Philanthropy Friday: A Breath of Fresh Air

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

As we gear up for summer, many of us are planning outdoor excursions to parks, oceans, lakes and mountains. One of the goals for me and my boys is to travel to as many Maine State Parks as possible this summer. I’ve got a vehicle pass for the parks and they’ve got a passport book in which to collect stamps. The sky’s the limit.

Some kids, however, don’t get to experience the joy of the outdoors outside of big city walls. I recently received an email from the Fresh Air Fund that I thought was worth sharing. From their press release:

This summer, share the beauty of your community with a Fresh Air child while enjoying the pure joys of summer in your own backyard! Thousands of volunteer host families in rural, suburban, and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada open their hearts and homes to New York City children from low-income communities through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program. 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.

Host families open their homes to children who might not otherwise be able to enjoy a summer away from New York City. Fresh Air children experience simple pleasures like running barefoot through the grass, swimming in a cool lake, and gazing at star-filled skies. Through the eyes of Fresh Air children, families often rediscover the beauty of their own communities.


Do you remember Michelle’s guest post about the Fresh Air Fund last year? Michelle’s family hosts a Fresh Air Fund child every year. As Michelle explains, it’s more than just a summer experience.

I hope to become a Fresh Air Fund host family sometime in the future. What child wouldn’t want to explore Maine for a summer?

For now, I encourage you to check out Michelle’s post once again and consider being a host family for the Fresh Air Fund. If you are ready to take the next step, contact Amy Goodwin at 207-208-6510 or visit The Fresh Air Fund at

What are your plans for the summer?

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  1. says

    As SOON as I started reading this post, I immediately thought of Michelle’s!!! I am just so inspired by her story and this beautiful idea to help and nurture so many children through experiencing nature at its finest. It’s something so many of us take for granted!

    I’m so so glad you shared this and reinforced just how much Fresh Air Fund can make a difference in children’s lives.
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  2. says

    That is very coool – I’m from New York City and when we first moved to Virginia the shock was incredible. So many trees and land!! I think it’s a good experience – I’m allergic to mosquito bites so nature isn’t my friend. Have a great weekend Jennifer! -Iva
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  3. says

    I remember reading about Michelle’s experience last year before I met her and thinking what a generous soul she is. This was so uplifting to read today and I hope I get to be a host family one day myself!

  4. says

    I love this. I worked at a summer camp in college, we had a similar week. Kids from only thirty minutes away had never seen Lake Michigan.

  5. says

    This sounds like such a great program and such a wonderful experience for the children and families involved. I don’t know if I had read Michelle’s guest post last year, but I just read it. I think it is so amazing that she and her family have been doing this for so long; it sounds like they and the girl they host have formed quite a bond!
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