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

Crisis Nursery

Affordable childcare is at once one of the most tantalizing promises of contemporary American life, and the most broken. Our modern economy cannot function without a system for the nurturing of our youngest citizens—as of 2017 there were nearly 15 million children under 6 in this country with all available parents in the workforce. But for everyone except the very wealthy, childcare is ruinously expensive.

Read more, including a mention of our Crisis Nursery, at TIME.

Christina Young

Christina Young is one of a fraction of foster youth that make it all the way through to college graduation with a bachelor’s degree. Only 50% of foster youth graduate high school by the time they turn 18. Those that do graduate often do not fare well in college. Only 20% go on to post-secondary education. The numbers vary, but experts say that 1 to 11% finish their degree.

As a foster youth over 21, Young had been part of a pilot program called the Dorm Project. It offered a solution to one of the biggest problems facing foster youth: stable housing. It allowed Young and a few dozen other students to live in their dorm rooms all year. When other students went home for break or holidays, Young could stay in her room without having to navigate the complicated foster care system and worry about finding a new temporary home to live in until the semester went back into session.

Read and watch more at Youth Today.

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

“Of the more than 25,000 children in foster care in New York state, some 3,500 are waiting to be adopted. But legislation that passed the state Assembly and Senate in June could make it much harder for these children to find permanent homes.

Introduced by Bronx Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner, the Preserving Family Bonds Act would let birthparents whose rights have been terminated by the court apply to visit their children. They would be entitled to a hearing to argue that their continuing contact is in the child’s best interest…”

Read more, including insight from our President & CEO Bill Baccaglini, at The Wall Street Journal here.

Written by Foundling Guest Blogger, Christina, a Graduate of The Foundling’s Road to Success Program.

My recent semester at Johnson & Wales University was a memorable one, and getting ready to transition from a college Sophomore to a Junior is difficult, emotional, and exciting—all at the same time.

This past semester I began to meet with my academic advisors and they helped me plan the classes I will take over the next two years at school. It’s hard to believe that I’ve now completed two years…I’m halfway done with school, and it’s gone by fast.

Sophomore year was trickier compared to my Freshman year, which is what I expected, so it didn’t come as a surprise. My Abnormal Psychology course was quite intense, and required study time to keep up with the fast pace and new concepts. I was thankful for my Criminal Courts and Deviance classes, however. I learned so much in these hands-on courses, and even got to visit a juvenile facility!  I’m glad I was able to stay motivated, no matter how difficult a class may have gotten, or how difficult a professor may have been.

One thing I can say for certain: I remained focused on my goals and knowing that I completed two years! This has kept me excited for the rest of my college path, and the remaining classes I need to take towards my major in Criminal Justice.

The Foundling has stayed by my side for these past two years, and throughout my adolescence, and I know they continue to support me as I continue to grow and learn. I can’t wait to look back when I’m older at what I was able to accomplish, despite the challenges I had growing up in foster care. Today I have a great relationship with my foster family, and I’m in close contact with members of my biological family too—which is really special and important to me.

This summer is going to be really busy, and the work doesn’t stop. I am interning with The Foundling for a second summer, this time with the Human Resources Team as a Project Assistant (last year I interned with the Business Operations Team).  I can’t wait to learn about the different areas of recruitment, benefits administration, and other HR practices. These are skills I can bring back to campus at Johnson & Wales to continue my success.


The Foundling’s Road to Success program is a tutoring program especially for high school students who are in foster care. Watch this video story to learn more about Road to Success and how our wrap-around education services empower students to succeed in high school and beyond.

Written by Foundling Intern and Guest Blogger, Lattisha M.


The Foundling is proud to now operate and run the city’s Staten Island Community Partnership Program (which became official earlier this year!). Each year, the program hosts an annual Fatherhood Family Fun Day and Resource Fair. Saturday marked the 9th year of the event and hundreds of families attended, including adoptive parents and foster parents.


Over 40 community partners and city agencies participated and included the following organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC; Families on the Move of NYC, Inc.; Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus; The New York Public Library; Primerica Financial Service; RUMC Head Start, Literacy Inc; Healthcare Education Project; ACS’s Family Assessment Program and their Safe Sleep Initiative; Public Health Solutions Nurse Family Partnership Program; and CABS Homecare.  Thank you to these partners, and everyone else who joined us!


Resources and giveaways were distributed to families and kids—with special items for all of the dads and male role models who attended—and everyone enjoyed games and activities. New York’s radio station, Hot 97, also helped to promote this community event and encouraged attendance across all of Staten Island!


