chapter 18 Establishing Voluntary Fees for Service

One More Chance is a thirteen-year-old program that believes we all need one more chance to get it right. It works with boys ten to thirteen years old from low-income homes who have had a brush with the law. These young people may have been accomplices in a robbery, or caught with marijuana, or repeatedly truant from school. Their crimes are not violent and are often the result of poor judgment or peer pressure. One More Chance runs free summer camps that aim to help the boys gain confidence and social skills, learn how to deal with peer pressure, and reflect on what kind of adults they want to become. Graduating from the program is rewarded with having police records expunged. The program is very successful and highly regarded, but three years ago, the organization’s state funding was cut dramatically. Despite a valiant effort, it was not able to raise the money it needed from private sources.

One More Chance had several times been approached by more affluent parents who wanted their sons to attend the camp, but the organization’s mission to serve low-income boys excluded them. Grateful parents had sometimes made donations and, while those donations had been appreciated and put to work, no one had ever followed up with the donors. Under the dire circumstances in which they now found themselves, One More Chance decided to ask all parents to pay something. They explained that the true cost of the camp was $4,500 per camper, ...

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