Summer is almost over, but The Fresh Air Fund still needs loving host families. Who are they, you ask? I've blogged about them on several occasions because I love what they are all about. Since 1877, this not-for-profit agency has provided free summer experiences in the country and suburbs to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities.
They often come from families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city children grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces. Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through the grass or riding bikes down country lanes.
Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through their Volunteer Host Family Program, Friendly Town or attend Fresh Air Fund camps during the summer and year round. In 2009, the Friendly Town program gave close to 5,000 New York City boys and girls, ages six to 18, free summer experiences. Volunteer host families shared their friendship and homes up to two weeks or more in 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.
If you are interested in becoming part of this program right now, they are still looking for families in the following areas to host for the rest of the summer; Red Hook, Columbia County, Saugerties, Delmar, Guilderland & Altamont, Latham and Rensselaer, NY. Can't be a host family? That's ok, there are still lots of ways to help like donations of time or money.