While this is a little out of our usual realm of publication, I thought it was a good cause and the time frame for the need is closing quick.
In 2010, The FreshAir Fund's Volunteer Host Family program, called Friendly Town, gave close to5,000 New York City boys and girls, ages six to 18, free summer experiences inthe country and the suburbs. Volunteer host families shared their friendshipand homes up to two weeks or more in 13 Northeastern states from Virginia toMaine and Canada. Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a fewweeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoodshave experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences. Fresh Air Fund Host Families""Friendly Townhost families are volunteers who live in the suburbs or small town communities.Host familiesrange in size, ethnicity and background, but share the desire to open theirhearts and homes to give city children an experience they will never forget.Hosts say the Fresh Air experienceis as enriching for their own families, as it is for the inner-city children.There are no financial requirements for hosting a child. Volunteersmay request the age-group and gender of the Fresh Air youngster they wouldlike to host. Stories about real Fresh Air host families and their New YorkCity visitors are just a click away!
If you or someone you know is able to host, please sign up now.
Click here to learn more about becoming a host or call (800) 367-0003!
Fresh Air childrenare boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children onfirst-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks.Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fundthrough age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. Avisit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all thedifference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelongmemories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends. The majority of Fresh Air childrenare from low-income communities. These are often families without the resourcesto send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city youngsters grow upin towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces.Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through thegrass or riding bikes down country lanes. Fresh Air childrenare registered by more than 90 participating social service and communityorganizations located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the five boroughs ofNew York City. These community-based agencies are in close contact withchildren in need of summer experiences in rural and suburban areas. Each agencyis responsible for registering children for the program. What do Fresh Air children enjoy?•Playing in the backyard•Laughing in the sunshine•Catching fireflies•Riding bicycles•Learning to swim•Running barefoot through the grass•Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights•Building sandcastles•Making new friends•Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city If you can't participate, donate. Youcan give a child the experience of a lifetime with your gift to The Fresh Air Fund! Everyyear, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousandsof inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to alifetime of opportunities. Whether it's a two-week trip to visit a volunteer host family,or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our camps,our programsmake for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and freshpossibilities. We are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductibledonations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing. THEFRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summervacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-incomecommunities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free FreshAir Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteerhost families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states fromVirginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air campson a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round campingprogram serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.