Why We Chose The Fresh Air Fund:
Katherine and I wanted to have an elopement party to celebrate and share our love, and she suggested that we raise money for The Fresh Air Fund in the same spirit.
Over the years I’d told Katherine stories about my experiences as a camp counselor with The Fresh Air Fund in college. Underprivileged youth would venture upstate from New York City for two weeks at a time. I thought these eleven year old boys would be hardened, but the first two I met got right off the bus and held my hands. They’d never been out of the city.
That summer I met a boy named DeHaven whose mom was struggling with addiction. He asked me why she didn’t love him. I said sometimes the people who love us just don’t know how to love. I then encouraged DeHaven to do his homework, which sounded trivial in the face of his crisis at home. “It’s a way for you to make your own way in the world,” I said. “It’s what I did.” He asked me if he even had to do his math. “Yes,” I said. “Even math.”
The next summer DeHaven showed up six inches taller. I barely recognized him as he stepped off the bus, and I wondered if he’d remember me. Then he ran up, “Paul, Paul! I gotta tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“I didn’t always do my math.”
Katherine and I chose The Fresh Air Fund for so many reasons. It shows children the power of nature. It introduces campers to new adults who care. And it’s a place that’s founded in the spirit of love.
-Paul and Katherine