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Fairfield Family Welcomes a 'Fresh Air' Child

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Meg and Robert MacDonald have five children, ages 12 to 20 — for most of the year at least. Yet each summer for the past few years the Fairfield family has grown by one, turning their youngest twins into an “inseparable trio.”

The MacDonalds are a host family for the Fresh Air Fund. This summer they will invite Jason, an 11-year-old from New York City, into their home. The trip will mark Jason’s fourth summer in Fairfield.

“It has truly been a great experience," says Meg MacDonald. "I totally encourage it. I did it for the child, but I did it for my kids, too. It has been great for them in so many ways.”

The Fresh Air Fund is an independent non-profit that provides summer vacations to New York City children from low-income communities. Each summer, over 4,000 children visit families in rural, suburban and small-town communities across 13 states, from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

The MacDonalds say they signed up “to give someone an opportunity.” But they add that it doesn’t take much change on their part to provide fun for Jason. He enjoys the simple taste of a suburban summer: cookouts, going to the beach, playing tennis, and especially swimming in the MacDonald’s pool.

“Our first summer he wanted to go off the diving board so badly,” MacDonald says. “He would walk to the end of it every day, but always walk back. On the last day, he finally went off of it.  He was so proud of himself.”

To learn about becoming a host family, contact Martha Mintzer, the volunteer leader for the Fairfield County area, at 203-226-6627, or visit the organization's website.

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