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One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

Perhaps you have received an email version of that story with its reminder that sometimes, making a difference one life at a time is most important. At the Freire Charter School, we strive to make a difference in the Philadelphia community and beyond by making a difference in the lives of our individual students. We are committed to providing a college-preparatory learning experience while honoring individual freedom and emphasizing community, teamwork and nonviolence. By cultivating personal interests, we respect the individuality of each student. In turn, these confident youth are prepared to make a difference once they move beyond our doors and into the greater community.

Likewise, your desire is for your philanthropic endeavors to make a difference. While support from the Philadelphia School District does provide basic funding, in order to achieve our goals we need additional support from engaged citizens like you. At Freire Charter School, our funding opportunities are as diverse as our students’ interests. We are certain we will be able to match your desires with our needs in order to continue to achieve excellent results. Please take a look around our website to see the fantastic things our students are doing and the ways our faculty and staff are making a difference in their lives. We would love to have you visit and talk with you further about the ways you can make a difference here at Freire Charter School.

Thank you for considering Freire Charter School in your philanthropic plans.  With your gift, you will help to build the future of each of our students. If your employer matches charitable contributions, please consider forwarding a matching gift form. For extra tax savings, you can donate appreciated stock or securities*.

Freire Charter School is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.


Contact Leigh Botwinik at 215-592-4252 ext. 1213 or by email at

Freire Charter School
2027 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA  19103

*For gifts of appreciated stock or securities, a donor is entitled to an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the securities up to 30% of adjusted gross income, with any balance carried forward up to an additional five years. In order for the gift to be fully deductible, the donor must have held the asset for more than one year. The value of the gift is the average of the high and low market prices on the date the securities are transferred to Freire Charter School. To make a gift of appreciated securities, either you or your broker should contact Vanguard at 800-992-8327.


  • Adapted from Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower
    Eiseley’s story was originally presented to Freire Charter School by Joseph A. Gerber, Esq., of Cozen O’Connor. Mr. Gerber is a longtime friend of Freire Charter School and was among our first student mentors. This is just one way individuals have made a difference in the lives of our students. Perhaps you will consider making a difference, too?