But a program called the Fresh Air Fund is helping to change that.
The Fresh Air Fund connects children from some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods with host families in the country or suburbs who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer to help them experience the joys of fresh air and country living.
“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.”
The program is still in need of about 850 host families in the northeastern U.S. to open up their homes to these children. If that’s something you’d like to do, please contact the Fresh Air Fund and help a child to experience life outside the city.
[The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not-for-profit agency providing free summer experiences to inner-city youngsters in need. Through The Fund’s Friendly Town program, close to 5,000 children visit volunteer host families each summer in rural and suburban communities. Fresh Air children stay for two weeks or more in over 300 Friendly Towns across 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.]