Thousands of children will leave the hot streets of New York City this summer to swim in cool lakes, run barefoot through the grass and gaze at the stars. These simple but meaningful experiences will be made possible through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program, which sends New York City children from low-income communities to the homes of volunteer host families in 13 northeastern states and Canada.
“We have many wonderful host families here in Maine and it is an enriching and rewarding experience and we hope more families will take part this year,” said Lisa Bouchard, a local volunteer for Maine’s Fresh Air Fund Volunteer Host Family program. “A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make a tremendous difference to the life of an inner-city child.”
First-time Fresh Air children are between the ages of 6 and 12, and there are no financial requirements for hosting a Fresh Air child. Many families find their hosting experiences so rewarding that more than 65 percent of all children are invited to stay with the same host families year after year, Bouchard said.