For the past 6 years, I’ve written you asking for your support in the Pan Mass Challenge and you have responded. Since I began participating in the event, I have raised more than $60,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year, I’ve decided to take on a new challenge and raise money for another incredible charity.
On August 11th, I will be competing in the Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City. I will swim 2.4 miles in the Hudson River, bike 112 miles through New Jersey, and finish with a full marathon that starts in Palisades Park, crosses the George Washington Bridge, and finishes in Riverside Park in Manhattan. I expect the whole race will take me more than 12 hours to complete.
I am particularly excited to participate in New York City’s first Ironman race. While I will always be a Boston Red Sox fan, I’ve called New York City my home for nearly four years now and I’ve experienced some of the greatest things this city has to offer. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some of the worst things about New York City.
- 1.8 million people live in poverty, that is more than the populations of Boston, Atlanta, and Denver combined.
- Only 60% of New York City public school students graduate from high school on time.
- African American men from the South Bronx are more likely to go to prison than college.
- Every night, 17,000 children sleep in homeless shelters.
The problem of poverty in New York City is obvious. I see it when I ride the subway, walk to and from work, and when I watch movies like Waiting for Superman and The Lottery. However, I learned even more about the problems facing our city when I first learned about the Robin Hood Foundation.
Robin Hood is a non-profit in New York City whose sole mission is to fight poverty in New York City. They do this by finding and funding the 200 most effective non-profits in the city – organizations like:
- Boys Excellence Charter School, whose students outperform their peers by nearly 50 points on state tests.
- School of One, an innovative way to reach each student in the classroom using technology.
Robin Hood is the largest private poverty-fighting organization in New York City. In their 24-year history they’ve distributed over $1 billion to organizations. Robin Hood feeds, guides, heals, nurtures, shelters, teaches, and trains. They are New York City’s largest private funder of food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, job training programs, and public charter schools. And because their board pays all administrative and fundraising costs, 100 percent of your donation goes directly to helping New Yorkers in need build better lives.
Last year alone, Robin Hood made $146 million in grants and commitments to over 200 poverty-fighting programs and directly touched the lives of over 400,000 people. Unfortunately, with 1.8 million New Yorkers living in poverty, there is still so much to be done. I believe in the work that Robin Hood is doing both in New York City and beyond. As a result, I will be matching all donations up to $2,000 dollars.
Thank you for being Robin Hood,