New Jersey? or New York! Fresh Air Fund needs us

My foot is in New Jersey!

That was all Marcel said-in his sleep. We’ve never been there. We’re not going there anytime soon. I drove through a lot in college, heading home from New York. The NJ Turnpike meant I was at the half way point as I recall.

I asked Marcel when he woke up. He said he read a book about “two little goofy monsters, who asked their moms if they could be best friends forever.” When I pushed about the connection to New Jersey, he said there wasn’t any. Uh huh.

Maybe he was reading my mind, albeit off a few hundred miles?  New York City. It’s been on my mind for about twenty years, really. But recently I’ve been wondering when the kids will be able to take in a visit, in a meaningful way. When I’ll be able to handle navigating the city with them. When the possibility of bumping into the ex bartender boyfriend will cease to cause butterflies. I lived there for about eight years.  Now I have a chance to bring a little New York City to Maine, and so do you.

I’m talking about the Fresh Air Fund, and I’ve been asked to help get you talking about it too.

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences.

Fresh Air children are boys and girls who live in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city.

More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.

The site is beautifully done, and helps answer all your questions. I’m really considering it. I was contacted by Sara Wilson at the organization, asking if I’d be willing to share this opportunity with my readers. In her words;

The Fresh Air Fund is in need of 1200 host families for this summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and homes to children from the city to give them a Fresh Air experience that can change lives. If you could help to get the word out it would really help us place these wonderful children into a loving host family. It’s only for up to two weeks, but it’s an experience that can change their lives forever.

Of course I have already written a story in my head about a life long friendship between my kids and the visiting child… How the boys will be speaking at each others weddings, or inductions into various Halls of Fame ceremonies.  Of course it could be a girl who might come to visit. OK, so if they all choose to parent, or marry, or partner, maybe they’ll all offer each other fabulous support and encouragement in life. Is that better?

What would my life be like if I stayed in the present for five seconds?

Any readers had a FAC stay with them? Share your experience with us? Considering it?  Talk about it. I’m definitely wondering about it myself. I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Yay–I didn’t even talk about it; I just sent in an inquiry on line. This is something I have always wanted to do. Thanks for the nudge. I hope that we can get the boys together again. Josiah and Jonah may be starting at Marcel’s school. Marcel was so adorable–came right up to the boys and said, “Hey, I’m Marcel. We had a playdate at your house with Sage. Do you remember me?”

    Hope we can connect again soon.

      • Yahooh. Sage mentioned pride parade this weekend with all the kids and you both, which we are in for. And whatever comes before or after. Picnic at Kettle Cove sounds lovely too!

  2. We (a Maine family) hosted a FA child for three years starting five years ago when my daughter (adopted from China) was 7 and our guest was 8. My daughter loved having a three week long sleepover party and the girls got along great. Our guest wasn’t able to come on the fourth year because she spend that summer with her grandparents in Florida and then both girls got busier with other plans as they got older. I will say that a friend of mine here in Maine did not have such a good experience – not because of the visiting child but because her children were not as welcoming or as willing to share their home as she would have hoped. I’d be glad to talk about this by phone or email if you’d like.

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