Stephon Camp's April 20th event will provide haircuts, food and clothes for Kansas City kids
Last summer, Blue Valley North senior Stephon Camp was driving through his old Kansas City neighborhood when the sober reality of his surroundings sunk in. The poverty, the violence, the destruction was apparent. It led Camp to a realization, and that realization led to action.
“You could literally see how hard poverty had struck my city,” Camp, who now lives in Overland Park, said. “I had to stop asking myself ‘why isn’t anyone helping’ and had to be the one to step up.”
Camp created the I Can Help Foundation that will allow Kansas City kids to receive free haircuts, food, and clothes. The event will take place Saturday, April 20th, from 2-4 p.m. at Marlboro Community Center on the Missouri side of Kansas City.
“The goal of the foundation is to touch the lives of as many kids as possible,” Camp said, “and to show inner-city kids that they don’t have to be in gangs and stuff. I’m a prime example of if you stay on the right track you will make it out.”
Camp wants to emphasize that the event is for kids of all ages, from preschool all the way through high school.
“Anyone is welcome to come out and have a good time,” Camp said. “We will be offering free haircuts for boys and we have stylists that will be doing hair for girls. Also, food will be served to the kids, and there will be an Easter egg hunt.”
On the field, Camp was a leader on Blue Valley North’s defense and helped the Mustangs reach the 6A state title game. Camp was honorable mention in the Eastern Kansas League at outside linebacker. Camp will continue his football career at the collegiate level next year at Butler County Community College.
Blue Valley North head coach Andy Sims says Camp is constantly thinking of ways to help others.
“Stephon is always looking for ways to give back,” Sims said. “He has a big heart and loves to help people.”
Sims also said the I Can Help Foundation is a prime example of Sims’ focus and drive.
“I’m not sure how he came up with this idea, but once he gets an idea he kind of just runs with it.” Sims said.
Camp credits his mother, Christal, his uncle, Mark, barbers “Mel The Barber,” “Skit,” and “DD,” and coach Sims for making the event possible.
And this is not Camp's first foray into community service. According to the Blue Valley North website, Camp was one of three finalists for the Derrick Thomas 3rd and Long Foundation Community Service Award last December. Camp was honored December 18th at the Westin Crown Center.
"This award goes to a varsity football team member who excels in community service in his town," the website said. "Derrick Thomas was a Hall of Fame linebacker who excelled on the football field, but he also gave unselfishly of his time to sack illiteracy for 58 kids in grades 3-5. His dream still lives on 17 years after his death. The three finalists each received a $500 scholarship and a pizza party for their entire football team."
If you would like to donate to the I Can Help Foundation, here is a link to the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/1lwpbwbelc
Gallagher Martin is a sportswriter for Kansas Pregame and the McPherson Sentinel.