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Mountain State Families Host Inner City Kids For Summer
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on July 16, 2012 @ 9:24AM
Created on July 15, 2012 @ 6:40PM

A picnic was held for a group of kids involved in "The Fresh Air Fund" Sunday evening in Fairmont. 

This is a group started in 1877 to help low-income kids from inner city New York.  Each summer, for two weeks, kids from places like Brooklyn and Queens come to spend time with host families in the Mountain State. 

The program originally was started by a minister in a time when the streets of New York were so crowded, it caused a tuberculosis epidemic in children.  So, fresh air was thought to be the cure for it.

Today, the Eubank family is carrying on the tradition locally.  They heard an advertisement on the radio eight years ago to get involved in the program, and they haven't looked back since.  They've been host to the same child for that long.

Through this program, they give children who live in disadvantaged communities an opportunity to get away from the busy city streets, and enjoy the country way of life, so to speak.

The kids get to  spend time with other families,kids, and are exposed to new things.

Charlie Valdes of New York says," My favorite part is, I learn how to do fun stuff, like skip rocks and learn to swim."

Organizer Bob Eubank adds,"It really gives West Virginians a chance to break stereotypes by bringing little children in from New York,giving them a perspective that they wouldn't otherwise have.  You can take a child fishing,catch firefles,you know-anything you take for granted,those kids have never experienced."

If you would like to get involved in the program, visit www.freshair.org, where 1,7 million kids have participated since it's start up.

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