Fresh Air for Inner City Kids

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

It's giving kids a taste of the simple life. Fresh Air Fund kids from inner city areas arrived in the Valley to see what life's like in the country. WHSV found out why the program means so much to the kids and their hosts.

The Fresh Air Fund was started back in 1877 by a preacher in Philadelphia. Today, 5,000 kids stay for 10 days to two weeks in a rural setting, like here in Western Rockingham County.

"The people are really nice, we have a lot of fun, it's just a break from all the city stuff, confusion in the city," says 14-year-old Brooklyn resident Jasmine Little.

"It's such a worthy cause," says Steven Rhodes, a dairy farmer who's been a host for 22 years. "I've seen many times what it can do. I've heard a testimony of one girl that comes one time for just two weeks, and how it changed her life."

This is Jasmine Little's ninth year in the program. She loves coming here for the change of pace and the activities she couldn't do in the city.

"We go swimming fishing, camping," says Little. "We have cookouts, bonfires, things like that."

For his part, Rhodes says many of the kids don't realize how these trips affect them until later in life. He's glad he can provide them a change of scenery from the city life.

There are two other dates this summer for Fresh Air Fund visits. If you'd like to serve as host for a child, you can call (800) 367-0003.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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