UKANDU

Bringing joy, hope, and connection to communities impacted by childhood and adolescent cancer.

aka UKANDU   |   Portland, OR   |  http://www.ukandu.org

Mission

The mission of UKANDU is to bring joy, hope, and connection to communities impacted by childhood and adolescent cancer.

Ruling year info

2014

Executive Director

Jason Hickox

Main address

601 SW 2nd Ave. Suite 2300

Portland, OR 97204 USA

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EIN

46-4296454

NTEE code info

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, each year in the U.S. there are an estimated 15,780 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age who are diagnosed with cancer. Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday. Globally there are more than 300,000 children diagnosed with cancer each year. Beyond medical challenges, patients experience trauma, isolation, and more. Even when patients become survivors, they may face long term or permanent impacts from treatment, such as missing limbs, psychosocial regression or cognitive delays like “chemo-brain” as well as increased rates of infertility as they move into adulthood. Siblings of cancer patients face feelings of confusion, guilt, fear, and jealousy. Each member of the family faces emotional stress and the financial toll leads to increased divorce rates for parents of childhood cancer patients.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Camp UKANDU

The ‘flagship’ offering from UKANDU, “Camp UKANDU” has been providing a week of ‘outrageous fun’ to children ages 8-18 since 1986.
When a family learns that one of their children is diagnosed with cancer, the last thing most of them want to do is send that child away from the family for a week. Time becomes more precious than it has ever been known. Parents are understandably covetous of the time and a future that is too often cut short.
However, our families recognize their children’s health is reflective of more than their medical condition. Children need to socialize, play and grow. Camp UKANDU offers a place where Pediatric Oncologists and Pediatric Oncology Nurses are on staff 24/7, along with 100+ other volunteers to address the care and well-being of these kids. Many children are, in fact, on treatment while at camp. But no one lets that stop these kids from climbing four stories into the air on a rock wall, hopping on a smelly horse or cooking s’mores over an open flame.
Currently, each year, Camp UKANDU serves roughly 132 children. Our campers are patients, and siblings of patients, ages 8–18. In these formative years, “normal” childhood development is a challenge. School studies, making friends, trying out for sports teams, joining activity groups and other clubs - these are some of the many ways most children seek to determine where they belong in “normal” society.
But if you’re a 14 year old bald girl, or when you’re an 8 year old boy who can’t throw a baseball, fitting in can be even more challenging. Camp UKANDU provides a setting in which being bald or having missing limbs is completely unremarkable. We offer a community where patients relate to each other’s stories, to their fears and to their pain. Most importantly, this community of children share their hopes and dreams and remind each other that life’s goals and inspiration are still theirs for the taking.
Of equal importance to our program is the community of siblings who attend camp. When siblings meet other siblings, they share their own unique fears and emotions that come with being the brother or sister of a ‘cancer kid’. Siblings can be confused by feelings of sadness, anger or even jealousy of their sibling’s condition and how it impacts the family dynamic. Meeting other kids who have experienced these complicated emotions allows sibling campers to reach a greater understanding of their unique circumstance and engage the world from a new perspective.
Camp UKANDU is a place where special children grow and play; where children laugh and cry; and where children build what are, quite literally, experiences and memories of a lifetime. Camp UKANDU is a place where kids can just be kids!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Starting in the 90s, The Teen Retreat was originally offered as a program within a program during Camp UKANDU, and was offered as a way to recognize the unique needs of adolescents impacted by cancer. Our teen campers have acted as role models to our younger campers from the beginning, and the Teen Retreat became a way for us to share our appreciation for their contribution to Camp UKANDU. Due to the response from those teens over the years, the Teen Retreat became its own unique program with its own special time in 2009, providing a full weekend of activities and programming that catered to the specific emotional and developmental needs and wants of this age group. Reimagined again in 2017, the Teen Retreat now offers an extension of the “You Can Do!” mantra by presenting opportunities for additional exploration and contemplation of what life looks like as a teenage patient or survivor of cancer. More rigorous outdoor adventures and more intentional reflection during these formative years, this program aims to provide participants with substantive confidence needed to help them confront life as young adults. But as our campers will make clear, “This is not therapy camp!” Like every program UKANDU offers, the teen is rooted in the history of ‘outrageous fun’ that Camp UKANDU started. While there are adults and professionals who come along to play and provide some guidance, any ‘therapy’ that takes place will take place from peer to peer.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with diseases and illnesses

