Last week, students from Robb Elementary School attended a summer camp designed to support the community of Uvalde in Texas following the mass shooting there.

Camp I-CAN – standing for Inner strength, Commitment, Awareness and Networking – provided “third, fourth, and fifth graders a safe space to heal, have fun, and gently reintegrated the children into a school-like setting around their peers.”

Programs included faith-based activities, arts and crafts, physical activities, games, music and entertainment, and a family supper.

The leader of Camp I-CAN, Sister Dolores Aviles, said she felt called to help after God spoke to her and said “Let the children come to Me.”

“This week, we wanted the children and their families to know that we are praying for them, we love them, and that we will also take action for them. That’s what community is.” 

The camp was an initiative launched by Catholic Extension, a non-profit Catholic fundraising organization whose mission is to “connect poor and remote Catholic communities with essential financial support, educational partnerships, and infrastructure.”

President of Catholic Extension Father Jack Wall said:

“It is our goal, that through the spiritual accompaniment of religious sisters, the children and their families of Uvalde, Texas feel God’s presence, and are reminded that they are not forgotten or alone in the coming year and beyond.”

They plan to fund more initiatives, saying Camp I-CAN is the “first of many.”

Catholic Extension has a long and storied history in Uvalde going back over 100 years.

11 of the victim’s funerals took place at Sacred Heart Church, which “was one of the first-ever communities Catholic Extension supported, helping build [it] in 1906.”

Photo credit: Catholic Extension
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