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madteaparty

Fresh Air Fund--any experience?

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My only knowledge has been through friends who participated as children, and talk about what a good experience it was for them to see another lifestyle and another option for how to build a life. 

 

I've always thought of it as a good organization, but I don't know anyone who does it currently, mainly because I live in a pretty urban place that wouldn't qualify as a destination to send kids to.

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I have been a host mom to 7 Fresh Air children over the last 23 years.  I have also been a volunteer chairperson for over 15 years with the program.  It is 140 years old and has been a life changer both for the children who get to experience a different way of life and build life-long relationships with the host family, but also for the family who has the joy of sharing in a wonderful experience with the city child.  We have 6 children of our own and they have all grown up having the privilege of sharing a part of their summer with their city brothers and sisters.

 

This is truly the highlight of our summer, and we look forward to having the children come over and over again.  Some of our FAF children have outgrown the program, are in their 30's and still come and see us and bring their own families with them.  It truly can be a life-long relationship.  

 

Check out our web page--www.freshair.org and our facebook page, fresh air fund, to see some great stories and experiences shared by both the host families and the children.  We are always looking for new families who would like to open their hearts and homes to the children for a week or two.  If you are interested in more information, go to www.freshair.org and fill in the inquiry form and someone will get in touch with you.

 

I hope you will consider hosting--it is an amazing program!!!!!

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This isn't really a particularly valuable contribution to your question, but it is funny as I remember it.  When I was a kid, a neighbor family hosted a "Fresh Air Kid" from NYC in the summer.  One year, they got a kid who was a handful of trouble; just trouble every which way he could be.  Nothing intimidated or stopped this kid - not threats of being unable to play, not time-outs, not threats of not being invited back, nothing except the words "I'll tell your mother".  Stopped the kid dead in his tracks, LOL!

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Who was our family here who hosted kids every summer and always encouraged other boardies to consider doing the same?  I don't think she post anymore, but you can surely find her old posts about her experiences.  The search function on the boards now seems awful; the best way to search, imo, would be to google

welltrainedmind.com:fresh air fund

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My family hosted a little girl named Marcella for two weeks when I was around 10.

I lived in "Caucasian Falls," Ohio. She came from Akron.

I loved having a friend right there, every day--we hit it off big time. I felt like I finally had a sister.

 

We both learned to ride a bike while she was there. She didn't like to swim in our backyard pool, but by the end she wasn't as scared.

 

I wish we had kept in touch. I never saw her again or spoke with her.

 

It was just as much an experience for me as it was, I'm sure, for her.

Looking back, it was kinda a big deal for my parents, as they had lots of compassion for the poor, but were culturally racist--y'know, the very subtle kind that thinks people of other colors and cultures are fine in theory but they don't want to live next door to them.

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Hi!

I've been a Fresh Air Fund host for going on 7 summers now, and this will be my second summer as a Volunteer Chairperson in my area of Pennsylvania. It is a great organization and a great experience and more hosts are always needed!

For my kids, it's a week long fun sleepover with a friend they don't get to see very often, a chance to show someone from out of state about our family and area, and a chance to learn about other cultures. For the Fresh Air Fund children it's a chance to get out of the inner city and see and experience things they can't at home, to see that there are different paths their lives can take, to spend time with their "other" family/friends, and to experience other cultures. For me, it's a bonding experience and it's also so amazing to watch these kids experience new things and to watch them grow each year as we invite them back.

It's just a week, and there is always 24 hour support from Fresh Air Fund and your chairperson, so you've got nothing to lose by trying it! :)

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