Margaux, Madisen and Colin jumped for joy as they watched the sunset together near the MacKinnon’s beach house. Photo Credit: Linda MacKinnon.

Fresh Air summers are filled with children running through the sprinklers in the grass, gazing at star-filled skies and swimming for the first time. This summer, join volunteer host families in Champlain Valley North and open your heart and home to a Fresh Air child. Each summer, thousands of children from New York City’s low-income communities visit suburban, rural and small-town communities along the East Coast and southern Canada through the Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program.

Madisen, age 11, has visited the MacKinnon family for the past two summers. Host mom Linda said, “Seeing the world through Madisen’s eyes and enthusiastic spirit has made our whole family appreciate what we have. On her visit, Madisen joined us in our daily summer activities. She tried lots of things for the first time that we often take for granted; this summer she learned how to play tennis, attended her first yoga class, fed the horses that live next door and swam in the ocean for the first time! Madisen really reminds us of how special the simple things are.”

Since 1877 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, seven to 18 years old, from low-income communities. Many who are re-invited by host families and continue through age 18.

For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Marion Sullivan at (802) 877-3028 or visit the Fresh Air website.