A recent “06880” post on the Fresh Air Fund — noting the importance of providing a week here for inner-city youngsters, and the difficulty of finding host families — sparked immediate interest.
A month later, the ripples keep spreading.
Eileen Ogintz and her husband Andy Yemma will once again open their home. But both work during the day.
The boy they’re hosting loves soccer. Eileen heard that Mickey Kydes runs a camp in Westport during that week. She made a quick inquiry — and Mickey offered a full scholarship.
Her next stop was Athletic Shoe Factory, for gear. Instantly, owner Chris Buchner gave her a brand new pair of soccer shoes, plus shin guards and socks.
Mickey and Chris follow a great tradition. As the Westport Y has done for years, they’ll again provide free spots for Fresh Air children at Camp Mahackeno.
Eileen hopes other Westport merchants can follow Mickey, ASF and the Y’s lead. For example, she’d love for restaurants and ice cream places to give host families a break. “Most of these kids have never been somewhere that isn’t fast food,” she says.
“If everyone just does a little bit, the impact can be huge.”
(Business owners wishing to help Fresh Air Fund hosts provide a great experience can call Martha Mintzer at 203-226-6627, or email email@example.com. Click here to learn more about the Fresh Air Fund.)