We are so excited to unveil our May 2020 Hand Camp HEROES nominee! Our HEROES have been identified and nominated by their fellow campers, or other members of the Hands to Love community for the work they are doing to further the mission and vision of the organization. Hand Camp HEROES all have certain characteristics in common: Heart, Empower, Resilient, Optimistic, Embrace, and Selfless.

Our HEROES review committee reviews each submission to ensure the nominee meets the criteria. Once a month, we will feature a Hand Camp HERO on this page, as well as on our social media and in our newsletter. We are so excited to share the stories of all our HEROES!

Hero’s Name:

Maddie Sakalo

Affiliation with Hands to Love:

Friend of Hands to Love

Nominated By:

Ruthie Dell

How does Maddie exemplify the qualities of Hand Camp HEROES?

Heart – they’re full of it.

Maddie Sakalo has a helper’s heart. She “committed herself to helping Hands to Love” according to her mother Staci when she thought about becoming a Bat Mitzvah. At the age of 13 Maddie who has never been to hand camp discovered Hands to Love and began fundraising for an organization that supports children with upper extremity limb differences and their families.

Empower – themselves or others.

“Through used book sales and making and selling hand charm necklaces to friends, family and kind strangers”, Maddie raised over $2,500 and donated it to Hands to Love to help other children with similar limb differences. Maddie was born with polydactyly effecting her right thumb and had several surgeries when she was a baby. She now has “an extra special thumb” and scars to remind her of her experience.

Resilient – they know how to get back up, time after time.

Maddie’s commitment to support other children with upper limb differences that she did not even know, through her tireless efforts is remarkable! She sold hand made jewelry and held many hours of used book sales to reach her goal of fundraising.

Optimistic – they always see the silver lining.

Necklace by necklace and one book sale at a time, Maddie kept her vision for helping others in focus and held onto her goal of helping as many children as possible through her efforts.

Embrace – anyone and any situation, no matter how challenging.

Though Maddie did not know a single camper, she did understand the mission and fully embraced the vision of Hands to Love.

Selfless – always looking for ways to put others first.

Maddie’s actions speak for themselves. She found the Hands to Love organization and knew she wanted to help. We are so grateful for her selfless commitment to doing just that!

An additional note from Ruthie about Maddie:

“This special Hands to Love Hero made her gift just before the COVID 19 pandemic. We are hopeful that she and her family will be able to join us for our 20th anniversary camp in late August.”

If you know someone who exemplifies the traits of our Hand Camp Heroes, you can nominate them by clicking here!