Thursday, December 2, 2010

Opening Doors for Inner-City Kids: Fresh Air Fund

I was blessed to grow up in the suburbs, where we could play in the yard, ride our bikes around the neighborhood, and swim in a neighbor's pool.  For children who don't have those options, the Fresh Air Fund offers the opportunity.

I've heard of the Fresh Air Fund, but I always associated their programs with summertime.  I was surprised to read that the programs go on all year:
Summer may seem far away, but NYC children are currently participating in Fresh Air programs, from weekly tutoring sessions to job shadowings to weekend retreats at Fund camps in upstate New York! Our Career Awareness Program serves more than 300 youngsters in middle and high school. We also have new leadership programs for young women to develop their “can-do” attitudes!  No matter the season, Fresh Air children remain involved, excited and forward-thinking.
Who are the children?
Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks. Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fund through age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all the difference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelong memories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends.

The majority of Fresh Air children are from low-income communities. These are often families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city youngsters 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.
Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities. Whether it's a two-week trip to the country to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our fund camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities. But as a not-for-profit agency, the Fresh Air Fund depends on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing.
  • Just $10 will send one child on a bus ride to his or her Friendly Town host family.
  • $24 provides a child with a week of swimming lessons.
  • $42 provides a day of Career Awareness classes.
  • A gift of $50 can fund a camp counselor for a day.
  • If you can give as much as $91, you provide a child at camp with meals for a week.
To learn more about the Fresh Air Fund, visit or follow FAF on Twitter or Facebook. You can also watch videos, learn about becoming a host family, or make a donation at the Fresh Air Fund website.

Disclosure:  I have received no compensation in any form for sharing this with you.  Except for the personal details, all information was provided by Fresh Air Fund.


  1. This sounds like a fabulous program and one that is really needed.

  2. Great program! My ex husband lived in NYC and participated in a similar program which ultimately led to him living with the sponsoring family and growing up in the suburbs of Pa.


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