Host a Fresh Air Fund Child

LEWISBURG — Summer is quickly approaching and for families with children that often means going to the playground or swimming. Some children do not get these opportunities.

A non-profit group called the Fresh Air Fund is looking for families in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania to lend their homes and hearts to help.

Giselle and Linette Taylor smile when they talk about their best friend, Celeste. The girls showed us pictures of their friend who lives in New York City, but comes to stay at their house in Lewisburg every summer.

“Even though we aren’t related it’s almost like we are sisters,” Linette Taylor said.

“She’s grown up with us and it feels like now we’re having a cousin come visit,” Gabrielle Taylor said.

For the past seven years, the Taylors have been a host family for a non-profit organization called the Fresh Air Fund. The group offers free summer vacations to children from low-income families in New York.

“The Fresh Air Fund provides the transportation, medical insurance and liability for the host families. All we’re looking for is people willing to open up their hearts and their homes,” Fred Shappell said.

The Taylors say it doesn’t cost a lot of money to host a child.

“It’s another plate at the table. You don’t have to go to Disney. You don’t have to go to the beach. You go to the playground, you go outside, you ride bikes,” Gabrielle said.

“What the children are most appreciative of are the things we take for granted. Things like playing in the grass, swimming, fishing,” Shappell said.

The Taylors say welcoming Celeste into their family is an experience they would not trade for anything.

“When we were little it was always dress-up and picking raspberries and i really, it’s hard to remember a summer without her,” Giselle Taylor said.

This summer, the Taylor family in Lewisburg will welcome Celeste and another Fresh Air child.

For more information about how you can become a host for the Fresh Air Fund, click here.

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