MTA BTA 2019 2

At The Foundling, we strive to provide the support and resources to help our neighbors to live their best lives – and during the holidays, this means providing those we serve with the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the festivities of the season!

Thanks to the generous support of our corporate partners, community supporters, and donors, we were able to host a number of parties and events to bring holiday cheer to the children, adults, and families in our programs.

Here are just a few of the ways that the Foundling community has been able to celebrate together this December:

NYF Holiday LobbyManhattan Lobby Decorating with Macy’s

Every year, volunteers from Macy’s decorate the lobby at our Manhattan location for the holidays! The trees, ornaments, and other holiday decorations bring festive cheer to our staff and the children, adults, and families in our programs all month.


PJ Clarke's Wreath DecoratingWreath Decorating at PJ Clarke’s

Our annual wreath decorating event, sponsored by PJ Clarke’s in Lincoln Square, provided holiday cheer. Children in our foster care program and their families, as well as scholars from Haven Academy, enjoyed a breakfast buffet, exciting presents, and fun decorating opportunities!


Crisis Nursery Party 2019Crisis Nursery Celebration with Macy’s

Families who have been involved in our Crisis Nursery program throughout the year were invited for a night of family fun. This holiday party, sponsored by Macy’s, included a yummy dinner, temporary tattoos, a visit from Santa, music from holiday carolers, and presents!


Healthy Families SI Party 2019Healthy Families Staten Island Holiday Party

Healthy Families Staten Island invited the families in their program to a grand celebration – festivities included delicious food, an appearance by Santa, face painting, and gifts for the kids!


Jets Shopping Spree 2019Haven Academy Shopping Spree with the New York Jets

On Monday, a group of 30 scholars from Haven Academy received the experience of a lifetime – they were treated to a holiday shopping spree at Target by Brandon Copeland, linebacker of the New York Jets! The surprise event provided our kids with the opportunity to pick out great holiday gifts and enjoy dinner with Copeland and other Jets players.


DD Holiday Party 2019Developmental Disabilities Holiday Party

At our Developmental Disabilities Holiday Party, our participants and their families enjoyed a visit from Santa, a tasty meal, and other festivities!


TD Bank Holiday 2019TD Bank Celebration

TD Bank, one of our corporate partners, recently provided gifts for our scholars at Haven Academy, and invited the school’s top spelling bee champions to a festive celebration at TD’s office. Scholars received presents and books, shared their hardest to spell and favorite words, and enjoyed sweet treats with the TD team!


Deaf Services Holiday Party 2019Deaf Services Holiday Party

Our Deaf Services program hosted a celebration at our Manhattan headquarters, which included a visit from Santa, a catered meal, and holiday fun.



Santa Frank 2019Santa Frank and the City Santas at Haven Academy

An annual holiday tradition, Santa Frank and the City Santas visited Haven Academy, with gifts for our Haven Academy scholars.



MTA BTA 2019BTA MTA Gift Giveaway

Since the 1980s, the Bridge and Tunnel Association has organized a gift giveaway for our kids. This year’s event provided kindergarteners from Haven Academy with the opportunity to sing Christmas carols, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy presents!


Happy holidays from all of us at The Foundling!

Education Conference

Guest Post by Steve Alschuler

When The Foundling launched its charter school, Haven Academy, more than a decade ago, it marked the beginning of an effort to understand the educational needs of children in foster care and to develop measurable, replicable strategies for meeting those needs. Simply put, ensuring the future well-being of these children must include providing them with an adequate education.

The Foundling’s education conference on November 19 – “Safeguarding Their Futures” –  further placed the education of children in the child welfare system front and center. For a full day, experts from around the country convened to describe their own efforts and to share information about effective programs and research from New York and around the United States.

Made possible with support from the Conrad Hilton Foundation, this may have been the first conference of its kind, and we hope it’s not the last. Collaborating and brainstorming with other professionals, reviewing data and learning about effective programs, is essential if we are to raise education on the agenda throughout our child welfare system.

Education Conference - David Hansell

David Hansell, ACS Commissioner

ACS Commissioner David Hansell kicked off the event and set the tone right from the outset. “Education,” he said, “is central to everything we do at ACS.”

We heard about several promising new programs from Jess Dannhauser, President and CEO or Graham Windham; Julie Farber, Deputy Commissioner of ACS; and our own Jessica Nauiokas, Head of School at Haven Academy. Janis Avery, CEO of Seattle-based nonprofit Treehouse, described her organization’s goal of raising graduation rates among children in foster care to match those of the general population.

