The Red Hook Initiative (RHI) is a community organization in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood whose mission is to nurture its young residents to be inspired, resilient, and healthy, and to envision themselves as co-creators of their lives, community, and society.
RHI offers programs for middle school- through college-aged kids focusing on education, life skills, employment, and healthcare. Services include tutoring and college prep, counseling, girls' leadership and mentoring, health education, math and science programs, college student support, and a chef academy. In an area with a 45% graduation rate, 85% of kids involved with RHI's programs finish high school.
RHI went far beyond its main mission during Sandy, when they were one of the few buildings in the neighborhood unaffected by the storm. They shifted into disaster relief mode and began collecting food and clothing and providing meals, electricity, and companionship to neighborhood residents.
It's hard not to love a community that works so hard to empower its own. It's impossible to ignore an organization that steps outside its main purpose to hold its community together in its moment of need.
And for that, I am using my entry into the New York City Marathon as a small way to support RHI in their tireless efforts. My goal is to raise $262-- a dollar for each tenth of a mile. No amount is too large or too small to make a positive impact.
For more information on RHI, visit http://rhicenter.org/. Thank you in advance for your generosity!