Get Into the Holiday Spirit: Become a Fresh Air Host Family

Submitted article

This November, many families in Central New York are thankful for something special: the gift of their friendship with a New York City child. Through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Town program, local families open their hearts and homes to inner-city children as volunteer hosts for up to two weeks during the summer. By volunteering as a host family for summer 2011, the spirit of Thanksgiving can continue in your home throughout the year. One child explains what the Fresh Air experience means to her, “I look forward to seeing my family all year long, especially my summer sister. We spend every day of my visit outside together!”

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and into Canada. Additionally, 3,000 children attended five Fund camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves 2,000 young people each year.

By looking ahead to summer 2011, you can give back in a very important way. For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child, please contact Victoria Bracco at 315-593-7250 or The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003. You can also visit The Fund’s website at