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BURNT HILLS: Room to breathe

Frost-Cyrus also tries to impress on her five children how much Darian's city environment differs from their own.

"I show them pictures of a high-rise and tell them when Darian opens his door, it leads to a hallway," said Carol. "Here, he has immediate access to a sandbox and a swing set. He can walk out the door and have freedom to roam."

Frost-Cyrus was quick to point out they don't live in miles of rolling hills or at a lakeside setting stocked with sailboats and kayaks.

"We have a large yard, but it's all grass," she said. "We don't have horses or all kinds of play equipment; we're just a country family."

Frost-Cyrus grew up in Kingston next door to a longtime Fresh Air host family, and always planned to offer the same experience to her own children once they were old enough.

"I remember to this day having the boy, Terrence, at my house to play all the time when he came up from the city," said Frost-Cyrus. "Now with Darian, my kids call him their summer brother."

The Fresh Air fund is always looking for local families willing to open their homes to provide a breath of fresh air for a child by becoming a host family, since many kids are hoping to come upstate in August.

"We always have a greater number of children from the city looking for host families than there are willing families," said Olsen. "We do everything we can to encourage more people to volunteer."

Carol said she recommends hosting a child, and if you already have children, you won't need to look far for activities.

"It can be very simple; you don't have to plan things all the time," said Carol. "You just have to open your heart and your home and see how it goes."

For more information, contact Harald Olsen at holsen@freshair.org, or call (800) 367-0003, ext. 8901.""

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