TO THE EDITOR: Last summer, I participated in the Fresh Air Program, hosting an 8-year-old boy in our home for one week. Allow me to share about our experience.
My feelings throughout the application process ranged from excitement to nervousness. Upon being interviewed by a representative from the program, many of my fears were alleviated. The program is incredibly flexible and supportive.
In June, we drove to Burlington to pick up Esua, giddy with anticipation of his arrival. While rolling in, the faces of the kids peeking from the bus windows mirrored the emotions of the crowd waiting to greet them.
Esua was shy initially, but by the time we boarded the ferry, giggles were flowing.
The time spent taking him swimming, to Ausable Chasm, and beyond created our best memories of 2013. He tenaciously jumped into every experience offered. He is a polite, kind-hearted, and talented boy.
While he didn’t appreciate the gnats on our hike, he loved the adventure. We will tackle an even bigger mountain soon when he returns to stay for two weeks.
Please consider offering your home to a child from the inner city through The Fresh Air Program. You need not have young children to host a child. There are never enough families to accommodate the number of children hoping to come.
In reflecting on my own life-changing growth experiences, each has left me feeling a strong sense of accomplishment and looking toward a future brimming with possibilities. Sharing a moment in time with a child from the Fresh Air Fund is a small gesture that can yield tremendous results for both that child and your family.
If you are interested or would like more information, contact Sam Bachman at (800) 367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.
NICOLE BYRNE NAVARRO