Camp Barnabas is an organization with a mission to provide camp and sporting experiences to people with many kinds of disabilities. They offer week-long camps, with scholarships available to those who can’t afford them. As a Christian ministry, they operate from a standpoint of affirming that every person, regardless of ability, is whole and worthy of their place in the world.
“Utilizing the camp venue, our organization provides ministry and social experiences that increase spiritual knowledge, social learning, and human dignity,” reads the landing page of their website. They have served more than 75,000 campers in the past 24 years.
Thanks to an incredibly generous donation from Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, Camp Barnabas will be able to massively increase the services they have to offer.
Hamels and his wife have donated their brand new (in fact, as yet unfinished) mansion property at Table Rock Lake, near one of Barnabas’s two extant properties. The mansion, which Hamels first decided to sell in August (asking price: $10 million), includes 100 acres of land and a third of a mile of lake shoreline. It boasts 10 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, two kitchens, and an elevator—meaning little renovation will need done to make it accessible for Camp Barnabas’s needs.
The Hamels put their property on the market after Hamels decided that he would be staying full-time in Texas. Even though construction began in 2012, the castle-like mansion has never been inhabited. But he decided at some point that he would rather donate it.
“There are tons of amazing charities in southwest Missouri,” said Hamels in a press conference, his wife at his side. “Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings. Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”
*Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr Creative Commons.