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D.M.C. Offers Encouraging Words to Camp Felix Kids

Jo Hale, Getty Images

Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, better known as one of the founding members of Run-D.M.C., is all about giving back. The 46-year-old recently co-founded Camp Felix — a summer camp intended to provide a getaway for foster kids in upstate New York. With 171 campers from New York City currently attending, the camp has become a beacon for kids looking to establish a sense of family outside of their foster homes.

“These kids say, ‘I am just a foster kid. I have nothing going for me other than just being miserable,” McDaniels told New York Daily News. “I tell them, ‘You are wrong. Your situation doesn’t define who you are.”

McDaniels helped launch the camp after he learned during his mid-30s that he was adopted as a 5-year-old. “I was hurt, confused … it felt totally unreal,” he said. At the time it meant that they are not my mom and pop.” The ex-rapper tamed up with ‘Sopranos’ casting director Sheila Jaffee, who also learned that she was adopted at the age of 11, to form the Felix Organization. The nonprofit spends $500 per child to attend the camp, which has seen more than 350 kids attending the three-week getaway since its inception.

With kids ranging from 8 to 14 years old, the camp has elicited support from celebrities including Mark Wahlberg, who donated $100,000 to the organization, as well as actress Lorraine Bracco who serves as an honorary chairwoman of the camp.

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