Fresh Air Update

The good news from the Fresh Air Fund:  Over 50 area families have signed up to take a child this summer.

The bad news:  Approximately 800 kids still need to be placed.

Estrella -- Martha Mintzer's Fresh Air Fund "daughter" -- plays in the pool.

For 135 summers the Fresh Air Fund has given inner-city youngsters the chance for vacations.  For nearly as many years, Westporters have opened their homes to young New Yorkers.

Families — some of whom develop ongoing relationships with the children they host, as well as their siblings and parents — do whatever activities they wish with their Fresh Air kids: the beach, Levitt, library programs and much more.

Camp Mahackeno takes Fresh Air Fund children for free (if there’s room).

A Staples student has offered free swim lessons to any youngsters.

Some families don’t do anything organized.  Hanging around is plenty of fun too.

Ryan, Lauren and Matthew Beranek, with Della, do a typical summer activity: a lemonade stand.

Host families need not include young children.  An empty-nester couple just took two girls.  They — the kids and older parents — had a blast.

Fresh Air Fund youngsters come for 1 or 2 weeks.  Potential host families — who can choose the gender and age range of “their” kids — must undergo an interview.  The house is checked for safety.  References are checked too.

Area coordinator Martha Mintzer is pleased with the 50 area families she’s got so far.  It’s more than last year.

But she can’t help thinking about the hundreds still waiting to come.

(To volunteer as a Fresh Air Fund host, email, or call 203-226-6627.)

2 responses to “Fresh Air Update

  1. Stuart McCarthy

    The Parks and Recreation Department also accepts Fresh Air Fund children at no charge based on space available. We have been happy to support this progam for the past 25 years.

  2. The Dude Abides

    Great program. My parents entertained one great youngster from Brooklyn when I was a teenager. When I took him home, he asked for me to stay with his folks for a couple of days. To tell you the truth, there was more to do there than Westport!