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 since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.
Fresh Air Fund History
In 1877, the Reverend Willard Parsons, minister of a small rural parish in Sherman, Pennsylvania, asked members of his congregation to provide country vacations as volunteer host families for children from New York City tenements. This was the beginning of The Fresh Air Fund tradition. By 1884, Reverend Parsons was writing about The Fund for New York’s Herald Tribune, and the number of children served grew. In 2008, close to 10,000 New York City children experienced the joys of summertime in Friendly Towns and at five Fund camps in upstate New York.
Fresh Air Fund Children
Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 12 years old, who reside in low-income communities in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city.
As one child says, "I can’t wait to get on the bus every summer so I can see my family and go swimming and hiking!"
Right now any gift you make to The Fresh Air Fund will be matched dollar for dollar by a group of generous donors! If you can give $25 that means $50 for inner-city children. $50 becomes $100!
But you must make your donation by June 30th to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
Host a Child
Thanks to host families who open up their homes for one or two weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air vacations.
More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.
Fresh Air Fund Host Families
There is no such thing as a "typical" host family. If you have room in your home - and your heart - to host a child, you could be one too.
The Fresh Air Fund is pleased to offer new banners and widgets for your blogs and websites!