Some of us are plain lucky, playing in the backyard, laughing in the sunshine, catching fireflies, riding bicycles, learning to swim, running barefoot through the grass, gazing at the stars on moonlit nights and building sandcastles.
But in New York City, like everywhere else, there are kids deprived from the simple pleasures of growing up. Most inner-city youngsters grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces. Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through the grass or riding bikes down country lanes.
THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.
So how can one contribute? By running a half marathon.
The Fresh Air Fund is looking for runners and sponsors to join the Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon this coming March 20th. It's a great way to participate in NYC's premier road race that takes you through to beautiful Central Park (never been there before), Times Square and ends with breathtaking finish-line views of the NYC Harbour, while helping Fresh Air Fund children. Visit http://freshairmarathon.com/. The Fresh Air Fund provides runners with guaranteed entry in exchange for fundraising before race day. Entries are limited, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 897-8890.