UKANDU Family Camp was another logical program extension of the ‘hope and joy’ that Camp UKANDU has delivered for more than three decades. Our Executive Director and Program Director grew tired of the heartbreaking requests from parents asking if their six year old could ‘please just come to camp.’ Knowing that too many children will die before making it to Camp UKANDU meant that we needed to do more. Over years of interacting with the parents of our campers, we realized parents are just big kids too! Parents benefit from having a community of peers who understand their unique challenges as much as their children do. UKANDU Family Camp offers special outdoor adventure programming for the entire family. There are no age restrictions and each member of the family can attend – including all siblings. Sharing our “You Can Do!” spirit with an entire family unit offers growth opportunities for each member of the family. We say Camp UKANDU is a place “where kids can just be kids.’ Offering parents a respite for just a few hours a day, in an environment where they know the special needs of their children will be met, offers a place “for parents to just be human.”

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Started in 2018, the UKANDU Family Reunion is for anyone who has attended, or whose family members, attended any of the UKANDU programming over our 36 years. Like any family reunion, and with hundreds of campers and volunteers each year, this affair can be a raucous affair. But like all UKANDU fun, this fun is responsible and deserving of our proud UKANDU name.
This one-day event is offered each year to connect old friends and share stories. Old photos and old videos collide with selfies and video diaries, bringing multiple generations of UKANDUers together. Watching adults who were campers at age 8 interact with current 8 year old campers; and seeing a 30 year old survivor introduce their toddler to their counselor from 20 years ago, makes it clear that we really are part of one big family.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Born out of hardship and necessity, our newest program, UKANDU Virtual Camp, was initially offered as a substitute for Camp UKANDU in the summer of 2020. As that wild experiment proved to be a smashing success, we realized this is an offering we can make every year. Unfortunately, there are children of all ages who are too sick to make it to one of our programs in any given year. And as we learned in 2020, there are families across the country who would love to experience the ‘hope and joy’ that UKANDU provides. So we are committed to offering virtual programming on an ongoing basis for our community.
Virtual programming includes live and interactive as well as pre-recorded material for our participants. Newscasts and campfires; “Kamp Kitchen” cooking classes and art projects; family room or backyard obstacle courses and other physical activities help break up the monotony for children stuck at home or in the hospital. Beyond the magic shows, s’mores and care packages, UKANDU Virtual Camp provides access to ‘community and connection’ that are the hallmark of all UKANDU programming.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

UKANDU Corps was conceived by our Executive Director and inspired by his own experience in volunteering at UKANDU. It is in our DNA – heck, it’s in our name! – to remind people that “You Can Do!” a lot in life, no matter your challenges. While Camp UKANDU and other UKANDU programs facilitate this growth and learning in critical ways, UKANDU Corps aims to draw on the powerful experience and self-confidence that comes by serving others. When we see our efforts have a positive impact on someone else’s life and on the world around us, pride and self-worth flourish.
Launching in 2021, UKANDU Corps will bring together participants of UKANDU programming, aged 12-16 with their peers who have no experience with childhood cancer. While the success of UKANDU programs have shown that building a community of young people who share a cancer journey is tremendously important, we don’t want to stop there. We believe we can help bridge the gap between those who understand this journey and those who may be fearful of, confused by, or even jealous of these experiences. These two groups of young people will come together to identify a need in their community and work together, under the guidance of professionals and volunteers, to better the community they share.
UKANDU Corps will bring up to 24 young people together to work in two small groups to advance the initiatives they identify as meaningful and important. Up to $5,000.00 will be offered to each of the identified causes and will be supported by local businesses and other partners. If you would like to get involved with UKANDU Corps, please reach out to our Executive Director, Jason Hickox at [email protected]

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Accreditations

American Camp Association 2014

Affiliations & memberships

American Camp Association 2014

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of participants enrolled in UKANDU programming each year.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of volunteers with UKANDU programming.

Return rate of participants enrolled in UKANDU programming each year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

* The return rate of participants reflects the fact that we started receiving more awareness in the community and needed to move some of our longest-returning participants onto waiting lists so that

Number of youth programs offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As UKANDU's reach increases, more programming is needed to provide a bigger impact.

