For every month of the six that I own a Fiesta there is a different theme. This past month was Social Activism month. Seeing how the big apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (the tree being NJ), I decided to bring awareness to America SCORES NY. America SCORES is a national organization which creates compelling after-school programming for children in underprivileged communities. They have programs serving 14 cities, including NYC, which provide soccer, writing, creative expression, and service-learning. In other words, they’re doing a truly kick ass service for the young’ns.
You might be thinking, “So what?” And I understand. A lot of us just grew up with the privilege of having recreational sports and clubs after school, so it’s harder to appreciate. Let me help you with that. You see, when you grow up in an underprivileged situation, your after-school environment is filled with negative alternatives. The absolute last thing you want is for easily impressionable kids to have free time in this type of environment. But this program provides more than an alternative to the negatives of their environment, it’s boosting their confidence and giving kids the power to improve it.
The writing and creative expression have made the children better communicators and students. Service-learning projects, where they tackle issues like local homelessness, turn the children into improvement leaders for the community. Moreover, the sports segment of the program helps combat America’s overwhelming struggle with childhood obesity. As I said, they’re doing a truly kick ass service for the young’ns, or at least they were.
In 2008, the NY branch was forced to shut down due to financial issues. Now it’s 2009 and with the help of the National Office and generous donors, America SCORES NY is going through its relaunch phase to raise an initial 64,000. So far their fundraising efforts have been successful, leaving them about $5,000 within their goal. After my visit they were brought $500 closer thanks to a donation from Ford in support of the month’s theme. Each $1,000 represents one child in the program. At $4,500 that means there are still 5 children left unfunded.
We are usually a product of our environment. This is our chance to help these children become the product of a positive one. I urge anyone reading to contribute what they can to the organization at www.americascores.org. You can watch my mission video below for an in-depth look at my visit to the NY chapter.