Today, we have a guest post from Bob and Rachel Eubank, about a program they are involved in called the Fresh Air Fund. Be sure and also check out their page on Facebook! The link is at the end of this post:
The ice and snow of winter are beginning to melt away and the promise of spring is peeking up through the grass. The warm air whispers a promise that summer is on its way. Days of watching our children run barefoot through the sprinklers and nights of catching fireflies in mason jars are just around the corner. Children become alive with freedom and fun in the summer sun. The world is their playground and they are eager to learn more about it through new experiences and treasured traditions.
Here in West Virginia we are blessed with beautiful natural surroundings, but imagine for just a minute that the only playground that was available to your children was made of concrete. Concrete that becomes so hot in the summer sun that it needs to be sprayed with water just so the children don’t burn themselves while they are playing. Imagine having a seven year old son who has never run through the grass barefoot or watched the stars come out at night.
Every year children from New York City only dream of experiencing the kinds of summers that we take for granted. They want the chance to go to the beach with a family, to see a drive in movie, to catch a fish in a lake, or to just play in the backyard. These children spend their summers in the apartments or on the city streets. While our children breathe fresh air and play through their summers, many New York City children are still waiting for their chance.
The Fresh Air Fund is an organization that is trying to change the lives of thousands of New York City children each year. This is an organization that my husband and I believe in with all of our hearts. Their one goal is to take children out of the city and place them in a country or small town setting for the chance to experience the kinds of summers that we have access to each year. They match children with host families that are willing to open their homes and their hearts for two weeks during the summer season.
My husband and I are looking for families who are ready to change a child’s life forever. There is no financial obligation. These children need love, time, and a bed to sleep in while they are visiting. Here in North Central West Virginia, the children will be arriving July 10th-24th. Hosting a Fresh Air child just means putting another hotdog on the grill, and slathering another child with sunscreen before heading out to the beach. Just a little extra effort during that two week stay will give a child an experience they will remember the rest of their lives!
Our family has been hosting a child through the Fresh Air Fund for the last nine years. Our Fresh Air son’s name is Matthew Dambreville and he is the only child we have ever hosted. He was six the first summer he came to visit. Everything was new to him and his greatest goal was to see a black and white cow in person. This summer his is going to be fourteen and in high school! The Fresh Air fund has transformed our family…he gained a new perspective on life and we gained a son. Summer would not be the same without Matthew here with us.
As a host parent, when you are able to take a city child out of his or her element and give them a new outlook on life, you see your world with fresh eyes. Most hosts say that they go into the program expecting to change a child’s life and end up having their lives changed forever.
If you would consider hosting a child or if you would like more information about this amazing program, please go to http://www.freshair.org or you can call us at 304-363-9665, we never get tired of talking about Fresh Air!
Bob and Rachel Eubank
Trip dates for this year:
July 2-10 July 2-16 July 30-August 6