I imagine by now your child has cruised every 'school’s out for summer' party in your neighborhood and is anxiously awaiting the first day of camp. I bet your shopping is done and your pantry is stocked with sunscreen, healthy snacks and brown paper bags. And I wonder if my own daughters know a waiver has been signed, a check has been cashed and not everybody gets their face painted while riding horseback, braiding lanyard. For most kids on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 'school’s out for summer' means hanging on a street corner, or playing video games in an apartment with no air conditioner. Camp is a privilege.
Ruby and Esme are raising money to send a child from a low income family to camp in August, through Grand Street Settlement. This non-profit organization provides the Lower East Side community with the tools and support they need to overcome challenging circumstances and build productive lives and futures. Throughout its many decades of service, Grand Street has redefined their programs to respond to the current needs and ever-changing racial makeup of its residents. Scores of volunteers serve as mentors, tutors, counselors and classroom assistants, while programs are run by experienced and dedicated professionals who are intimately familiar with the area's needs and resources.
Each session, approximately 175 campers are stimulated with educational and recreational activities, in a safe and nurturing environment. The youngsters engage in interactive projects which enable them to continue to grow and learn academically, while preventing summer learning loss for those who are already struggling throughout the school year. Grand Street helps children build skills and discover new interests through art, sports, games and field trips to fun sight-seeing locations in New York City. The Settlement's comprehensive array of culturally relevant services assist more than 10,000 area residents of all ages annually; The Summer Day Camp is a long standing tradition and vital part of their programming.
While more than 5,000,000 kids attend camp each summer, too few come from our inner cities where the benefits of camp could have the greatest impact. At summer camp, children improve self esteem and learn social skills through positive interaction with caring adults and older adolescents, which stay with them for a lifetime. Please share Ruby and Esme's mission with your family and contribute by purchasing an EVIL TYE bracelet, or making a donation. Support their effort to give an underprivileged child a rewarding camp experience, like so many kids enjoy each and every summer.
Historically, the evil eye has been worn in the form of jewelry to protect the wearer from evil spirits conjured by jealousy and envy; Aid another child in the spirit of goodwill, so your own child can realize, appreciate and preserve how fortunate they truly are.