A group of Long Island teens raised $10,000 during a walk-a-thon fundraiser to send underprivileged children to summer camp, more than doubling their proceeds from last year’s event.
Children’s Hope India Executive Director Karen Flyer said the organization in Searingtown was founded 25 years ago and is run by an executive board of nine women. The group also encompasses CH2, a board of young professionals in Manhattan, and CH3, the teen group on Long Island and a new chapter in New Jersey.
Flyer said about 80 percent of the funds raised go toward projects in India, like mobile medical units and supporting schools, and the other 20 percent goes into local projects. The nonprofit focuses on children helping children and holds fundraisers throughout the years to help fund initiatives across Long Island and India.
“The teens of CH3 have really taken to heart the local projects because for them, helping kids in their own backyard is very meaningful, and they like being able to volunteer at the programs they’re supporting,” Flyer said. “Their mandate is children helping children, and it’s true. This is children working, planning, leading, executing in order to help local children.”
One of the biggest projects CH3 undertakes is sending children from shelters to Young People’s Day Camp in Queens.
“The first year, they wanted to raise enough to send a couple kids, and this past summer, they were able to send 14 kids, so that’s a huge increase from four or five years ago,” Flyer said.
This year, Flyer introduced the idea of adding sponsorships to the walk-a-thon fundraiser on Sept. 17, with sponsored giveaways and mile markers along the 5K walking track at Eisenhower Park.
“It not only brings in more money up front that way, but it also creates awareness of the organization among all the local businesses,” Flyer said. “It gives you the opportunity to walk in the door and talk to these local owners. For these teens, it’s a chance to develop some leadership skills because I didn’t go door-to-door to stores; they did.”
Flyer said next on the schedule for Children’s Hope India is the organization’s 25th anniversary gala celebration at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers.