Every summer The Fresh Air Fund and generous volunteers make it possible for thousands of children from New York City’s low-income communities to visit suburban, rural and small town communities along the East Coast and Southern Canada where they can experience many outdoor firsts – like swimming, visiting the beach, gazing at the stars, hiking, and more through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program.
Treasure, age 9, is among Friendly Towns Program participants. For the past two summers she has spent time with the Cleaveland family, reveling in every moment and opportunity no matter how small. “I remember the first year, she actually set her alarm so she could wake up early and make breakfast with me,” host mom Antonia said. “She taught me to appreciate the small things and realize the importance of family time.”
Host families typically welcome a Fresh Air child for a week or two, with nearly 4,000 youth embracing the spirit of an outdoors summer each year.
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has helped over 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities experience summer outside of the City, at no cost, since 1877. The program is open to children ages seven to 18-years-old that reside in New York City. Many of the children who take part are invited back year after year by their host families forming a nurturing relationship that can last a lifetime.
For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Kavita Shah at 212-897-8970 or visit www.freshair.org.