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The Fresh Air Fund
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"The Fresh Air Fund"

Did the Fresh Air Fund start in 1877, as its history says? Or did it start in 1869?
I found that it began under William A. Muhlenberg in 1869. Dr. Muhlenberg (see the 1898 article below, a review of his biography) appears to have been a great citizen of New York, who added several reforms. If he deserves the “fresh air fund” honors, he should get them.
The Fresh Air Fund is known for taking city kids out to the country. It now operates in many cities, not just New York.
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In 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, an independent not-for-profit organization, was created with one simple mission — to allow children living in disadvantaged communities to get away from hot, noisy city streets and enjoy free summer vacations in the country.
When The Fund began, New York City was overflowing with poor children living in crowded tenements. Many of these youngsters were hit by a tuberculosis epidemic, and “fresh air” was considered a cure for respiratory ailments.
125 years ago, the Reverend Willard Parsons, a minister of a small, rural parish in Sherman, Pennsylvania, asked members of his congregation to provide country vacations as volunteer host families for New York City’s neediest children. This was the beginning of The Fresh Air Fund. By 1881, the work of The Fund was expanding so rapidly that Reverend Parsons asked for and secured support from The New York Tribune. By 1888, The Fund was incorporated as “The Tribune Fresh Air Fund Aid Society.” Today, Fresh Air continues to benefit from the support of the media with invaluable assistance from The New York Times.
The Fund’s tradition of caring provides children with a much-needed respite from the inner-city streets. Thousands of youngsters enjoy summer vacations with volunteer hosts or attend five Fund camps in upstate New York.
The simplicity of our program is its strength. Looking back to 1877, we can reflect on how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. The Fund began with a small group of youngsters heading for the country and went on to benefit more than 1.7 million needy children.
Do you play live?
Butta V is currently on Tour with John Legend, Common and De La Soul promoting his debut solo album, "Brand Spankin". www.buttav.com
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