In honor of The Fresh Air Fund’s 132nd summer of serving children, Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed today, March 20, “FRESH AIR FUND DAY” throughout the state of Massachusetts.
This summer, thousands of inner-city boys and girls will escape the hot, noisy streets of New York City to enjoy the simple pleasures of summertime fun in the country through free Fresh Air Fund experiences.
Families who participate in The Fund’s Friendly Town program open their hearts and homes to New York City children for two weeks or more in the summer.
“By sharing their homes with New York City children, our host families tell us that they gain a new appreciation for their own communities and form relationships that last a lifetime,” says Jenny Morgenthau, Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund. “This year, we are looking for new host families in and around the Blackstone Valley area to celebrate our 132nd summer of giving youngsters a summertime break from the sometimes dangerous city streets.”
First-time Fresh Air visitors are 6-12 years old. Reinvited youngsters can participate in the Friendly Town program through age 18. Volunteers simply want to share what they have with city children and introduce them to the joys of suburban or country life. Families find hosting so rewarding that over 65% of all Fresh Air children are invited to visit host families year after year. Fresh Air hosts range from young families to grandparents, and there is no age-limit. All it takes is the willingness to open your heart and home to a New York City child.
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million inner-city children since 1877. For more information about becoming a Fresh Air volunteer, please call Elaine Melinski at 508-278-3652, or The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003. Visit our Web site at www.freshair.org.