The Long Island Committee welcomed 21 New York City children as they arrived at the Target parking lot in Commackon July 18, 2012. Volunteer host families share their summers for up to two weeks with Fresh Air children, ages six to 18, who leave behind the city streets to run barefoot in the grass or see the stars at night. Some youngsters are leaving home for the first time, while others are returning to visit the same host families for consecutive summers. Children who arrived on the 18th are currently staying with families in East Northport, Westbury, Massapequa, Huntington, Brightwaters, Smithtown, Commack, Lindenhurst, Hicksville, Garden City, Bayville, Northport, Rockville Centre, East Hampton, Wyandanch, and Dix Hills.
Summer vacation is upon us and you still have the chance to make it memorable for a New York City child! Each summer, over 4,000 inner-city children visit suburban, rural and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program. By volunteering as a host family on Long Island, you can help give a child a break from the heat and noise of the crowded city streets while enjoying a vacation in your own backyard! The Fresh Air Fund is currently seeking more families to give inner-city children a Fresh Air experience on Long Island in August.
“Being able to run around outside is a freeing experience for her,” says one Fresh Air host about her Fresh Air child. “I still enjoy watching her face as she takes joy in the simple things, like roasting a marshmallow or jumping into the lake.”
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. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from 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 one or two weeks. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips. Over 65 percent of all children are reinvited to stay with their host families, year after year.
For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child, please contact Jacqueline Shapiro at 516-692-8862 or The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003. You can also visit them online at www.freshair.org.