Education Symposium - Maryanne Schretzman

Maryanne Schretzman, NYC Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence

Jennifer Pokempner, Senior Attorney for the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, described the current state of federal law. And we heard a fascinating presentation of research findings from a panel that included Mark Courtney of the University of Chicago, Vanessa Xiemenes Barrat of WestEd, Amy Dworsky of Chapin Hall, and Maryanne Schretzman of the NYC Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence.

Those of you who are familiar with The Foundling’s work in this area may already know how our educational programming has grown beyond Haven Academy, providing coaches to high school students and partnering with ACS and CUNY on The Dorm Project, supporting the education and life needs of youth from the foster care system as they attend college on CUNY campuses. These programs have proven extremely effective – putting many kids on a trajectory toward a successful life.

Still, these programs are small compared to the overall population. Most children in the child welfare system are attending public schools that, through no fault of their own, are ill-equipped to deal with their unique challenges.  Only 9% of foster youth in middle school in New York City are proficient in math. Only 25% graduate from high school on time. Many change schools multiple times over the course of a school year as their addresses change.

Clearly, there is much to be done and many challenges ahead. All of us must keep this conversation going, continue supporting and conducting research, sharing information and collaborating with each other. This conference was an important milestone and we are proud to have been part of it.


Interested in learning more? View the full video of the conference below:

 Read more about our Education Programs here.

Youth Today Education Conference

Nine percent of foster youth who are in middle school in New York City are proficient in math compared to approximately 40% citywide. Only 25% of students in foster care graduate from high school on time compared to 45% citywide.

These were just a few of the numbers shared and discussed by education and foster care professionals from around the country at “Safeguarding Their Futures: Supporting the education of child-welfare involved children & youth,” a conference last week. They gathered at the New York Bar Association to share research and data gathering techniques and to brainstorm ways to collaborate across systems and agencies to make sure that youth in foster care get the education they need to succeed.

Watch the video and read more at Youth Today.

NY Foundling Gala

NY Foundling Gala TableOn Wednesday, October 2, The New York Foundling celebrated our milestone 150th anniversary with a show-stopping gala at The Plaza. Over 500 trustees, supporters, corporate partners, staff, and other friends of The Foundling joined us to reflect on our organization’s past, present, and future. The event raised over $1.1 million for The Foundling’s life-changing programs!

As our photo gallery shows, it was a special evening.

Hosted by NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan, the event commemorated The Foundling’s 150-year presence and lasting impact on the New York community.

Gregory Braca

TV personality Seth Meyers provided a virtual welcome, and our President & CEO Bill Baccaglini spoke about our history and current initiatives. An array of speakers, including Sr. Donna Dodge of the Sisters of Charity, Foundling Trustees Bob King and Nadia Owens, and Dorm Project participant Marangely, provided insight and context on The Foundling’s incredible legacy and impact. We honored Gregory B. Braca, President & CEO of TD Bank – a valuable partner with deep personal connections to The Foundling.

Two commemorative videos – covering our history and current impact – showed The Foundling’s long legacy of trusting in the power and potential of people.

The evening was capped off with a lively program auction, led by Ruth Maudlin, which allowed the crowd to support vital Foundling programs, and an online auction – featuring exclusive items and experiences – was introduced.

The Foundling owes its success over the past 150 years to our supporters and community – thank you for being part of our legacy.

While our 150th Anniversary Gala might be over, the fun continues! Here are some ways to celebrate with us:

View more photos from the Gala

Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

Watch our new videos: The History of the New York Foundling & Program Overview

Explore Volunteer Opportunities

Bill Baccaglini (President & CEO, New York Foundling), Gregory Braca (President & CEO, TD Bank) and Robert E. King, Jr. (New York Foundling Chairman of the Board) at NYF Gala

On Wednesday, The New York Foundling — one of the city’s oldest and largest social service providers — held its 150th Anniversary Gala, a sold-out affair attended by over 500 guests.

Read more at Medium

This past weekend, The New York Foundling celebrated its 150th anniversary with a host of events which included a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a Reunion Day at NYU’s Kimmel Center, and a Block Party Festival in Chelsea. The weekend was a great way for The Foundling to commemorate a century and a half of providing children, families and individuals with developmental disabilities with a dedicated support system.


