Kids giving up NYC for a week of 'Fresh Air' in Carrboro

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ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Thursday, July 26, 2018

CARRBORO, NC (WTVD) -- Fresh off his bus ride from his home in New York City, 12-year old Tyshawn arrived in the Triangle on Wednesday night. For the next seven days, he's giving up life in the big city for small-town life with a family from Carrboro.

"So we're just offering a chance to have a little more outdoor fun and to see a different area," said Lillian Mindich, a volunteer with the Fresh Air Fund.

As a part of the Fresh Air Fund's Friendly Towns Program -- New York City youngsters are partnered with host families along the east coast and southern Canada.

It's a chance to run barefoot in a backyard, learn to swim or just catch fireflies (or lightning bugs, here in the South).

It's the fourth consecutive summer Tyshawn has come to stay with Mindich, her partner, Read Oakley, and her son, Benjamin.

For a 12-year old, leaving a city with 8.55 million people for a town with just 21,000 has its benefits.

"Like riding a bike. You can ride a bike in New York but it's not that safe in New York," Tyshawn said.

The Fresh Air Fund has provided these summer programs for New York City kids since 1877 -- nearly 2 million children have taken part.

And they're looking for new host families. You can register at