Today's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is... any past theme! I had a special cause that I wanted to highlight, so I chose the past theme "Share a summertime memory". But, I'm not going to talk about a memory of mine. I want to talk about memories that are being created in droves, amazing, one of a kind memories that are being created for children in the U.S. by The Fresh Air Fund.
The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, non-profit agency that provides free summer experiences to more than 1.7 million low-income children from New York City. They were founded in 1877, and serve almost 10,000 children per year through their various programs. Last year, they sent almost 5,000 children to live with host families in suburbs and small towns across the East Coast and in Canada, as well as having 3,000 children attend their five camps in New York State. During the rest of the year, they serve an additional 2,000 children with their year-round camping programs.
My son is lucky. He lives in a smaller town. We don't have much money, but we get by and we're lucky enough that he gets to spend a lot of time outside. Last Sunday, we went on a hike only 15 minutes from home, no signs of anything but trails, trees, and sky. My father-in-law owns a 10 acre property with woods, fields, a swimming hole, and lots of room to run around out in the county. Sam will grow up knowing nature. He'll go to good schools, he'll spend time at all the parks we have around, and he won't have to deal with smog and subways.
A lot of kids, they don't get that chance. A lot of kids are left wondering where their next meal will come from, or attending schools where there are no playgrounds and not enough school books. Their parents have to work long hours to support them, and they don't have the chance to play out in the country, pick flowers, learn how to fish or mount a horse.
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. The Fresh Air Fund is looking for families on the East Coast to host kids this summer. It's not just an opportunity to show a child a wonderful time, and to let them experience things they might not otherwise. It's also an opportunity to give them hope, and create on ongoing relationship with a wonderful child.
I think that this is a wonderful cause. If you're interested in finding out more about being a host family, you can visit The Fresh Air Fund website. There's information about hosting here, and information about donating here.
To read more Heads or Tails Tuesday posts, click here.