The Mass, held on June 6, was celebrated by His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Along with the attendance of Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, many Foundling alums, orphan train descendants, Trustees, and Foundling staff members were involved with curating the ceremony as they participated in the procession, readings, and various other roles. Cardinal Dolan led the sermon and shared before hundreds of attendees, “The Foundling has always been a place of miracles.” He added, “The New York Foundling, since its inception in 1869, has always been an outlet for people in need to count on.” The ceremony was open to the public and was followed by a networking reception nearby.


On June 7, families, staff, alumnae, clients, friends and adoptees gathered at the NYU’s Kimmel Center to celebrate Reunion Day. In attendance were 100 attendees that were involved with various networking events throughout the day. Events included guest speakers, panel sessions, workshops, and other special topics. The list of events included “The Orphan Train Movement,” discussed by Shaley George (curator for The National Orphan Train Complex) and “Researching Your Roots,” which featured Maggie Dickinson (Lead tutor of After-school Allies), lllona Dixon (Records Department representative for The Foundling), and Greg Markway (Foundling Descendent, Author, and Psychologist). As well as, “Why the New York Foundling Survives,” examined by Mary Elizabeth Brown (Archivist at Marymount Manhattan College), “Foundling from Past to Present,” talked about by Valerie Russo (Chief Operating Officer of The Foundling), Sister Carol Barnes S.C. (Director of Mission Engagement of The Foundling), Carmen Jirau-Rivera (Chief Program Officer of The Foundling), and Jill Gentile (Senior Vice President of the Developmental Disabilities Division at The Foundling). To finish the event, Kevin Draper (Historian and Tour Director for New York Historical Tours) gave a detailed account of the “New York City History from 1869.” Also, many of the attendees participated in sharing their own affiliation with The Foundling and shared what makes this organization special.


The Final event of the weekend was the Block Party on June 8. The Block Party took place outside of our offices at 590 Avenue of the Americas and was an action packed day with over 1,000 attendees! Families and members of the Foundling enjoyed a day filled with music, entertainment, food, and more. The event had food trucks (catered by Gorilla Cheese NYC, Green Gorilla Kitchen, and Gary’s Steak), face painting, games, and live music. Other vendors that helped provide a wonderful event for The Foundling included City Winery, The ACC (Animal Care Centers of NYC), UnitedHealthcare, MyHeritage, The Door, and the NYC Administration for Children’s Services.


More events to celebrate The New York Foundling’s 150th Anniversary will take place over the next few months, including the 150th Gala Celebration at The Plaza on October 2.


For more information go to  


The New York Foundling is proud to yet again be an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, happening Sunday, November 3rd. Tens of thousands of marathon runners will join Team Foundling in the 26.2-mile race that weaves throughout New York City’s five boroughs.


The Foundling has 5 guaranteed spots in the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon. We’re recruiting a dedicated team of runners to help us raise much-needed funds to support the children, youth, families, and adults served by The Foundling.


There are two ways to join Team Foundling:


  1. Enter to Become an Official Runner (5 spots available)

We guarantee your spot in the race, pay for your entry fees, and offer perks like fundraising support, team bonding opportunities, T-shirts, and more. If you earn one of these coveted spots on Team Foundling, you commit to fundraising at least $3,000 by October 2019.


These spots will be filled based on a drawing. The deadline to enter your name into the drawing is March 14, 2019.


  1. Become an Unofficial Runner

Already have a spot in the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon? You can make your efforts count even more by fundraising for the kids at The Foundling! Email us at the contact below to learn how.


To join Team Foundling, please contact Elena Walker at for more information and a chance to enter!


The New York Foundling’s Fall Fete 2018


The New York Foundling will be hosting our 4th annual Fall Fête on November 1, 2018 at the Metropolitan Club. Join us at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and special guests!


Tickets and sponsorships are on sale now! You can purchase them online here.


What We Are Celebrating


This year’s Fall Fête is a celebration of our innovative programs that enable youth in foster care to reach new heights with rigorous academic opportunities and empower individuals with developmental disabilities. This year we will be honoring Robert Farrell, former Foundling trustee, and the employees of UPS for their dedication and support of The Foundling and our mission to strengthen and improve the lives of children, youth, adults and families.


For more information about this year’s Fall Fête, click here. See you there!


Fall Fete Digital Invite 2018


Related post:


Mogul gives a snapshot of the 2018 Blue Party at The Bowery Hotel, which raised $140k for The Foundling’s programs for foster youth, including Camp Felix, Road to Success tutoring, and more. READ MORE

Get an inside-look at The Foundling’s annual Blue Party, which in 2018 raised $140k for its programs supporting youth in foster care. READ MORE