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Fresh Air: Give your family a different experience this summer

Claire Duckmanton, originally from the UK and a former East Side resident, lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts, with her husband and four children. Below she shares her experience as a Fresh Air Fund host family and her role as the local chairperson for the Fresh Air Fund.

Fresh AirMy family started hosting children from inner-city, low- income New York neighborhoods five years ago. (Read the article Claire wrote about her hosting experience for Kidoinfo here.)  It has been a memorable experience for both my family and the kids we have welcomed into our homes via the Fresh Air Fund.

Five years on, I am the local chairperson for Fresh Air, an organization that has been providing free vacations to inner-city kids from low-income neighborhoods in New York City for over one hundred years. I see my role as ambassador, publicist, and recruiter of families who are ready, willing, and able to make a difference in a child’s life. I now am busy looking for families that are interested in hosting children this summer. All you have to do is open your home (and heart) for one or two weeks. The friendships that can develop between hosts and their Fresh Air visitor often last a lifetime. There are no financial requirements (and you don’t need a big back yard). First-time visitors are six to twelve years old, and re-invited youngsters may participate in the program through age eighteen.

If you would like to learn more, please contact:
Claire Duckmanton
508-761-8242 or 401-301-4090

Fresh Air Fund
2009 trip dates for local area: One or two weeks in July or August
Deadline for applications: Early June
Application process: Interested families call Claire to discuss program details, and then there is an interview in the family’s home. Families completean application, including four references, and undergo a background check. There are no fees. Children on first-time visits are six to twelve years old. Host families can pick the age and gender of the child they’d like to host.

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  • Hello, We always wanted to do this and finally did last year as our two children were of similiar age to the visiting children – the youngest to visit would be six. It was a great experience but challenging as well. Two weeks away from what a child is used to and his/her family can be difficult. But in the end, the memories will last forever. We will host again this year.