August 17, 2023 Category: Our Programs

Friendly Towns Spotlight: A Week with the Picciolo Family 

The Picciolo family, from Marlborough, Connecticut, first learned about The Fresh Air Fund through an online search when they were looking for volunteer opportunities. Host mom Sarah Picciolo shared she had volunteered in the past as a mentor and was looking for opportunities for her family to volunteer together. Fast forward… and this summer, the Picciolo family participated in the Friendly Towns program and hosted 8-year-old Priyah from Manhattan for the first time. 

“Our favorite part of hosting Priyah was doing some of the activities that we usually take for granted, things that we might overlook in the summer because we’re so busy with day-to-day life. It’s just the simple things,” said Sarah. “We all went on a bike ride together and made a point to do activities all together as a family instead of splitting up and doing them separately. We really enjoyed spending more time together.” 

Priyah, 8, enjoyed fishing for the first time!

This was a summer full of many firsts for Priyah and she was able to try many new activities during her visit. Host dad Mike Picciolo took Priyah fishing for the first time. She was so excited – and it also was an opportunity to have a new experience and step out of her comfort zone. 

“Priyah was really open to trying anything and was confident right from the start even though she had never been away from home before. She also went on a boat for the first time and had fun making s’mores. She was excited to try out everything!” said Sarah. 

Priyah and her Fresh Air siblings connected right away.

Volunteering as a host family helped the Picciolo family take time to slow down and appreciate more of the day-to-day time they spend together. “My family doesn’t always need to be doing something that’s really big every day, we don’t always need to have these major plans, we can just slow down and enjoy things like staying at home for the day or doing things right in town together as a family” said Sarah. 

Priyah and friends were full of smiles during their break for lunch!

The Picciolo family highly recommends to friends and neighbors that they should volunteer as a host family with the Friendly Towns program. “It’s going to be a positive experience for everyone.” 

Learn more about the Friendly Towns program and how NYC children and volunteer host families make special memories that last a lifetime!