You can enjoy a picture-perfect summer this year by inviting a Fresh Air child into your home! Each summer, over 4,000 inner-city children visit suburban, rural and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada through The Fresh Air Fund's Volunteer Host Family Program. Hosting a child does not take much just a little room in your heart and your home but the experience creates friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
"The girls really enjoyed running through the sprinkler and catching fireflies. Those are definitely Arleth's favorite things to do when she visits us," said Siri of Connecticut.
Volunteer families open their homes to children who might not otherwise be able to enjoy a summer away from New York City. Fresh Air children experience simple pleasures like running barefoot through the grass and gazing at star-filled skies. Through the eyes of Fresh Air children, families in northcentral Pennsylvania often rediscover the beauty of their own communities.
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for one or two weeks. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips. Over 65 percent of all children are reinvited to stay with their host families, year after year.
For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child, please contact Paula Grenninger at 570-726-6390 or The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003. You can also visit them online at www.freshair.org.
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Hanna Beck is a public relations assistant at the Fresh Air Fund.