My purpose is to inspire people. It’s about showing people that if you care, you can make a difference on every level of your life.
Nothing is for free, therefore give what you can and then give a little more. Give not only of your money, but more importantly give of your time.
Each of us should be kind to one another, to the environment, and to all living creatures. Do not consume what you don't need and lead by example. How you care for others will become your legacy, so make it your priority in body, mind, and spirit.
“Torino Ranch is the place where magic happens year after year. I have been volunteering with NCCF’s Camp Cartwheel for almost ten years now and every year, I am excited to go back.
"It is a combination of the peacefulness of Torino Ranch (the trees, the breeze, the lake), the love that radiates from volunteers, and the smiles from children’s faces. It is a place where kids can be kids. If this feeling could be bottled up, the world would be a better place.“
- Rosanna Graves
"This summer, I was blessed with many opportunities to make small changes in the world. Out of all of these opportunities, none came close to having the impact that Sunshine Nevada’s programs have had in my life.
"After a couple good friends of mine told me about Camp I Am, (a camp designed for children with autism) and how I could volunteer, I immediately wanted to learn more. I went onto the SNO’s website, found the volunteer application and soon enough, found myself signed up as an activities specialist.
"Once I arrived at camp, however, I found out there was an opportunity to serve as a one-on-one counselor for one of the campers. I was so excited about this opportunity, I couldn’t wait to meet my camper and spend the entire weekend with them. I had no idea what powerful change was about to occur in my life from the influence of my camper.
"Duncan (camper) was the life of the party at camp. Everyone knew his name by the second day and at times, I’ll admit, it was difficult to keep my eye on him due to the fact he was constantly talking to someone new, making a new friend, building a new relationship. Thanks to Duncan, I spent the entire weekend with a smile on my face and a new best friend by my side.
"It was absolutely amazing how much I learned from such an admirable individual in such a short amount of time. That camp left me with such unforgettable memories and wonderful new friendships, I couldn’t help but yearn for more. I ended up signing up for the next 3 camps after Camp I Am, the maximum amount of camps left to sign up for to finish out the summer.
"Every single person I encountered throughout my experience has left a lasting impression on my life forever. I consider my campers and fellow volunteers my family now, and I am so very thankful for the hardworking staff that dedicates their valuable time into putting these opportunities together. Next summer’s camps cannot come fast enough!"
- Devynn Mills
“This summer will mark my 10th year of volunteering at Camp Cartwheel. I made the wonderful accident of stumbling upon camp when a former co-worker mentioned her summer plans. I signed up and applied on the spot.
"I had NO idea what to expect, but if I HAD expectations, my experience would surely have exceeded them! First, I drove and drove... and drove through the desert and ended up in this insane oasis of AWESOME! I could believe what I was seeing. It was absolutely magical.
"The grass, the trees, the pond, the cabins, and I could go on and on! I can’t even imagine how magical this place can look in the eyes of a child. THIS is the place where magic is made. THIS is the place that creates lasting memories. THIS is the place where illnesses disappear, and kids can be kids. I can’t imagine camp without Torino Ranch.”
- Claire Rotert
“I have been a volunteer with the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation for 14 years. We lost our daughter Stephanie in 2003 after a ten-month battle with Cancer, yesterday was our 15th anniversary without her, she was just 17 years old. Torino Ranch has provided a safe haven for my family and me.
"Torino Ranch provides us with a safe place to still belong. I cannot tell you how many children I have met at Torino that have lost their battle. We get two weeks out of the summer to let a kid be a kid, a safe place for each child to feel normal.
"They get to do all the things at this special place that they can’t do at home. I have known kids that begged to come to camp even for just a day (because they were too sick to come for the entire week). Then they went home and had bone marrow transplants.
"I met a young woman a few years ago at Torino Ranch that asked if I knew why she was there. I said no (even though she was bald and had a port scar). She said she had a rare cancer with no cure and she would probably not be there the following year. She mentioned she had no friends and did not want to be made fun of. She said she was having such a great time. I told her to look around at all the kids around her. I told her those would be her life time forever best friends. She is still holding strong, has come to camp every year, and has the best friends.
"Stephanie told her doctor she wanted to meet every child in Nevada that had cancer, when asked why she responded, 'I want to let them know they are going to be OK.' Stephanie never got to go to camp, she was not well enough to go. I go so that I can let those kids be OK, they get to be like everyone else. I go for Stephanie.
"All my kids were raised at Torino Ranch, and now they are volunteers, this is where we still fit in. Torino Ranch is truly the one place where my husband and I still feel 'normal'. My husband and I do not take vacations, we go to camp. We get five days to make a difference in the life of a child at Torino Ranch.”
- Tammy Richardson
“My family and I have enjoyed the support, dedication, and compassion shown by NCCF, Camp Cartwheel and Torino Ranch since the passing of our daughter Stephanie in 2004.
"My family has volunteered at Camp Cartwheel on Torino Ranch since 2005. The ranch is our sanctuary for a respite against the world of childhood cancer.
"This yearly event, and its location at Torino Ranch, allows us to be normal, if only for a very short amount of time. The campers, counselors, and special staff give us the compassion we need after losing our daughter. Mr. Torino affords us the privilege of using the ranch for Camp Cartwheel, and this facility is the reason for Camps success.”
- James Richardson
“Anyone that's been to the Torino Ranch is aware that the drive to get there is one filled with rocks, mountains, and barren trees. As a Minnesota native, it's a sight that I don't see very often. Hence, why I was so shocked the first time I volunteered for Camp Cartwheel.
"After miles of desert you round a corner to see luscious green trees and manicured gardens. It's breathtaking. Torino Ranch is a tranquil oasis in the middle of the desert that provides the perfect stage for Camp Cartwheel.
"The campers are enamored with all the resources Torino Ranch has to offer, specifically swimming in the pond or scuba diving in the pool. From arts and crafts to archery, there is something for all campers. There are no words to describe how magical camp is and what it means to our campers.
"The children look forward to this one week out of the entire year to just be a 'kid' and leave all their worries behind. One thing I'm sure of, the volunteers that donate their time to work with these amazing kids get just as much back as the campers. Camp would not be the same without Torino Ranch. This is all made possible by Mr. Torino and the Torino Ranch Foundation.”
- Kendra Rehnblom