CHENANGO COUNTY – Now that school is out for the summer, the Fresh Air Fund is looking for sponsors to host a child this summer. Each summer more than 4,000 inner city children visit small town communities as a part of the program.
The Fresh Air Fund is looking for volunteer host families to give these kids a place to stay for a week or two over the summer.
These children will be given a break from the heat and crowds of the New York City, while learning and experiencing the things that are taken for granted by many who live outside the city.
Something as simple as a roasting marshmallows and hotdogs on a fire can be a brand new and wonderous experience for a child who has never even left the city.
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free escapes from the city areas to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.
The children eligible for the program are boys and girls from six to 18 years old who live in the five boroughs of New York City.
Fresh Air Children are brought to different communities spaning 13 states from Virginia to Maine. First time visitors are ages six to 12 and stay for one to two weeks.
If the host family are so inclined, they may reinvite the child to stay again all the way until through the child’s 18th birthday.
Fresh Air Children are selected to participate in programs based on financial need. Most chldren are selected from low-income communities in the inner city of New York. Last year more than 9,000 New York City children got to experience the program.
The Fresh Air Fund was founded in 1877 by a Reverend in a small parish in Pennsylvania. The Reverend asked members of his congregation to host vacations from New York City tenements. This of course grew into the organization that has helped thousands of children escape the harsh city during the summer months.
The Fresh Air Fund also provides a summer camp program. Children ages eight and up are eligible for camps in upstate New York. These kids will experience the outdoors and just flat out have fun. The kids can do anything from swim to play on a ropes course, the possibilities are endless for new experiences for these children.
For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child, please visit their website www.freshair.org.