Are you open to hosting an inner city child from a low-income family for one week this summer through The Fresh Air Fund?
The nonprofit places more than 4,000 New York City children ages 6 to 18 with host families in rural, suburban and small-town communities in 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. Host families aren’t paid.
“I’ve been hosting for 13 years,” says Eileen Rauchenberger of Syosset. “It’s an easy way to have an impact on a child’s life.” Rauchenberger has hosted a handful of children over that time period.
Activities that Rauchenberger has done with the kids include going to the beach, parks, bowling and simple pleasures like toasting marshmallows or catching fireflies. The experience benefitted her three children as well, she says. “My children take a lot of things for granted and it just shows them a different perspective.” Rauchenberger is now Nassau County’s Fresh Air Fund representative.
First-time hosts can request the gender of their guest and the age, between 6 and 12. Two out of three families invite the same child back year after year, and, if reinvited, a child can stay in the program through age 18.
Visit freshair.org or call 800-367-0003 to get more information or volunteer.