The Fresh Air Fund looks forward to celebrating National Volunteer Week every year. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our inspiring volunteers, hosts and supporters in the Finger Lakes area. Their dedication to our Fresh Air children truly embodies the spirit of National Volunteer Week, which is from April 15 to April 21 this year.
Volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year along the East Coast and southern Canada to help make The Fresh Air Fund programs possible. Fresh Air host families open their hearts and homes, and share the everyday joys of summertime with Fresh Air children. Our local volunteer leaders — many of whom are also hosts — serve on our committees, interview prospective host families, publicize the program and plan summer activities. Individuals and local businesses also give generously of their time and resources to make The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns program a great success throughout the Finger Lakes area each summer.
Anecdotally and in survey results, we are seeing that The Fresh Air Fund is as relevant today as it was when it was founded over 140 years ago. As we hear from alumni and connect with longstanding host families, we continue to learn how Fresh Air Fund summers have impacted lives — and continue to transform lives many years later. We have learned that a summer can last a lifetime.
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, nonprofit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. First-time Fresh Air children are boys and girls ages 7-12 who live in New York City. Children who are re-invited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18, and can enjoy extended trips.
For more information on how you can get involved, please contact your local volunteer leader, Patricia Kaleta, at (585) 474-0527 or visit
Fatima Shama
The Fresh Air Fund