, and we all know that they are old enough to know better. Their sister was always embarrassed by the boys. Anthony always got away with more than Derik did, mostly because he was younger. It amazed me at some of the good habits that they came back from camp with. Derik has gone back to school now, and says that he wants to try to be good, and graduate.
He said that Mr. Michael told him he could graduate if he really tried hard, and did his work. It was good for the boy’s especially to have a good man to be around for a week. My daughter Sarita just keeps talking about how you all made her sing, and how everyone kept on talking about how good her voice was. I know that she has a great voice, and I know that I don’t always tell her that or give her the encouragement that I should. It is just so hard since their Dad left to do everything for all of them, and work, and I guess that as Sarita tells me I am still grieving for Cecilia (their sister) that didn’t make it out of the fire.
I have been reading the books that you all sent to me. Sarita has been reading them also. She is such a good girl, and I know that I should give her more of my time, but the boy’s keep me busy. I do thank you for letting the boy’s call you to talk to you anytime. I know that Anthony called you the other night when he was real angry at one of the boy’s at school for calling him a crispy Critter Monster.
I am not sure what all you said to him, but he was able to go to school, and to not get in trouble all week long. I think that Anthony looks up to his brother Derik more now that he has gone back to school with him and Sarita. I can only hope that they stay out of trouble and stop fighting. They do remind each other what you said Mr. Michael about the fight or flight, take the high road and walk away from them when others start to get to you.
My words can never tell you how much it means to all of us that you all are there for them when they need you. They look forward to coming to Camp Phoenix again to see you all and meet new friends. It helped them so much to know that there really are other kids that are burned, it is not just them. I want to thank you so very much for the clothing vouchers, and the fuel vouchers that you sent to me last month. I don’t know how I would have made it without your help. God Bless you all!
In Gods Blessings to you,
Mrs. Catherine Hill
~My daughter was burned when she was 16 months old and she became very shy and wouldn't socialize with people and kids because everyone pointed and looked. She met Michael and this camp through the Shriners Hospital and it was the best experience of her life. She has gone to camp every year and is now 18 and wants to return as a counselor. This camp and the direction of its staff and board have made my daughter embrace her burns and help other people and kids as a result. She even wrote her collage term paper about this camp, Michael Mathis and the effect that they both have had on her life. I am very grateful for Michael and this camp and their continued help of children is a MUST! This staff is awesome, caring, supportive group of people who really make a difference in people’s lives for the better!
K. D., Mother of an 18 year old Burn Survivor
NANCY & DON BOATMAN
To The Burned Children Recovery Foundation,
I really don’t know where to start. We sent you the Newspaper article about how our house caught on fire when our daughters were in their bedroom with candles and how the curtain caught fire, and then it moved to the bed, and how they feared letting us know that their room was on fire, until it was too late to do anything about it. We lost one of our daughters in the fire, and the other one we could only hope that she could make it.
She was burned, yet not extremely bad, she is able to cover her burns with long pants, yet she forever carries the guilt of losing her sister in the fire. Her words still haunt her father and I, as the ambulance people were taking her away for care she kept saying daddy please don’t be mad at me, it was the worst accident our family has ever endured.
We were lucky enough to have at least one child make it out. We can never replace her sister, nor could we have ever replaced her. Nancy lives with that pain each day, yet with the help of your foundation she has been able to come to terms with that terrible night. She has been able to talk about it with the help of the camp fire and hearing other children’s stories.
She is now able to talk about how she feels about how it has affected her, both by being burned, and by surviving the fire. As her parents it was very tough not knowing how to deal not only with our pain of losing a child, and still having another one who did make it, and helping her to get through the grief also was very difficult.
The booklets that you provided for us were a great resource for us to start to heal both ourselves, and how to help our remaining precious daughter through both her grief, and her recovery process. Girls can be very vain, and when your child is burned there is no going back, you can’t take that back, so we had to with the help and tools that we were given to us we did begin to heal, and we were able to help our daughter. We can’t thank you enough for all the help you have given to us.
