Purpose Driven Life Spotlight – The Fresh Air Fund

Fresh Air FundIn this first installment of A Purpose Driven Life Spotlight, I will present the Fresh Air Fund.

But first, let me share a story about a 6-year old named Gil. From the ages of 6 to 16, Gil would visit the Skoniecny’s in their Connecticut home and spend his summers as part of their family – playing outside with their three children and just plain old being a kid!

40 years later and Gil has had a successful career in the military and is thankful for those character-forming summers in Connecticut. He still stays in contact with the Skoniecnys and is giving back to help other kids get the opportunity he had.

What is the Fresh Air Fund?

More than 130 years ago, some very smart people thought it was just wrong for kids to be stuck in the concrete jungle during their summer vacation. They decided to find a way to help these kids get some fresh air and just like that, the Fresh Air Fund was born. Well, okay, not just like that – I’m sure there was a lot more thought and effort that went into it, but the point of this article is not the origins of the Fresh Air Fund, but rather, what it can do for inner city kids of New York. So let’s fast forward to the present…

Every year, The Fresh Air Fund helps thousands of New York City children from disadvantaged communities enjoy the beauty and opportunities of a summer in the country.

The Fresh Air Fund now has several programs to get kids out of the confines of the city. They range from camping trips to summer camps to stays with host families. There is even a career awareness program to help teens expand their education and career options.

So what is the link between me and the Fresh Air Fund?

Well, as you know, I run marathons. Last year, I ran the NYC Marathon and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I look forward to running it again some day!

Did I run the NYC Marathon to get some fresh air? No. But what if I told you that you can now run it and help some New York kids get some? Wouldn’t that be cool?

That’s right! The Fresh Air Fund is currently recruiting runners for the NYC Marathon to be held on November 7th, 2010. Over the past 4 years, 325 fund-racers have helped raise more than $400 thousand for the Fresh Air Fund.

If you are interested in getting involved to get a kid some fresh air and to also visit the Big Apple in a truly unique way, please email Kate (kbrinkerhoff@freshair.org) or call her directly at (212) 897-8890.

The Fresh Air Fund is a registered not for profit Agency.

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