Return rate of volunteer staff each year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

UKANDU acknowledges that childhood cancer impacts the entire family and we seek to provide hope and joy and restore the connection that comes from being a part of the community. A special community that has been established to address the unique challenges families encounter before, during, and following medical treatment. We strive to provide a place where children with pediatric cancer can connect with other patients and survivors. A place where bald heads and missing limbs are unremarkable. A place where a sibling can say to another sibling, ‘I hated my dad for loving (my sibling) more than me’ and have someone who understands. We want to provide a place where a mom who doesn’t know how to get through her day after losing their daughter, can connect with another mother who knows that feeling of anguish. Our programs recognize and do not hide from the horrors of childhood cancer, but we do not focus on them. More than anything, we aim to instill that “you can do!” spirit that reminds our participants that there is hope and joy even in the darkest times. We provide a place where kids can just be kids and a place where caregivers draw on support from a community who share similar experiences.

UKANDU has been widely known for its flagship program, Camp UKANDU. Camp UKANDU is a week-long summer camp for children with pediatric cancer ages 8-18 and one of their siblings. Like other summer camp programs, we provide activities such as rock climbing, arts and crafts, campfires, and ziplining – all in an environment where more than 110 volunteers care for 132 campers. This all-volunteer staff includes four pediatric oncology nurses and two pediatric oncology doctors available 24/7. With Camp UKANDU's great success, UKANDU has created a variety of other programs to continue providing hope, joy, and connection to families with pediatric cancer.
UKANDU Teen Retreat provides a week for youth ages 15-20 to connect with peers who are also experiencing pediatric cancer. This provides a program specifically for teens.
UKANDU Family provides the opportunity for younger children ages 0-25 and their parents to come to camp for a week and children to connect with other children and parents to connect with other parents. Where Camp UKANDU provides a connection for children, UKANDU Family provides a connection for the whole family. The program is centered around families whereas Camp UKANDU is centered around individual children.
Family Reunion is an opportunity for all UKANDU participants to get together. Reconnect addresses the need of children and their parents to connect after children have participated in Camp UKANDU. It provides parents with an opportunity to connect with other parents of camp participants and make that camp connection deeper. This program is offered six weeks after Camp UKANDU.
UKANDU CORPS is a new program that addresses the need for teens to have a leadership program and connect with other teens who may or may not have pediatric cancer. This program is for ages 12-24 and is made up of half camp veterans and half of children from non-cancer families. Each program builds upon each other and provides hope, joy, and connection for families with pediatric cancer.

UKANDU has seen great success in accomplishing their goals. Our Executive Director, of four years, comes to us after 29 consecutive years as a volunteer at Camp UKANDU. Along with his passion for the organization, he brings decades of senior management and executive leadership experience in business to UKANDU. Our Board of Directors bring a wealth and diversity of experience in the community and a dedication to the continued strategic growth of UKANDU. Additionally, UKANDU has a passionate volunteer base. More than one-quarter of our volunteers have been involved for more than 15 years. An additional one-third of our volunteers are former campers – both patients and siblings. UKANDU just hired its first Development Director, who will bring a renewed focus on fundraising and marketing for the organization, furthering and stabilizing our recent growth.

UKANDU has been providing hope, joy, and connection for families impacted by childhood and adolescent cancer for over 35 years! After a separation from the American Cancer Society, UKANDU established its independence as a 501(c)(3). From our first year, the number of camp participants has grown from 48 campers to a maximum capacity of 132 campers for the last four years. Since 2016, we have increased revenues by more than 300% and added four programs to offer year-round programming. UKANDU went through an official name change from “Camp UKANDU” to “UKANDU” to reflect the fact that our programming extends beyond traditional camp programs and provides programming year-round. We followed our name change with a new branding effort. Since 2019, UKANDU has added a full-time Program Director and recently hired our first professional Development Director in 2020. In the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, we nimbly conceived and implemented a full virtual program to substitute for our traditional summer programs. These programs have been so successful, we intend to include some virtual programming even after in-person programming can resume. As we emerge from a challenging 2020, our immediate goals are to ensure a sustainable future for our current (expanded) lineup of programs. Any further expansion will be reevaluated over the next two to five years.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

UKANDU
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

UKANDU

Board of directors
as of 3/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mark McGraw

Darin Vick

Mark McGraw

Kay Yancey

Julie Desimone

Ted Haley

Chris Schwab

Christina Wood

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/26/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/19/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.