Fresh Air has been available to my family nearly every day of our lives. In Iowa we are full of fresh air, sunshine and the singing of birds. Over the last week I've even been seranaded, as I've tried to sleep, by some strange screeching animal. But, I digress.
I received an e-mail from an organization that I've never heard of. And it made me stop and think a bit. I'm passing the information along to you. If fresh air is something you want pump into a city kid, check it out.
What is Fresh Air?
In 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, an independent not-for-profit organization, was created with one simple mission — to allow children living in disadvantaged communities to get away from hot, noisy city streets and enjoy free summer experiences in the country.
When The Fund began, New York City was overflowing with poor children living in crowded tenements. Many of these youngsters were hit by a tuberculosis epidemic, and “fresh air” was considered a cure for respiratory ailments.
More than 130 years ago, the Reverend Willard Parsons, a minister of a small, rural parish in Sherman, Pennsylvania, asked members of his congregation to provide country vacations as volunteer host families for New York City’s neediest children. This was the beginning of The Fresh Air Fund. By 1881, the work of The Fund was expanding so rapidly that Reverend Parsons asked for and secured support from The New York Tribune. By 1888, The Fund was incorporated as “The Tribune Fresh Air Fund Aid Society.” Today, Fresh Air continues to benefit from the support of the media with invaluable assistance from The New York Times.
The Fund’s tradition of caring provides children with a much-needed respite from the inner-city streets. Thousands of youngsters enjoy summer experiences with volunteer hosts or attend one of five Fund camps in upstate New York.
The simplicity of our program is its strength. Looking back to 1877, we can reflect on how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. The Fund began with a small group of youngsters heading for the country and went on to benefit more than 1.7 million needy children.
Right now any gift you make to The Fresh Air Fund will be matched dollar for dollar by a group of generous donors! If you can give $25 that means $50 for inner-city children. $50 becomes $100!
But you must make your donation by June 30th to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.