CHENANGO COUNTY– Summertime means late nights, warm weather, and outdoor fun... for many. There are some who are less fortunate who live in the harsh city life of New York all year round. The Fresh Air Fund gives kids from these areas an opportunity to get out of the bustling city, and spend time in our neck of the woods.
The Fresh Air Fund is a not for profit organization that brings inner city children together with families in 13 different states across the north east. The Fund has been helping children get out of the cramped city since it was founded in the late 1800s.
This summer there are hundreds of families hosting children, many of them right in our own back yard. The objective of hosting a child is to help them get out of the city and experience many of the things that we take for granted.
This summer local resident Amy Winton and her family are hosting a child for the Fresh Air Fund. “We will be hosting a child in August this summer,” said Winton. “We’ve had Brianna for the past few years.”
Winton went on to say that they have been volunteering and hosting children for the Fresh Air Fund for the past eight years.
“We got into volunteering after my husband read an article about the organization,” said Winton. “After that he bugged me every summer about hosting a child until I finally said yes.” Winton also said that every year they’ve had a great experience with the program.
“The kids have a lot of fun,” explained Winton. “We get to take them camping, hiking, and do simple things like swimming, biking, and horseback riding. The kids never get homesick and always have a great experience.” Winton also explained that these are things that the kids in the city almost never get to experience first-hand.
The Fresh Air Fund’s mission statement says that they want to provide a break from the inner-city streets during the hot summer months for those children who are less fortunate; exactly what the Winton family is providing to the children they have hosted throughout the years. These kids will get to experience and learn things that would never have seemed possible in the crowded streets of New York City.
Hosting a child promises to be a fun and rewarding experience for all those who choose to do so. The Fresh Air Fund in always looking for volunteers and host families, for more information on how to volunteer or host a child please visit their website at www.freshair.org.