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Tuesday July 24, 2012 Edition
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Addison County, The Perfect Place To Get Some Fresh Air

Tuesday July 24, 2012

By Melissa Brown

On Monday, July 16, a bus full of children from New York City rolled into the parking lot of the Christian Reformed Church in Vergennes. These children are part of the Fresh Air Fund, and local host families eagerly waited for the 11 children that were being dropped off during this trip. These children will spend at least one week with their host families taking part in activities that they would not usually have easy access too. They will go swimming, they will see the farm animals of Vermont, and experience the great outdoors and landscape that the Green Mountain State has to offer. As the children got off the bus, smiles, hugs, and yells of excitement were exchanged as children and host families were united.

    For 136 years, the Fresh Air Fund has been providing a way for underprivileged children to experience life outside of the city. “It is a chance for a child in the city to see a different way of life,” says Marion Sullivan, the Chairperson of the Fresh Air Fund in Addison County. The Fresh Air Fund joins together with about 90 other organizations in the New York City Area to find children to take part in the program. Marion does her part up in Addison County by going to the home and interviewing potential host families that have contacted her. Then a background check and a reference check are done on the potential host families. This information is then sent to New York City, where children are matched with host families. “The host families benefit as much as the children do,” says Marion. 65% of the children that take part in the Fresh Air Fund return to the same host family every year, and the children can stay anywhere from one week to the entire summer.  

    This was the first of four groups of children that will be making the trip to Vermont this summer. The children are a mix of first timers and returning members of the Fresh Air Fund. There are some children still waiting for host families. “It’s not too late to host this summer!” says Marion. Any families willing to act as a host family may contact Marion Sullivan at 877-3028 to take part in a chance to give these children a breath of fresh air.

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