I first learned about Lift for Life Gym in August 2009. That's when my friend, photographer Jonathan Pollack, posted pictures and comments about the gym on his blog: http://www.jpollackphoto.blogspot.com/.
A little background: These are inner city kids (St.Louis, Mo) and 91% of them are from families living below the federal poverty level. In addition, 70% of the kids who regularly attend the Gym are between 15 and 18 -- at an age when it's usually hardest to get kids to "join" anything. But the kids wait outside the door in the afternoons for the Gym to open.
I was immediately drawn to the kids who were benefiting from this wonderful facility and wanted to help in some way. I contacted Susan Kelter via e-mail and we wrote back and forth a time or two until I realized what I would like to do. When I discovered many of the kids do not receive a birthday gift or even a card, I offered to make homemade birthday cards for each child. My cards are nothing fancy...just plain card stock, some age and gender appropriate stickers, words of encouragement, and my young-at-heart printing. When I heard how much the kids liked the cards, I was so touched. I'll continue to make them as long as they want.
The reason for this post is not to draw attention to myself, but to ask others to help, as well. Please go to the website: http://www.liftforlife.org/ click on "About the Gym" and see what you may be able to do. (There is also a charter school, Lift for Life Academy, but the cards I make are for the kids that hang out at the gym.) A little bit of thought and kindness, goes a long way!
"Nine-tenths of education is encouragement." -- Anatole France