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Fresh Air Fund: A Memorable Experience

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“Joy is not in things, it is in us.” ~Richard Wagner

A rich life is filled with experiences rather than things.  My children are certainly not lacking by any means in “things,” but as a mother, I hope to provide them with experiences, life lessons if you will, that will shape them into responsible, caring adults.

Every summer for the past six years, we’ve hosted a child from the Fresh Air Fund.  The Fresh Air Fund is a program that pairs up inner city children from disadvantaged communities with volunteer host families for a summer vacation.

We host the same child every year.  Her first summer with us was in 2007; she’s been here every summer since.  Every year when she returns, she fits right back into our family, like she’s never been gone.  Even our pets remember her each year and are excited to see her.  She’s a wonderful child, and I feel blessed that her mother entrusts her to us for a week or so every summer.  I’ve watched her grow up right before my very eyes.  She was only 6 when she came to stay with us the very first time!

The Cliff Walk

When she first started coming to stay with us, she told us she wanted to learn how to ride a bike and swim.  Now, she’s practically a fish in the pool, and she pedals around on a bike to her heart’s content.  For her, her visit is a chance to go for hikes, go the farm and pick vegetables, and try new things, like zip lining.  We try to do something different each summer while she is here.  This year we went on a beach vacation.  She had a great time playing in the waves until she noticed the jellyfish…after that it was only sandcastle building for her!

Playing in the sand

For us, it’s a chance to make a difference in someone’s life.  It’s a chance for my children to hear about city experiences.  It’s a opportunity to learn and grow from knowing someone who lives in a different community from us.

Some people have said to me that she’s lucky to have the opportunity to come stay with us for a week or two every summer.

I think we’re the lucky ones.


*If you are interested in hosting a Fresh Air child, and live within the Greater Danbury, Connecticut area, please contact:

Lestina Trainor
Friendlytown Chairperson
The Fresh Air Fund
(203) 482-2262
Those outside this area who are interested in hosting should call the Fresh Air Fund directly at 1 (800) 367-0003.