Public Health

Fresh Air Fund Needs Loving Host Families

3 Mins read

While this is a little out of our usual realm of publication, I thought it was a good cause and the time frame for the need is closing quick.

While this is a little out of our usual realm of publication, I thought it was a good cause and the time frame for the need is closing quick.

In 2010, The FreshAir Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program, called Friendly Town, gave close to 5,000 New York City boys and girls, ages six to 18, free summer experiences in the country and the suburbs. Volunteer host families shared their friendship and homes up to two weeks or more in 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences.  


Friendly Town  host families are volunteers who live in the suburbs or small town communities.Host families  range in size, ethnicity and background, but share the desire to open their hearts and homes to give city children an experience they will never forget.Hosts say the Fresh Air experience  is as enriching for their own families, as it is for the inner-city children.There are no financial requirements for hosting a child. Volunteers  may request the age-group and gender of the Fresh Air youngster they would like to host. Stories about real Fresh Air host families and their New York City visitors are just a click away! 
  • If you or someone you know is able to host, please sign up now. 
  •  Click here  to learn more about becoming a host or call (800) 367-0003!   



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.



Fresh Air children  are registered by more than 90 participating social service and community organizations located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the five boroughs of New York City. These community-based agencies are in close contact with children in need of summer experiences in rural and suburban areas. Each agency is responsible for registering children for the program. What do Fresh Air children enjoy?



               Playing in the backyard


               Laughing in the sunshine


               Catching fireflies


               Riding bicycles


               Learning to swim


               Running barefoot through the grass


               Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights


               Building sandcastles


               Making new friends


               Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city

If you can’t participate, donate.

You can give a child the experience of a lifetime with your gift to The Fresh Air Fund!

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 visit a volunteer host family,or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our camps,our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities. We are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing.
THEFRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summervacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-incomecommunities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free FreshAir Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteerhost families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states fromVirginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air campson a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round campingprogram serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

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