On November 4rd, 2013 I will be running in the ING New York City Marathon on behalf of a charity I care deeply about: The Fresh Air Fund. Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, non-for profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities. I am inviting you to participate with me (without even breaking a sweat!) so that children from the great city of New York can have an opportunity to visit Fresh Air host families or Fresh Air camps during the summer.
The summer after my freshman year at Dartmouth I interned with the Fresh Air Fund. That summer, I never felt luckier to escape to Madison, CT when my job finished. I began to think about my fellow New Yorkers, and how many children will never have the same opportunities I had to find refuge from the sweltering city sidewalks. I am writing to you to ask you to think about your favorite summer memories. Often they are the simplest things: mine are playing tennis in Madison with my family, grilling burgers with my dad, taking barefoot beach walks and marveling at the sunset over the Long Island Sound.
The Fresh Air Fund helps children partake in summer experiences that I believe every child deserves. Each summer, 4,000 children visited volunteer host families in small town communities across 13 states. An additional 3,000 children attend five Fresh Air Fund camps in Fishkill, New York. While at Spence, we participated in their wonderful ropes course as part of our “grade retreats,”. This past week I visited the camps and was reminded about my own—and many of your families—summer camp experiences. Over lunch in the dining hall, a cabin of smiling 12 year old girls spoke excitedly about learning how to swim, going on overnight hiking trips, and their dance and art classes (they even performed a piece they had choreographed with counselors for the last night of camp). Listening to their stories, it was clear that they had not only built lifelong friendships with fellow campers and devoted counselors, but had also gained confidence in themselves.
Many Fresh Air children have never run barefoot in the grass, caught fireflies, or gone swimming in a lake. By participating in the Marathon this November, I will help thousands of children enjoy simple summertime pleasures. I hope that you will support me and The Fresh Air Fund by making a donation.
Your support means so much to me and to the Fresh Air children. What a wonderful opportunity this is to share simple summertime pleasures with those who need it most!
PS. Calling all runners out there! I’m always looking for training partners, so reach out if you’d like to run together.
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