Camelot for Children

Camelot for Children

"Camelot, located nowhere in particular, can be anywhere," wrote Arthurian scholar Norris J. Lacy.

But if you were to ask thousands of families benefitted by Camelot for Children here in the Lehigh Valley, they’d say that Camelot is located on Emmaus Avenue in Allentown.

Camelot for Children was founded by Patricia Mullin and Kostas Kalogeropoulos more than three decades ago. It was created as a place for children with pediatric cancer, cystic fibrosis, and various developmental disorders, including cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome, to connect with other children facing the same challenges.

The inspiration for Camelot for Children was Mullin’s own kids. “My children dealt with severe illness with great courage,” she said. “They were the inspiration for Camelot for Children, which provides a meeting place for ill children and their families for the purpose of providing friendship and support.”

In 1987, Camelot for Children served just 20 families. That number has grown over the years to thousands of families. Today, Camelot for Children offers year-round social and educational opportunities, such as Teen Night parties, Sunday Children’s parties, an Afterschool Help Program, and a full-day seven-week summer camp. The organization serves children with disabilities and chronic or terminal illnesses in a supportive, developmentally appropriate, enriching environment.

In addition to helping children with special needs, Camelot for Children provides assistance to their families, including siblings—who often might otherwise feel misunderstood or burdened by having a sister or brother with extraordinary needs. These siblings are invited to take part in many of the events at Camelot.

Camelot for Children also helps give respite to the parents and caregivers of children. These parents find empathy and compassion in other parents who truly understand what it’s like to parent special needs children. Parents are given the opportunity to leave their child in a nurturing and safe environment, or stay and watch how their child interacts with other children, learns and grows.

“My children dealt with severe illness with great courage”

The calendar of events at Camelot for Children is varied and growing. It offers events such as an Afternoon Help Program, where volunteers help Camelot kids and their siblings work on their homework and practice other social and developmental skills. The program also gives Camelot parents and caregivers a night off from their homework routine.

Other events include Teen Nights, such as recent Valentine’s Day Social, and St. Patrick’s Day Night, where Camelot kids were encouraged to dress up. These children and the many volunteers enjoyed dinner, singing, and dancing.

Upcoming events include a Teen Night Fiesta in April. For Earth Day, April 22nd, Camelot kids plan to plant seeds for their gardens at home and at Camelot.

Camelot could not be Camelot without its many volunteers – from the student volunteers who are paired with each Camelot camper to assist them to get the most out of each camp day and spend countless hours holding monthly parties and planning fundraising events, to the Board of Directors, who consistently demonstrate their strong compassion and commitment to Camelot, investing numerous hours and financial support to ensure that Camelot remains strong and vibrant for many years to come.

“There are so many people who have been integral to the growth of Camelot,” said Mark Jaindl, President of Camelot. “Our staff and Board of Directors, both past and present, have invested their time and talents to ensure that we can offer the programs that our Camelot children and their families need. In addition, our volunteers have played an important role as they have put in countless hours in so many ways to help Camelot. We have many plans for the future of Camelot and we look forward to enhancing the services we provide to the children of Camelot.”

Want to get involved? You can help in several easy ways:

  • Support with money:
    You can donate by visiting to make a tax-deductible donation.
  • Support with time:
    Teens over age 14 and adults can volunteer to help with Camelot for Children kids at events throughout the year and during our summer camp. All volunteers who will have contact with our Camelot children must complete the application and obtain the required clearances.

About the author:
Jennifer Bright Reich is co-founder and CEO of Momosa Publishing LLC, publisher of the Mommy MD Guides books, and more, in Allentown, PA.

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