Other attractions during this signature event included a bounce house, face painting, a fitness demonstration, a magic show, and a presentation of an FDNY smoke house (and a demonstration on what to do in case a fire breaks out in your home). The Staten Island Zoo was also in attendance with their outreach table and live animals.


The New York Foundling officially became the backbone organization for the Staten Island Community Partnership Program (SICPP) to work in partnership with the New York City Administration of Children’s Services, Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships to support and strengthen opportunities for children, families, and multi-generational Staten Island residents.


Written by Foundling Intern and Guest Blogger, Liam M.


The men and women involved with The New York Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities program and services have been taking advantage of community activities and events across the city and surrounding counties. And with summer around the corner, including longer and warmer days, the best is yet to come!


Below is a roundup of some of the exciting ways our individuals are keeping busy, and putting into practice the skills they’ve been working on in recent months with their advocates, coaches, and mentors. Together, they’re setting and achieving goals centered on independence, as well as teamwork and relationship building with others.


  • In May, a group of residents based in the Bronx mastered art classes, using different materials and style of paint—like water color and acrylic—to express themselves through artwork, building the techniques and skills to become better painters!
  • A field trip to Old Tapan took place recently where our individuals were able to take the front seat of Go-Karts, and enjoyed the outdoor air and wind driving on the tracks with their house managers and the Direct Support Professionals who provide care for them at home.
  • Last week, hundreds of men and women from The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities Division attended an annual basketball tournament in Nyack, NY. There were several different teams competing and players enjoyed the drills to help them prepare. Staff from The Foundling served as coaches, referees, and scorekeepers—and the sidelines of the court were filled with cheerleaders!


More events are underway this summer for the men and women in The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities Division—as well as our other program areas. To learn more and get involved, please email events@nyfoundling.org.


Written by Foundling Intern and Guest Blogger, Liam M.


As students at The New York Foundling’s charter school, Mott Haven Academy wrap up classes for the year, they are still taking the time to enjoy once of a lifetime opportunities, including field trips and activities to help them learn about teamwork, setting and achieving goals, and applying what they’ve learned in the classrooms to real-life experiences.


Here is a recent roundup of what our students ‘scholars’ have been able to achieve in recent weeks:

  • Middle school students were invited to watch the New York Jets take the field for a pre-season practice. Watching an NFL team run drills, sprints and other activities was a blast for the students as they got to see some of their favorite football players. Thank you to the New York Jets for providing our students with an unforgettable experience!


Kids Meeting the NY Jets

Students waiting eagerly to meet their favorite Jets players!

  • 5th graders went on an exciting field trip to Club Getaway in Connecticut to celebrate all of their achievements in the classroom over the past year. Throughout the day, the students were challenged with a multitude of entertaining activities and sports. This was a great bonding experience for the kids as they learned how to develop a sense of community with one another, and encouraged each other to overcome tough obstacles.  Mott Haven Academy would love to thank Club Getaway for providing the children with an exhilarating day in the outdoors.
  • 4th graders performed an impressive ballet recently which told the story of the American Revolution. The students prepared for weeks and learned the techniques and skills of ballet from experts at the Art of the Dance World Academy. Learning the art of ballet as they studied the American Revolution added an element of excitement and passion to the curriculum, tying together history and dance. Special thanks to the Art of the Dance World Academy for providing input and guidance on this incredible performance.


Ballet of American Revolution

4th graders performing their ballet of the American Revolution

  • Mott Haven Academy scholars visited the Met Opera House on the Upper West Side to watch a dress rehearsal of Whipped Cream performed by the American Ballet Theater. Prior to the event, students took advantage of a beautiful day and had a picnic lunch in Central Park. Thank you Met Opera House and the American Ballet Theater for providing the students with an entertaining and impactful day!


Lincoln Square Fountain with Kids

students at the Revson Fountain in Lincoln Square

  • Haven’s middle school students visited Governor’s Island to learn about farming! The students had an awesome and insightful day as they learned different techniques, skills and approaches to farming and agriculture. Mott Haven thanks the staff members at Governor’s island for teaching the students about farming!


Students taking in the atmosphere on Governor’s Island

Students taking in the atmosphere on Governor’s Island

As the 2018-2019 school year is coming to a close, The Foundling would like to applaud and celebrate the teachers, staff, and students at Mott Haven Academy for another successful year! For more updates, please visit Haven Academy’s Facebook page!


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 www.nyfoundling.org/150anniversary