In Their Own Words: Mother & Son Spark Giving

Ben at camp, 2014. Ben’s full story is posted here. We’re using today’s blog post to further help Ben in his self-motivated, self-organized fundraising efforts to send one if his friends in need to camp this summer. Big Heart Ben's online campaign is here.

“Ben’s really excited about trying to be part of something that will help other kids out in the area,” says his mother, Melisa Cadell. “It can be very hard to locate and expensive to have OG tutors in the classroom. It’s out of reach for many people in Mitchell County. Any awareness raising that we can do feels really important.”

Ben wrote a letter to hand-deliver to local businesses, which has gotten the ball rolling. Although the funds will go directly to help a Mitchell County child, he’s accepting donations from around the globe and would be delighted if any blog readers want to help out.

“Toward the end of last summer, Ben kept talking about his friends from school who would benefit from Camp Spring Creek,” says Cadell. “He realized he was experiencing and amazing transformation and realized that if other students had that opportunity it would also be beneficial.”

Any amount—from $10 to $100—will help Ben reach is goal to raise $3350 (with Camp Spring Creek providing matching funds). Here is his letter:

Dear Community,

My name is Ben. I am a student in Mitchell County. I was tested for dyslexia last year. I was tutored and went to Camp Spring Creek.

I learned to read better. I met people from all over the world. They were dyslexic like me. I want to help other kids like me. Please help me raise money for their camp.

Thank you,



His mother’s also wrote a letter, to accompany Ben’s:

Dear Community Leader,

Enclosed you will find a letter from my eleven-year-old son discussing the challenges of a condition called dyslexia. It affects about 15-20 % of any population. About 5% are severely limited in their education if the problem is not addressed.

There are limited opportunities for the public schools in our area to assist these students due to the lack of public funding and properly trained tutors. Dyslexia is neurologically based and creates difficulties in processing of information. It is not a sign of poor intelligence; rather, many dyslexics go on to become successful because of their innate ability to find inventive ways to solve problems. They are often gifted in areas such as math, science, engineering, art, and technology. That being said, too many fall between the cracks and are limited because of their failure in our education system.

The stigma that my son and other dyslexic students are finding the most difficult to maneuver is that they are often categorized as unable to learn at the normal classroom pace. Reading is such an important component in testing and, because of this, they are often retained and or placed in classes that do not expect much from them.  

We are fortunate in this small community to have a special camp that serves an international dyslexic community with tutors and counselors that come from all over the United States and abroad. Camp Spring Creek offers and opportunity for these underserved students to learn and thrive. Specially trained tutors help campers organize time, learn how to decode language, understand vocabulary and improve fluency.

The cost of the camp is very expensive because of the specially trained staff and the extracurricular activities they offer. Many young people in our area cannot afford the tuition, but through a generous opportunity granted by their Board of Directors last year, my son  was allowed to attend as a day camper. In a four-week span he improved his reading by two grade levels. He is now attempting to make this possible for other students by helping raise awareness and speaking to public groups who could help fund the opportunity for others.

If you can contribute by having him speak at your organization or by financially donating funds to this cause, you would be making a difference in the life of a student who has struggled so hard to gain an education within a system that is often unable to help because of limited funding.

Thank You,

Melisa Cadell

Donations for Ben's cause can be made by calling camp at 828-766-5032 or giving online right here.