Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Friday, September 24, 2010

Props to the Fresh Air Fund

I don't know how I keep getting contacted lately to do reviews and mentions of different things but I have been loving it! Recently, Sara from The Fresh Air Fund contacted me to ask if I would please make mention on my blog of a very worthy cause. I told her sure even though all of about 5 people read it! (Okay, I see that I have 16 followers and I know from SiteMeter that I get others passing through on their way to finding more exciting information such as how to keep your children from saying embarrassing things in public or which bra for a nursing mama is best......but..) ;-)

Anyway, I naturally wanted to do a little research about this cause before I wrote anything about it. So I went straight to the source. First, a little background: The Fresh Air Fund is a not-for-profit agency which provides fully-funded opportunities for inner city kids from New York to spend time in the country. The program has host families in 13 states as well as Canada, and also Fund Camps in upstate NY. These families and camps provide the children with the opportunity to experience the country atmosphere, which is a huge contrast to their smoggy city living where blacktops and alleys serve as backyards, and leaving basketballs and toys outside is not an option at all if you don't want them to get stolen. According to their site The Fresh Air Fund has helped 1.7 million children since its founding in 1877.

This program is especially important because these children would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a few weeks - or even a whole summer - where they can breathe in fresh air, play in fields, splash in streams and experience the sights and sounds of uninhibited nature, as they soak up life outside of the city like thirsty sponges in the sun. These children are from disadvantaged communities and some may not even know that there is life outside of the city before taking part in this program.

Funds are primarily donated from private sources, but there are fundraisers always taking place. The next fund-raising event is on November 7. It is a marathon and The Fresh Air Fund is in need of both racers and sponsors to raise funds for these children. Click here for more information on how you can be a part of this awesome event! The program would not be possible without participants and sponsors dedicating themselves to it.

I'd like to add that I think that this program, which I only found out about recently, is a perfect showcase of God's love and grace through the open and willing hearts of the host families and camps. This is one of many ways to be His servant and we are called to serve those in need. Children are definitely in the category of needy people, whether their home is a farmhouse in the country or a small apartment in the Bronx. And from the stories I have read from both sides of participants in this program, it seems the inner city kids aren't the only ones who are getting something out of it.

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