FAIRMONT, W.Va. – As summertime and outdoor activities approach, so do opportunities to help children from the inner city enjoy the wonders of nature in the Mountain State.
The Fresh Air Fund is an organization which pairs up families from West Virginia – and 12 other states – with children from the five boroughs of New York City and gives the children the chance to spend up to two weeks in a country and outdoor setting.
Fresh Air Fund representatives for North Central West Virginia, Bob and Rachel Eubank, along with their four children, have been hosting a young man named Matthew, from Brooklyn, for 10 years through the program.
Eubank said this program is very important because it gives the children from the inner city the opportunity to get out and play in the green grass, barefoot and experience what we, as West Virginians, get to enjoy all summer.
“The program benefits the children because they get a chance to decompress and once they get used to being here, they can look ahead in life and not have to be afraid and look back at what’s behind them,” Eubank said. “It gives them absolute security once they get used to being here. They understand being here that you can play outside after dark or in your bare feet.
“There are fireflies to catch. There is so much to do that may not be safe to do in New York City. A lot of these kids have never seen real dark and one of the experiences they get here is seeing real dark…”