OSWEGO, NY – Hosting a Fresh Air child is a family affair, in more ways than one.
Jennifer Hall and her husband, Robert, are the parents of a precious 11-month-old little boy, Bryce. The local couple is expecting their second child in December 2014.
“Robert and I became Fresh Air parents in the summer of 2012. We found out about Fresh Air through my sister, Stephanie Joyce,” Jennifer told Oswego County Today.
Stephanie and her husband, Andrew, have been Fresh Air parents for about six years now and have always had the same young girl, Kayla.
“After getting to know Kayla year after year, we found out she had a younger brother, Joshua. When Joshua was old enough to be a part of Fresh Air, we were asked if we would be interested in becoming Fresh Air parents,” Jennifer said. “After a discussion with my husband, we decided we would give it a try.”
After their first week of meeting Joshua, they had a great time; enjoyed sharing their “country Life” with a child who was raised in the city, she added.
They took Joshua to Sea Breeze in Rochester, went on picnics to watch the sunset over Lake Ontario, went to Thunder Island in Fulton, out to dinner, went for long walks with their dogs and much, much more.
“Joshua appeared to enjoy his time with us and we kept in touch all throughout the year,” she said. “This year will be our third year having the same Fresh Air boy, Joshua.”
Over Easter break this year, Joshua and his sister were able to spend time with with the local families and they provided transportation for the kids to and from their home in the Bronx.
Each summer, thousands of volunteer host families in rural, suburban and small communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada open their hearts and homes to New York City children from low-income communities through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program.
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.
Host families open their homes to children who might not otherwise be able to enjoy a summer away from New York City.
“We continue to keep in contact and the most rewarding experience has been a phone call to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and also a phone call to my husband for Happy Father’s Day,” Jennifer said. “Being Fresh Air parents has been an rewarding experience. Although the goodbyes can be sad once they get back on the bus to head back home, the communication that continues through out the year is wonderful and something we look forward to.”
It’s not too late to host a child. For more information on how you can make summer special for a Fresh Air child, contact Vicki Bracco at 315-593-7250 or visit The Fresh Air Fund at www.freshair.org