Editorial: Spreading thanks

We have a lot to be thankful for: families, friends, yards and parks to play and relax in and a safe place to be.

This November, the Fresh Air Fund is sending out a call for host families. This month we will take time to remember what and who is in our life to be thankful for, and it’s a perfect time to open our hearts to children who aren’t as fortunate.

Each summer, close to 4,000 New York City children from low-income communities visit suburban, rural and small-town communities across the Northeast and Canada through the Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program. By volunteering as a host family for summer 2016, the spirit of Thanksgiving can continue in your home throughout the year.

“It is really quiet at my host family’s house and they taught me how to swim during my first visit. I love to swim now,” said Emmanuel, 9, from the Bronx.

Fresh Air children are boys and girls 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. Through the eyes of Fresh Air children, families often rediscover the beauty of their own communities.

Since 1877, the Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free, enriching summer experiences and academic programs for more than 1.8 million children from high-needs New York City neighborhoods. For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child next summer, call Martha Mintzer at 203-216-4152 or visit freshair.org.