This spring, for the first time I can see cherries growing on a tree I planted four years ago. This reminds me of an old Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a fruit tree is 10 years ago… the second best time is now!” I am seeing the same reward at camp. This summer we have dozens of teens coming as staff who first came to camps when they were kids as young as seven and eight.
The best time to invest in a teen’s life is 10 years ago. The second best time to is now! 10 million children in America have had a parent in prison but unlike fruit trees, investing in their lives is not optional. We either do it now or we do it later.
For those of you who love math and statistics, this will blow your mind…
Currently if nothing is done, 33% of prisoners’ children will end up in prison. With the average sentence of five years and the average cost to incarcerate someone per year of $33,000, the cost per child of a prisoner is $54,000- for us to do nothing. Multiply this by the 10,000,000 children who have had a parent in prison and you get $540,000,000,000. That’s $540 billion taxpayers will pay if we do nothing. It cost $100 sponsor a prisoner’s child to camp. For you to sponsor a kid to camp is $100. We have 40 days until camp. For $2.50 per day for the next 40 days you can send a kid to camp. Could you give up a coffee for forty days to send a kid to camp?
What an investment opportunity!