Nancy & Don Boatman
More Testimonials ...
~The Burned Children Recovery Foundation is an organization I have been involved with for many years. This organization is above and beyond any other Burn Foundation out there, helping the kids deal with their everyday battles and giving counseling and mentorship outside of camp. The changes in each kid is amazing from the time they get to camp to the time they leave. I have seen so many kids go from troubled to grown individuals, through the help of the BCRF Michael Mathis has a heart of gold and his focus on helping kids deal with their scars and bringing them out into society helps more than just the kids.
~I have learned so many lessons to better myself, from learning how to truly love, gaining strength in myself and helping others do the same, respect, and about looking deep into someone’s eyes to find out who they truly are instead of looking at their outside. These lessons came from the kids at camp, Michael Mathis, Michael Brewer, and many of the counselors who have passed through to help the BCRF. I will forever help this foundation in every way I can and believe it is the best place for all Burned Children to grow and become who they want to be.
H. C., Firefighter, Volunteer
~I don't where my daughter would be today if it wasn't for Michael Mathis and his wonderful Burned Children Recovery Foundation. He has helped her so much during her recovery. She was having so many emotional hardships and Michael can relate so well-being he has been in her shoes. I love what he does to help all these kids!!!!
J.H., Mother of a 19 year old
BILL & ARLENE MCDONALD
To Whom It May concern:
I would like to thank you for all that you did for my grandson David. David was burned while playing with a friend. They were playing with a gas can that we used to fill our lawnmower with. They were playing with the gas can and matches, when the fumes caught, and the gas can exploded, David was on fire, and in the moment of panic he ran one of the other boys he was playing with knocked him down, and made him roll over until the flames were extinguished. By running he actually fueled the flames, which caused him to be burned more. He was very lucky that the other children reacted so quickly. They were all great, about helping to get him to stay down, and to get the ambulance for him.
David spent a lot of time in the hospital going through several nights of pain, and during the days they would have to scrape his wounds, which made him cry from the pain. I felt so helpless, and at first most of his friends came to visit him, then as time went on they had to get back to their own lives and David was left to recover mostly by himself. I know that I could not give David all the help that he really needed. I am so thankful that one of his nurses gave me your number. You were able to tell me what to expect, and how to help David through this far. He really looks forward to the time when he gets to come to Camp Phoenix.
I remember how he was when he came home after his first year at camp. He was so excited, and was telling his Grandpa and I how good it was to be at camp where there were other kids that had been burned, and that some of them were even worse burned than he was. He told us about another boy that had burns like his, but he was not burned by gasoline, he was in a car fire. He told us about how his new friend had told him that they were burned for a reason, and that they needed to share their stories with other burn survivors and other people.
He told us about how at the camp fire everyone shares their stories about how they were burned, and they talk about how it makes them feel, and how to react when others stare at you or call you names. He told us about how he learned that it is not what is on the outside that really counts what who I am on the inside is what is really important. It has helped his grandpa and I to use those statements during the year when he gets down, and starts letting his friends get to him by calling him names.
David also appreciates the fact that he can call the 1-800 number anytime he needs to talk to someone, which is very helpful after a difficult day in school, or after one of his sports events. It was very helpful to know that he should continue to be involved in his after school activities. David loved to play basketball before he got burned, and it is good to know that we as his guardians (Grandparents) should not keep him out of that because of his burns. We have no way of ever repaying you all for all the wonderful things that you have provided for David, from the Camp experience, to the many hours of counseling, and all the encouragement you have given David, to the clothing, and gasoline vouchers you have provided for him.
He enjoys most the sponsorship for him to ride his motorbike in competition for two years in a row. It both kept him busy, and it kept him active in something he really liked to do, and we would not have been able to provide that for him without your help. It also was a way to have him use his hands more, both riding the bike, and repairing it. He was responsible for taking care of the bike. As Mr. Mathis pointed out it is very important that he use his fingers and hands to help them to remain mobile, and able to function. Again we can’t thank you and your staff enough for all you have done to help our Grandson David.
Bill & Arlene McDonald