This summer a young man named Antoine came to On Target as a part of a Youngstown City School enrichment program. As he walked around our pond trying to decide where he wanted to cast his fishing line, he shared with one our leaders that he had never before been outside the city (specifically, never south of Midlothian). He was mesmerized by the frogs, our ducks, and even the bait on his hook. While Antoine did not land a fish that day, he did catch a glimpse of creation and was hooked by its calm and intrigue. His hesitancy to get back on the bus showed his desire to experience more.
While Antoine’s story of being confined to the city may not be the norm, the staggering divide between children and the outdoors is equally real. This wired generation tends to view nature through the glass windows in their homes and cars and rarely get to experience creation with their own hands. Experts are linking the lack of nature in the lives of today's kids to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, depression, as well as an overall epidemic of inactivity. Like Antoine, once kids get to experience nature, they tend to want more.
As you know, our desire at On Target goes far beyond just getting kids outside and introducing them to the various outdoor sports we teach. Our goal is that through these activities we get to know them, to be a positive voice in their lives, and to use creation as a way to introduce them to the Creator of it all.
Because of your support of On Target Outfitters, Antoine and more than 700 other children were able to experience Gods great outdoors this year. Their lives are being changed because of you.
As we head into 2018, we are asking for your partnership with us once again. Some of our goals for this upcoming year with associated costs include:
- Expanding our urban impact by offering more field trip and after-school enrichment opportunities for inner-city students ($500 for each school program).
- Putting the final touches on our rifle range construction project ($3,500 for shooting benches and final landscaping).
- Providing more intentional personal and family growth opportunities ($250 for each workshop or class).
Your year-end tax deductible gift is an investment in a student, in a family, and ultimately in our community. We can’t do it without you. Thank you in advance your continued partnership with us.
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May God continue to bless you as you have been a blessing to us.