This summer one Farmingdale family did more than just take in the sun at the beach.
The Acevedo family participated in the Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit organization that provides summer trips to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities.
More than 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, 5,000 children visited host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states in the US.
The Acevedo’s have lived in Farmingdale Village for nine years. Diana is the owner of the Salon Per Lea and Frank is a tattoo artist.
Frank and Diana Acevedo opened their home to 10-year-old Louise from Brooklyn. The family learned of the fund through in Farmingdale, where their daughter Ellea attends.
“The flyer honestly just tugged at my heart strings and I thought it would be great for my daughter, who is an only child," Diana said.
Louise stayed with the Farmingdale family for 10 days. Children are selected to participate in the Fresh Air Fund’s programs based on financial need. Fresh Air youngsters are registered by more than 90 social service and community organizations in all five boroughs of New York City.
Louise is the youngest of nine children and she lives with her grandmother and grandfather in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn in an apartment with seven of her siblings.
“She was very brave to join our family for 10 days,” Diana said.
The Acevedo's gave Louise the experience of a “Long Island Summer.” The family went on trips to the beach, and restaurants and Louise and Ellea swam in friend's pools and played outside.
There are no financial requirements to host a Fresh Air child. The organization says most host families simply want to share their homes with those who don't share the amenities they often take for granted.