School is almost out, kids can’t wait to enjoy their summer vacation, and it’s time for parents to figure out how to keep them entertained! It is great to encourage our children to be outdoors and active all year ‘round, but during the summer months especially when the sun is shining and the days are long. There are many organizations to choose from that help us find ways to do just that and offer a variety of interactive classes, camps, and full summer programs.
As a kid I went to camps through my local YMCA, an organization that strives to strengthen local communities. The Y works side-by-side with neighbors to give everyone the opportunity regardless of age, income or background, to learn, grow and thrive. I remember singing Y-camp songs on the bus up to the lake for swimming and hiking in our local national park. There were also barbeques with plenty of hot dogs – very exciting for a 10 year old! Most YMCA locations still offer both summer and year-round programs for campers of all ages including a variety of activities from games, sports and art, to science experiments and cooking. This year I enrolled my 3 year old in swimming lessons. She looks forward to seeing her teacher every day and jumping in the pool with her green floaties.
JustGive’s Founder and Executive Director, Kendall Webb, participates in the Fresh Air Fund programs each summer with her family:
“For the past 2 summers, we have had the opportunity to host an amazing girl named Kayla, now 10, through the Fresh Air Fund. Fresh Air’s programs give New York City children a chance to live outside their low-income communities and experience many special new activities, sports and opportunities they might not otherwise enjoy. The program lets children get to know themselves through personal challenges of culture, food, and communication—and gain personal confidence, providing life-long growth for both the child and host family. Kayla has brought the gift of open-mindedness, patience and humor to me. I have given the experience of bike riding, swimming, blueberry picking and walking on grass barefoot to her. Kayla came to us a visitor but is now an integral part of our family. We are so excited to have her spend time with us again this summer for the third year. I hope more families will consider hosting through the Fresh Air Fund….there is a lot to learn as a host family. We opened up our home, but Kayla has opened up our hearts.”
Here are several other great organizations with summer programs to check out for yourself. Many offer life-changing opportunities to children throughout the year:
- Girls Inc is a nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and to reach their full potential while asserting their rights. Girl Power!
- Soccer Without Borders runs community-led, year-round youth development programs in under-served areas. Soccer provides these youth with an avenue for positive interaction, personal growth, and a brighter future.
- Drawbridge is an expressive arts program for homeless and formerly homeless youth that provides a supportive community and a place to foster creativity.
- Camp Good Days is dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families who have been touched by cancer through summer camping experiences.
Support these innovative youth organizations by starting a recurring monthly donation today!
What are your best tips and summer activities? Take a few minutes to jot a note on Facebook—share what works for you while making life just a little easier for someone else. You can help them enjoy the summer even more!JustGive Marketing Team