The excitement was palpable through the sticky July air on Tuesday afternoon as Greenwich host families gathered at the Old Greenwich train station to welcome The Fresh Air Fund children to the area.
The Fresh Air Fund, founded in 1877, is a not-for-profit agency based in New York City that connects inner city children with host families and camps in the surrounding areas.
The goal of The Fresh Air Fund is to provide inner city children with the opportunity to experience life out in the country, and to give them a unique, free summer experience that they would not have access to otherwise.
The Fresh Air Fund operates with host families all along the East Coast and in Southern Canada.
While some families were hosting a Fresh Air Fund child for the first time, others were welcoming children that they had hosted in years past.
“I went to camp with Fresh Air Fund kids when I was little,” one Greenwich mom said. “Now my kids go to that camp, and this is our second summer hosting.”
While waiting for the arrival, Midge Pappas and Charlie Stuttig discussed their potential plans for the week, including the annual Fresh Air Fund barbecue Wednesday night, and a movie playing in Binney Park on Saturday night.
When the bus finally pulled into the station, Nathaly Villalta greeted Pappas and Stuttig, her host parents, with a giant smile, eager for her summer vacation in Greenwich to begin.
Visit freshair.org to learn more about The Fresh Air Fund and potential hosting opportunities.