Children and young adults, who have parents battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), are invited at no charge to attend the third Hope Loves Company Kids’ Camp scheduled for May 29-31, 2015, at Fairview Lakes YMCA in Newton, New Jersey. The camp program is free to 40 plus children and grandchildren of ALS patients in the tri-state area and beyond. It is a sleepover weekend retreat.

HLC Kid’s Camp will offer fun experiences including hikes, games, Zip line and rock climbing. Counselors will also be available for children who want to seek support. Even more important, children attending will all have something in common and can build new friendships and feel less alone in their challenges with a parent battling ALS.

Hope Loves Company is a Pennington-baed non-profit dedicated to supporting children and young adults who have family members living with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is the only non-profit with this specific mission.

President and Founder of Hope Loves Company, Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, began planning the mission of HLC after realizing the lack of resources available for children of ALS patients, after the passing of her husband, Kevin, in 2001. O’Donnell-Ames has three children, now all young adults, who have lost a parent to ALS before turning 12, so she knew from personal experience how ALS affects a family, especially children.

Soon after Kevin passed, Jodi began working for the ALS Hope Foundation, a nonprofit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as Director of Communications. There, she organized an ALS kid’s day for children and grandchildren of ALS patients. She ordered copies of What Did You Learn Today?, a children’s book written by Tina Singer Ames, who bravely battled ALS in 2000. The books, which were given to kids attending the event, were delivered by Tina’s widowed husband, Warren Ames, and his children Nora and Adam. Two years later, Warren and Jodi were married and Alina, Adam and Nora became siblings.

You can read more about HLC at and contact HLC to learn how you can sponsor a child’s camp experience! Go to to register a child today! contact Jodi O’Donnell-Ames at or view the HLC video at

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.


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