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Children Experience Life Outside of New York City

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A small group of children arrived in Johnson City, Tuesday, to meet their volunteer families. Leaving behind NYC, these kids will discover life outside of the City's limits.

Through the Fresh Air Fund Organization, children from low-income communities in NYC are provided a once in a lifetime experience. Leave behind the city streets, and running barefoot through the grass of the countryside for two weeks.

"When I first came here there were activities that I didn't do, like swimming in the lake. I was scared, but I made a lot of friends," said Devon Sansculotte, 14.

Devon has been part of the organization for the past 5 years.  From living in the city that never sleeps to coming to the Southern Tier, he says the experience is quite the culture shock, but he is severely looking forward to his first zip-line.

Each summer thousands of children, like Devon, from ages 7-18, visit volunteer host families in rural areas. Fund representatives say, giving these kids an alternative lifestyle will provide valuable life lessons for their futures.

"You got to know both sides of life and if they just stay in the city all their lives they're not going to think there is anything outside of it," said Joan Hanrahan, Fresh Air Fund Representative.

If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer as a host family for these kids, or sign up a child for the program, you can visit their website for more information.