Governor Cuomo has recognized March 20 as “Fresh Air Fund Day” throughout the state of New York. The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, nonprofit organization, brings together children and volunteer host families to allow thousands of inner-city boys and girls to escape the hot, noisy New York City streets and enjoy summertime in the country. The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million inner-city children since 1877.
Families who participate in The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program open their hearts and homes to New York City children in the summer.
“Sharing your home and the surrounding community with a Fresh Air youngster can be the beginning of a worthwhile and meaningful experience for both the child and your family,” said Jenny Morgenthau, executive director of The Fresh Air Fund. “This year, we are looking for new host families in the Nassau County area to celebrate our 139th summer and give children a chance to run barefoot through the grass or gaze at the star-filled skies.”
Children in New York City don’t have grassy backyards or big lawns to run around on. Volunteers share what they have with city children and introduce them to the simple joys of suburban or country life.
“You don’t have to spend a lot of money or do anything fancy. The children can just play in the backyard and enjoy just being kids,” said Donna, a Fresh Air host.
Families find hosting so rewarding that more than 65 percent of all Fresh Air children are invited to visit the same host families year after year. First-time Fresh Air visitors are 6 to 12 years old and all it takes is the willingness to welcome a New York City child to your community.
For more information about hosting this summer, please call Eileen Rauchenberger at 516-662-1678 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org.