Welcome Camp Felix

Camp Felix, our overnight summer camp, is a magical place. For the children in our programs, the streets of New York City are often all they know – there often isn’t the opportunity to experience nature, much less spend a week in the woods at camp. Many are growing up in difficult circumstances – and lack the chance to just relax and be a kid.

Camp Felix, which we’ve operated in partnership with the Felix Organization since 2006, provides children and adolescents in the child welfare system with a rewarding overnight camp experience. Running in August for one-week sessions, our participants have the chance to attend a summer camp with their peers, make memories, learn new skills, explore new surroundings, and build self-confidence. Our current location – located in Sandyston, NJ – features swimming, boating, fishing, a ropes course, and more!

Like all of The Foundling’s programs and services, Camp Felix seeks to build community and forge support systems for those we serve. Campers and counselors form strong bonds that are reinforced through camp reunions and repeat visits – providing the children we serve with the confidence to reach for their dreams.

Meet our Camp Felix Campers

Meet Kenneth, a former Camp Felix counselor

Your support is essential to this work. Your gift this holiday season will allow us to continue bringing camp experiences and other essential programs to New York children and families.

Reïna Batrony, our Vice President of Community-Based and Education Strategies, was honored in City & State’s 2022 Responsible 100! This list recognizes New York business, government, nonprofit and advocacy leaders who embody the values of social responsibility in their work.

As Reïna states, “Social responsibility means long-term viability and sustainability that benefits society. It guides individuals’ and organizations’ responsibility to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to build toward independence.”

Read more on City & State

Anthony McQueen

Remember the excitement of moving out on your own? Many New Yorkers may never get the opportunity – but they will now thanks to you and thanks to The Foundling. While those growing up without support systems or with developmental disabilities may dream of having their own home, they often struggle to find clear pathways to achieve that goal.

Today, residents in our Supportive Housing programs are seeing their dreams of independence come true. Vital Brookdale, our first supportive housing complex, provides purpose-built apartments and on-site guidance for young people aging out of foster care and adults with developmental disabilities: two groups that often struggle to secure and maintain housing.

In the videos below, see the benefits of this unique approach!

Meet Anthony, one of Vital Brookdale’s new residents

Meet our Supportive Housing team: The Foundling’s ‘Dreammakers’

The Foundling is committed to providing opportunities like this for our community – but we can only do it with your help. Your gift this holiday season will allow more people like Anthony to reach their full potential.


In an op-ed published in NYN Media, Dr. Mel Schneiderman, Senior VP of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection, writes about how New York’s corporal punishment ban is crucial to kids’ mental health.

“As pandemic-related disruptive behaviors continue in schools, mental health supports are the answer,” writes Dr. Schneiderman.

Read more at NYN Media

Pix 11 recently reported on diet culture, and how the holiday season often brings out mixed messages regarding food – which can be harmful to children and teenagers.  Dr. Ruth Gerson, our Senior Vice President of Mental Health Services, made an appearance to provide insight on the impact this could have on developing minds – and what parents should do to promote a healthy relationship with food during this time of year.

Watch the video:

Read more on Pix 11

In a recent op-ed for The Hill, Shannon Ghramm-Smith – our Senior Vice President of Child Welfare and Behavioral Health – writes on the benefits of kinship foster care. Kinship care, where a family member serves as a foster parent,  often results in much better outcomes for children and families. While it’s underutilized and often inaccessible, Ghramm-Smith argues that Congress and state legislators should work to change this.

Read more at The Hill


Vital Brookdale

Pix 11 News reported on the opening of Vital Brookdale, our newest supportive housing complex. Watch the video report and meet Anthony McQueen, one of our residents.

Watch the video:

Read more on Pix 11

Vital Brookdale Ribbon Cutting

The New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal released a press release on the opening of the Vital Brookdale apartment complex. This new building – located in Brownsville, Brooklyn – was created as part of the Vital Brookdale initiative in partnership with The Foundling.

As Melanie Hartzog, our President and CEO, stated in the press release: “We are grateful to the administration for their partnership in helping create Vital Brookdale, offering opportunity and promise for the people and communities that The New York Foundling serves. At The Foundling, we continue to look for impactful ways to uplift youth aging out of foster care and people with developmental disabilities. We see Vital Brookdale as one example of many more to come that demonstrates the mutual good that stems from providing opportunities for our neighbors to reach their full potential. It’s been a true joy to watch our residents’ confidence grow as a result of having the resources necessary to succeed on their paths to independence.”

Read the full press release here


NYF AA22 Facebook

At The Foundling, we are committed to serving our community, and to continue the promise that the Sisters of Charity made to support our neighbors over 150 years ago.

As Melanie Hartzog, our President & CEO, recently shared:

“The New York Foundling is a place of inspiration, hope, transformation, and community. That is what drew me here – I was so impressed with the mission and vision of The Foundling, and its many opportunities to make a real impact in the lives of children, adults, and families.

Whether we’re supporting young people through and beyond foster care, providing families in Puerto Rico with early education services, or giving people with developmental disabilities the guidance to achieve their dreams, The Foundling transforms to support the communities we serve.”

This important work is only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters – and this Giving Tuesday, you can help us keep this legacy alive.

This Giving Tuesday, help transform lives. Here’s how you can make an impact in the lives of children, adults, and families in New York and Puerto Rico:

  • Donate: A donation provides support where it’s needed most!

$2,500 can furnish an apartment for 2 people living on their own for the first time

Doodle Den

$1,000 can fund 6 months of art therapy and community engagement for young people in foster care

$500 can provide a child abuse prevention workshop for 20 students

Camp Felix

$100 can sponsor a day of camp for a young person involved in the child welfare system

  • Give back on AmazonSmile: Visit AmazonSmile and choose The New York Foundling as your AmazonSmile charity. The Foundling will receive a portion of every dollar you spend – a simple way to give back as you shop online, at no cost to you!
  • Crowdfund for The Foundling: If you’re on Facebook, you and your network can easily support us! Visit our Facebook page and start a fundraiser to support the children, adults, and families in our programs.
  • Volunteer: Lend a hand this holiday season! Sign up for December volunteer opportunities here.
  • Make a Legacy Gift:  Include The Foundling in your estate plans, ensuring that our work continues for generations to come. Learn more here.

CBS reporter Hannah Kliger recently reported on ACS’s new College Choice program, which builds upon the work of The Foundling’s Fostering College Success Initiative to provide added support for students in foster care. The new program provides young people in foster care with additional funding that is applicable to any college or university in the nation – allowing them to pursue their college dreams – while continuing to provide access to tutors and career counselors from The Foundling.

In the report, she speaks to Sanjida Afruz, a current FCSI student, and Reïna Batrony, our VP of Community-Based & Education Strategies, about the benefits of this new program.

Watch the video below:


Read more on CBS New York