Fresh Air summers are filled with children running through the sprinklers in the grass, gazing at star-filled skies and swimming for the first time. This summer, join volunteer host families in the Northern Catskills Region, and open your heart and home to a Fresh Air child. Each summer, thousands of children from New York City’s low-income communities visit suburban, rural and small town communities along the East Coast and Southern Canada through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program.

“My first year hosting, I was so nervous and my boys kept saying it would be great. And then by the end, I was in tears. That moment I realized what a special program Friendly Towns is and how impactful it is to our lives and theirs,” Kim Carrico says. “We go to Adventureland with other Fresh Air families, to the pool and keep in touch during the year. Asah and Jalon have had such an impact on my kids’ lives and my own.” Asah, age 13, of the Bronx, and Jalon, age 14, of Brooklyn, have been visiting the Carrico family in Kings Park, NY, for two summers and three summers, respectively.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. First time Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from seven to 13 years old, who live in New York City. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips.

For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Joan Hanrahan at 607-785-6822 or visit www.FreshAir.org.