WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- There is still time for volunteers to sign up to be host families for the Fresh Air Fund, in which children from New York City experience getting out of the city and playing in a backyard.
Through this initiative, more than 4,000 inner-city children have the opportunity to visit suburban, rural and small-town communities in 13 states and Canada to stay with host families and spend time in activities such as running in the grass, swimming outdoors and seeing a starry sky at night without the obstruction of buildings.
“Being able to run around outside is a freeing experience for our Fresh Air child,” one host mother said. “I still enjoy watching her face as she takes joy in the simple things, like roasting a marshmallow or jumping into the lake.”
The Fresh Air Fund is a nonprofit, independent agency that has made it possible for more than 1.8 million low-income New York City children to have the Fresh Air summer experiences since 1877.
The children in the program are ages 6-18. They must make their first visit between the ages of 6 and 12, and they will stay with their host families for one to two weeks. Any of the children who are invited back to their host families’ homes may go again, or stay for longer periods, up until they are 18. More than 65 percent of the children do stay with their host families multiple years.
To find out more about hosting a Fresh Air child, visit the website at http://www.freshair.org or call Judith Brisson at 523-3713.