Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend Fresh Air Fund camps.
One of the Fresh Air Fund's biggest fund raisers is the NYC Half-Marathon. Last year, Fresh Air Fund-Racers who completed the NYC Half-Marathon raised almost $80,000! Over the past three years as a charity partner for the NYC Half-Marathon, the Fund-Racers have raised more than $300,000!
On March 21st, the Fresh Air Fund-Racers will take to the streets at the2010 NYC Half-Marathon! There's still room if you'd like to participate as a Fresh Air Fund-Racers . Your participation will make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Fresh Air children! There is limited space for this amazing race as it draws closer. If you would like to run, please register here right away.
If you're not quite ready for a half marathon in March, think about being a host family for a Fresh Air child this summer.
In 2009, The Fresh Air 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. The Fresh Air Fund relies on donations to provide memorable summers to NYC children. The Fresh Air Fund needs hosts for the summer of 2010. More than 65% of all Fresh Air children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.
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!
Click here to learn more about becoming a host or call (800) 367-0003!
To get a better idea of just how effective the Fresh Air Fund can be, check out Brandon's story.