…in the Manhattan Island Foundation’s “Cove to Cove” swim in New York Harbor, and I just wanted to let you know why it is that I am choosing that my sponsorship money goes to the Bronx-based Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ).
It has nothing to do with polar bears or ice caps or people suffering from rising water levels in distant lands. It has to do with the fact, instead, that 21 to 23 percent of children in the South Bronx suffer from asthma—one of the highest asthma rates in the country—directly because of the environmental consequences of the way we live. Now. Not in the future. Now.
Some 12,000 heavy trucks a day move through the South Bronx, both to deliver and pick up food from the world’s largest produce market at Hunts Point and to take New Yorkers’ garbage to the transfer stations. Plus, several major highways go through the neighborhood. Kids can’t breathe, in other words, because people like me make so much trash, eat so much food from far away, and drive so much (read about the studies that prove the connection here and here).
Why I like environmental programs like Bronx-based YMPJ’s is that their actions not only serve the future of the planet, but more importantly, they help mitigate the environmental problems of today. YMPJ programs, for example, include cleaning up contaminated land for use, largely, as parks and green space, cleaning up and getting community access to the Bronx River, and promoting green roofs and green streets that reduce runoff and sewage overflow, decrease energy usage and improve air quality (diesel particulates are filtered out of the air by tree leaves).
Not only that, but in pursing these programs, YMPJ trains and educates neighborhood youth to take charge of the initiatives, seeking “to engage the creativity and energy of young people and recognize their key role as community stakeholders whose growth is intertwined with the health of their environment.”
So that’s it, except to say one thing:
There have been days when this blog gets 30,000 readers. Most days it gets at least 7,000. Imagine the difference we could make to YMPJ’s programs if each of us gave just $5. What to try it and see what happens?
To donate online, click here, then click “donate,” then scroll down to “support a swimmer” in the “donation is for” box, and type my name, Colin Beavan. Or you can send a check to Manhattan Island Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 5533, New York, NY 10185 (and be sure to put my name “Colin Beavan” in the memo portion of the check).
Thank you so much to readers who have already given and also to those who are planning to!
PS Please don’t forget to associate your donation with my name or YMPJ won’t get their funds.
PPS Normally, I try to reply personally to all my email, but I have more than 200 outstanding and am going to have to accept defeat this time. If you wrote to me recently, please be assured that I read your email and please accept this message as my heartfelt thanks.