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.
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