Fresh Air Fund
My husband and I were speaking with our neighbor Ann recently and mentioned that we were considering becoming involved in the Fresh Air Fund as a host family. We were very conscious of our own move away from the city and knew that many urban children do not have the choice we have. It doesn't seem fair that while our children frolic and play each summer amongst the trees, at the beach (and in many other activities that we take for granted as our Summer rites), or in our pool, etc. - many children will not have the same adventure or sense of freedom that we easily take for granted. Truthfully, we've been hesitantly moving towards the idea. After all, it isn't always easy taking in someone for the Summer. But, at this point, we've studied the idea and think it could be a fun one - not just for the child(ren) who would visit us, but for our children too. The lesson to our children, and ourselves, could be invaluable.
FAF was started about 120 years ago in New York City. You can imagine the need for such a thing at that point in the cities history. The idea was basic - give children from inner city areas the opportunity to see an alternative lifestyle. Children can either attend a host family situation or they will partake in a camp getaway. Our neighbor Ann told us her story about volunteering for one of the camps. So, whether you feel ready to host a child at your home, or you just feel like you'd rather donate time or money - check out the website for Fresh Air Fund and see what you can do to make an inner city child's memory of Summer much more like your own - full of fun, hope, and opportunity.
As for us - this year, we are not quite ready to host a child. So, instead we will be giving a sizeable donation to the Fund in anticipation of our own participation as a host family next year. Do you think you can help too? Or, is there an organization in your community that we should know about that does much the same? Let us know.