Thursday, December 16, 2010

From Fresh Air Fund

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Fresh Air News
Summer Highlights
Host a Child

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The holidays are right around the corner and The Fresh Air Fund needs your help!

Fresh Air News

Summer may seem far away, but NYC children are currently participating in Fresh Air programs, from weekly tutoring sessions to job shadowings to weekend retreats at Fund camps in upstate New York! Our Career Awareness Program serves more than 300 youngsters in middle and high school. We also have new leadership programs for young women to develop their “can-do” attitudes!

No matter the season, Fresh Air children remain involved, excited and forward-thinking. We need loyal friends like you to continue serving thousands of New York City children throughout the year. Thank you!

To make a donation, please click here.

Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities.

Whether it's a two-week trip to the country to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our fund camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities.

Just $10 will send one child on a bus ride to his or her Friendly Town host family.

$24 provides a child with a week of swimming lessons.

$42 provides a day of Career Awareness classes.

A gift of $50 can fund a camp counselor for a day.

If you can give as much as $91, you provide a child at camp with meals for a week.

We are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing.

Camp News

Shape Magazine Features the Precious Center for Teen Leadership

After the Precious Center for Teen Leadership opened its doors this summer at Camp Anita Bliss Coler, word of this fantastic resource for young women quickly spread. Shape magazine editors traveled up to camp to share their expertise and dedication to fitness, education and career development with the ABC leadership campers. But there’s even more - Shape editors were eager to hear directly from the girls about their time at camp and meet some of the incredible young women who have the opportunity to live and learn at the Precious Center.

Todrick Hall Visits Camp

An excited buzz filled the air when American Idol’s Todrick Hall paid a visit this past August. Todrick loved Fresh Air Camp so much that he left well past bedtime! Not only did Todrick meet our campers, but he also got to see some of their favorite camp activities, such as swimming at the

waterfront and working on our Model Farm.

After a tour, a group of campers at Hayden-Marks got a special treat – they spent a few hours singing and dancing alongside the star. Todrick’s class focused on improving dance techniques, learning new moves and tips for performing. Todrick’s passion for performing, singing and dancing was so contagious that many of the children continued practicing for the rest of their time at camp. He even showed some of the Hayden-Marks boys how to safely land a backflip!

Over at Camp Hidden Valley, Todrick arrived just in time for their “Event Day” celebrations. Hidden Valley campers had spent the whole day trying to rescue dance, song, beats and soul back from the villains who had descended on camp – and in appreciation for all their hard work at “saving the music,” Todrick performed at dinner and was soon surrounded by autograph requests from every child!

We already knew that Camp ABC campers and counselors weren’t a silent bunch. They sure do know how to show their excitement and enthusiasm! When Todrick unexpectedly walked into the Camp ABC dining hall, the girls broke out in screams of surprise, joy and laughter. We hope it

didn’t scare away the wildlife at ABC!

Fresh Air Fund Host Families

"It is rewarding to see the smile on our Fresh Air child's face as she enjoys the simple things we take for granted..."

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!

Fresh Air Children

"We made s'mores and hot dogs over the fire. I've never cooked outside before!"

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks. Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fund through age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all the difference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelong memories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends.

The majority of Fresh Air children are from low-income communities. These are often families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city youngsters grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces. Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through the grass or riding bikes down country lanes.

Fresh Air children are registered by more than 90 participating social service and community

organizations located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the five boroughs of New York City. These community-based agencies are in close contact with children in need of summer experiences in rural and suburban areas. Each agency is responsible for registering children for the program.

What do Fresh Air children enjoy?

Playing in the backyard

Laughing in the sunshine

Catching fireflies

Riding bicycles

Learning to swim

Running barefoot through the grass

Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights

Building sandcastles

Making new friends

Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city

Summer Highlights

The summer of 2010 was amazingly successful thanks to the generous support from all of The Fresh Air Fund volunteers and donors. With your help, next summer will be wonderful too.

2010 Summer Highlights:

Nearly 8,000 children enjoyed their best summers yet

370 students participated in the Career Awareness Program

11 counselors-in-training spent three days on the Appalachian Trail

168 young people were Leaders-in-training

For a more personal take on what a Fresh Air summer means to our campers and Friendly Town children, here are some heartwarming quotes:

“Many people will never truly understand how truly remarkable and critical this opportunity is for a child's development. By experiencing new things and different lifestyles and cultures it broadened my capacity to deal with life in and outside of NYC.” – Lee Coleman (visited Connie Beck and her daughter Laura in Painted Post, NY)

“I’m excited to be in another neighborhood and family. I am only in the Bronx all the time. I’m so happy to go and see what another place feels like.”(Abdou Sarr, stays with Linda & Edward Ryan )

Ellen & Anthony DeLello have hosted Kevin Uzzle (and only Kevin) since 2007. Morris Cty. FT.

“It’s really fun with my host brother, Trevor. We talk during the year too. I love going to BBQs with my family and meeting Trevor’s friends….they taught me how to swim.”

“Everyone knew me as Roberta and Butchie’s daughter. I was never the FAF kid!” - Toneicia Chisholm (visited Roberta & Butch Parker of Clinton, MA)

“They were always loved like they were our own!” – 88 year old host child Sophia Young reminiscing about her FAF summer sisters Sanny and Evelyn (daughter of Ernest & Margaret DeZallia of Crown Point, NY, who hosted Sanny and Evelyn)

-"I just wanted to say that having Justin stay with us is very enriching for our family," Louis said. "Every summer he comes, it's a seamless transition, like a member of our family." (Louis Terlizzi)

“He is an extension of our family; every year we grow along side of him and watch him grow into a young man”- Angelina Bagge (host Mom)

Quotes from Camp (at the farm in particular)

“I like to touch animals, but my mom is scared.”

“I never wanna leave the farm, I’ll sleep here with the rabbit.”

“My favorite thing at camp is the talent show because I get to dance and sing!”

“My favorite thing about camp is the carnival because of all the good food.”

Host a Child

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for up to two weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air vacations.

More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.

Fresh Air Fund Host Families

There is no such thing as a "typical" host family. If you have room in your home - and your heart - to host a child, you could be one too.

Learn More

Fresh Air Fund Children

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 12 years old, who reside in low-income communities in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city.

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