Much has happened this past year and amid the many historic challenges, The Fresh Air Fund reimagined what summer could look like. As NYC became the epicenter of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, we knew that children would need the opportunity to be outside in fresh air, play and enjoy the magic of summer. Through creativity and commitment, the Fresh Air team made the impossible possible knowing the power of summer and its connection to healthy childhood development.
We stood by – and will always stand by – NYC children. We were able to create a strong community across all of our programs with collaboration, partnerships, the generosity of our supporters and the trust of our children and families.
With a reimagined summer at The Fresh Air Fund, there was much that brought endless smiles to my face. After months spent inside, I watched NYC children playing safely in their own neighborhoods at Summer Spaces program sites across the city. I witnessed NYC families enjoying time together simply relaxing in nature at our camps on Family Wellness day trips. I joined children in our virtual day camp for a Zoom visit to the farm at the Sharpe Reservation, and I heard amazing final presentations from our teens who participated in virtual summer learning academies.
Children are truly the unseen victims of the pandemic and as we look forward, we know we have a lot of work ahead. We’ve seen the start of much needed change and of a dialogue around racial justice. As an organization, we’ve started to engage in understanding the actions we need to take to become an anti-racist organization and to ensure equity is at the core of our work across the organization. We will continue to uplift and invest in the lives of our young people and ensure they have access to enriching summer experiences and youth development programs.
Our work would not be possible without our generous supporters and partners. Thank you for standing by NYC children with us.
With hope and great appreciation,