Club Donates $1 Million to Camps for Soldiers' Kids
Thanks to a more than $1 million donation by the Sierra Club, an additional 1,000 children of deployed service members will attend the National Military Family Association's (NMFA) Operation Purple summer camps free of charge. The Zotti and Rippel families, above, both have children who have attended the camps in the past. The unprecedented donation was announced on April 26 in Washington, D.C., by Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, pictured at left below. Among the military personnel on hand to acknowledge the Sierra Club's partnership with the NMFA was Major General Michael Sumrall, below right. This year, Operation Purple will host 3,500 military children from all branches of the uniformed services at 34 camps in 26 states. New to the program this year is a camp exclusively for children of wounded service members. The Club's gift recognizes the important role nature plays in helping children heal. Studies have also demonstrated that outdoor experiences markedly improve children's academic development.