MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- An information session was held on April 3 for prospective families to learn more about The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program.
Current volunteer families shared their experiences hosting New York City children and answered questions at the Mamaroneck Public Library.
Christie Dericco was one of many Fresh Air hosts to speak about her rewarding experiences with The Fresh Air Fund. “It’s good for the family. It’s good for the child. It’s as simple as that,” Derrico says of the program. Derrico, her husband, and four children have been hosting their Fresh Air child, Ateira, 13, for the past three summers, and this summer will be no different.
Since Ateira’s first arrival in 2011, the Derrico family has gone on more adventures in the past three years than they have in the 15 years prior. Some exciting excursions included a gondola ride up Whiteface Mountain, Ateira’s first time on horseback in Vermont, and family sightseeing in Montreal.
While Derrico is always prepared for new adventures with Ateira and the rest of the family, this summer, Derrico is most looking forward to simply spending more time with her Fresh Air daughter.
Derrico and local volunteer leader Martha Mintzer are hopeful their stories will encourage other Westchester County families to host a New York City child as well. Since the information session, Mintzer reported more than five families who have committed to the Volunteer Host Family Program, and several families who have reached out with interest. Minzter was delighted with the success of the event and is hopeful the inquiries will only continue.
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 from low-income communities since 1877.
For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Martha Mintzer at 203-226-6627 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org.