Homeless children in Win summer camp receive golden ticket to Candytopia

Children experiencing homelessness were given a sweet surprise during their summer camp program with Win this year. 

Win was founded in 1983 – at the time it was coined Women in Need – as a shelter for four homeless women and their children. It has transformed decades later into one of the largest family shelters and supportive housing providers in New York City.  Known for its holistic solutions, services, and innovative programming to help empower families, Win also hosts an engaging summer program for approximately 600 hundred unhoused children.  

Knowing that living in the shelter system is no easy feat for adults, let alone children, Win looked to make the end of summer a memorable one by treating campers with a field trip to the Willy-Wonka-esque Museum on Aug. 18 to Candytopia, located on 111 West 32nd Street.

Campers made confetti snow angels./ Photo courtesy of Candytopia
Campers are covered in confetti./ Photo courtesy of Candytopia

“At Win, we believe that kids should be able to be kids, regardless of their family’s housing situation. Camp Win’s fun, educational programs help our kids fight against summer learning loss, build friendships, and experience the magical childhood moments everyone deserves to have,” Christine C. Quinn, President & CEO of Win said, “Our Win Campers had an incredible time at Candytopia, and we are so thankful to them for providing a space for our kids to be kids.”

The youngsters, overwhelmed with excitement, dived into a pool of fake marshmallows and made snow angles in a deluge of falling confetti. For a few small hours, the children were able to forget their troubles as they smiled and posed with towering candy canes and explored weird and wonderful rooms that could have popped right off the pages of a Roald Dahl book. 

For those at Candytopia, the laughter before the start of the school year made the experience a resounding success.

“As our city’s students prepare to return to classes, Candytopia is honored to have been selected by Camp Win as part of their summer program, and to have been part of one of the last camp experiences for these children in the shelter,” George Zapata, Senior Director of Operations at Candytopia said, “we look forward to working with Win in the future and to continue to provide a sweet experience for all families, especially those experiencing great need.”

Members of Camp Win experienced the Willy-Wonka-like museum, Candytopia./ Photo courtesy of Candytopia
Photo courtesy of Candytopia