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. During the summer, children visit host families in suburban, rural and small town communities along the East Coast and in southern Canada. Fresh Air summers are filled with children running barefoot through the grass, gazing at star-filled skies and swimming for the first time.
Volunteer host families frequently tell us that their family feels they receive even more than they give, and many children return to the same family year after year. A Fresh Air summer experience can have an extraordinary impact on a child. As Fresh Air children describe in their own words: