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We all strive to impact our communities in a positive light. But sometimes it may feel daunting to find the perfect opportunity.  At The Foundling, there are myriad of ways to get involved and help out! In this 3-part series, we will share how a little bit of time and energy can make a huge difference for the 30,000 children and families served by The Foundling each year.

 

  • Young Mothers Support: Help care for young children and babies while their mothers are working or completing their schoolwork.
  • Build Baby Bundles: Assemble care bundles with necessities for new families; include items like diapers, wipes, bottles, new clothes & infant formula. (This is a great opportunity for groups!)
  • Host Your Personal Baby Shower & Donate: Are you having a baby? Congratulations! It’s exciting and fun to celebrate the birth of a baby with a baby shower but some moms having their second and third children feel that they do not need more supplies, clothing or gear. A great solution is to ask guests to bring new baby items for one of the babies in The Foundling’s care instead!
  • Foster Parent Appreciation: Support Foundling staff by helping to coordinate and manage the annual appreciation party, giving well-deserved thanks to foster parents in Foundling homes.
  • Join Our Lunch List: Share what you do with our kids! Host a Foundling teen for an afternoon at your office where they can experience firsthand the ins and outs of your professional life.

Interested in helping out? Please email volunteer@nyfoundling.org and keep an eye out for the next segment in this series for more opportunities!

Employees gathered at 27 Christopher Street, once known as The Vincent J. Fontana Center for a movie “under the stars” as a last hurrah and final goodbye to the beloved building and all it encompassed. Foundling staff brought blankets and pillows from home and settled in to watch Home Alone 2 and enjoy a low-key evening with colleagues.

 

Dr. Mel Schneiderman and Sister Carol remarked about the history of 27 Christopher Street. Though the building itself was built in 1911, it was established as The Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection in 1999 by The New York Foundling to honor Dr. Fontana’s contributions to the field of child abuse prevention. 27 Christopher Street also served as a Catholic Elementary School, a nursing school and in its later years, it served as a multi-purpose office and meeting center for many of the Foundling’s staff from varying programs and departments.

 

Though 27 Christopher Street is officially closed, the love, strength, and passion to aid underserved children & families lives strong in our staff and the community.

It’s officially the holiday season and The Foundling is celebrating throughout the month of December with cheer! In this two part series, we’ll highlight the ways different programs are getting into the holiday spirit.  It’s been inspiring to see so much joy, love and generosity demonstrated by employees, clients and volunteers.

 

Starting off the celebrations was the Junior Board Holiday party on December 9 at Fiddlesticks Bar. Fiddlesticks is a friend of The Foundling and have hosted events in the past.  It was a fantastic evening to socialize and enjoy the merriment of friends during the holidays.

 

On December 10, Macy’s decorated and hosted the Crisis Nursery’s holiday party. Families and children of the Foundling gathered for a catered dinner and everyone received personalized gifts delivered by Santa himself! Stevan Ridley and Bilal Powell from the New York Jets stopped by to visit and take pictures with the kids! There was also a concert from the Lee Strasberg Youth Choir that filled the room with Christmas carols.

 

100 children and families from The Foundling’s Deaf Services program enjoyed a special holiday breakfast on December 12. Children visited Santa and were given gifts donated by the generous employees of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

 

Also on December 12, 50 families and children from our Foster Care programs were treated to a wreathe decorating party at PJ Clarke’s Sidecar and enjoyed a lavish brunch. Kids picked out a real evergreen wreaths donated by Starbright Floral Design and decorated them with tinsel, bows and ornaments.  Junior Board members, Foundling board members and PJ Clarke’s staff volunteered to help facilitate the decorating. The beautiful, creative, and unique wreaths made by the children will be on display at PJ Clarke’s all holiday season long.

 

Help us spread holiday cheer! If you are interested in participating in the Foundling’s holiday spirit, please visit www.nyfoundling.org/donate . There are so many ways to give back to the Foundling community this holiday season!

 

COMING UP: Holiday Season at The Foundling Part II: Haven Academy’s presentation of The Nutcracker, The Foundling’s Staff Holiday Party, Santa Bob, We Work Holiday Party, and much, much more!

 

By Bill Baccaglini, President and CEO, The New York Foundling 

 

Picture yourself at home for the holidays, the smells of dinner coming from the kitchen, the sound of laughter throughout the house, family members on the sofa watching TV. Perhaps old friends are coming by for a visit – maybe gifts will be exchanged. You’re surrounded by people who love you.

 

Now imagine that none of that exists. Imagine how that would feel. Imagine how that would impact a child.

 

The New York Foundling has placed thousands of children in stable and loving foster homes over our long history. Brett is one of these young people. In foster care for many years, he found it hard to form long-lasting relationships and became weary of trusting adults. As he transitioned into different foster homes, he started to believe that parental-figures never stuck around for long.

 

Then he was placed with Juliana and everything changed. Juliana, who believes that in a family, “you’ve got to be there for each other no matter what,” and that family means “love, caring and support,” was finally able to give Brett the home he always needed. He calls Juliana mom and views her as his one and only mother. He has “aunts” and “uncles” and a family that treasures him as much as he treasures them.

 

Today, at age 20 and in college, Brett feels that family “doesn’t have to be blood. Family is a bond you share with an individual, or many individuals.” “When I was younger,” he says, “when I heard the word family, I used to envy it. Now when I hear the word family, it just brings a smile to my face.”

 

Brett and his foster family have a great deal to be thankful for this holiday season.

 

For those of us who work at the New York Foundling, the holidays are an extraordinary time. We all feel blessed to be able to look at young people like Brett and realize that we’ve made a difference in his life. Whether it involves children in the foster care system, or young people caught up in the juvenile justice system, or families in crisis, The Foundling works every day to make children safe, to keep families together and to give youngsters a better future.

 

But this holiday season, our minds and our hearts turn to the many children who still need our help. Every day, we hear tragic stories of abuse and neglect, of adults with serious issues whose children are suffering. We see young people failing in the educational system and ending up in the criminal justice system – or homeless, or on drugs.

 

As we gather with our own families this holiday season, I hope you will join me in recommitting to doing more to help the many children and families who are not as fortunate as us. 

 

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

 

The generosity of our friends & donors allow us to continue to fulfill our 146-year-old mission of empowering children & families throughout New York & Puerto Rico. Thank you for investing in these efforts with a gift to our annual appeal. Together, we can empower New Yorkers to build their own successful & happy futures. Click the link to make a donation: /donate/

 

 

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® will receive The Foundling’s Corporate Citizenship Award at its first annual Fall Fête on November 19.  The event will take place at The NoMad in New York City and Mike Pedersen, President and CEO of TD Bank, will be on site to accept the award.

 

TD Bank has been a supporter of The Foundling for many years. They have taught students at Haven Academy about financial literacy through their WOW!Zone program and will continue to support The Foundling’s educational services to ensure our kids receive the support they need to excel academically. We can’t wait to honor TD Bank at Fall Fête so we decided to share five reasons why we love them on our blog!

 

  • TD Bank has a commitment to education and community-building—they have frequently visited Mott Haven Academy—The Foundling’s charter school for kids involved in the child welfare system.
  • Much like The Foundling, TD Bank believes that every person should have a place to call ‘home.’ In addition to their work in the community and with kids, TD Bank supports programs that provide safe, clean and accessible housing for older adults.
  • They are as ‘green’ as their logo! From paper consumption to their carbon footprint, TD Bank and their employees value the environment and make every effort to keep our air clean and trees green.
  • TD Bank puts their employees first. From helping families adopt to tuition assistance to a wellness program, TD Bank knows that providing good service starts from within.
  • TD Bank grew up with The Foundling! They were founded in 1855 as TD Bank Group. Over the last 150 years, they have grown from a single-branch bank serving grain millers and merchants to a major financial services company.

 

Tickets, digital advertisements and sponsorship packages are still available for Fall Fête and can be purchased here.

Congratulations and kudos to the approximately 30,000 people who participated in Sunday’s 14th annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk!  At the finish line, participants are greeted with cheers, smiles and giveaways from volunteers, and this year, from The Foundling’s staff and Junior Board as well. Among the giveaways were temporary tattoos which displayed The Foundling’s iconic “huggy” logo in bright red. Armed with spray bottles and other supplies, volunteers were busy all morning helping runners and walkers debut their tattoos and passing out information on the work that we do.
 
This annual event is now in its 14th year and was created to honor the heroic life and untimely death of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who lost his life on 9/11 after strapping on his gear (more than 60 lbs) and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.  
 
Staff at the 2013 Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk
Staff at the 2013 Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk
 
 
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is an organization that supports victims of 9/11, families who lost their loves ones in the attacks, local children who have lost a parent or both parents, and veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Tunnel to Towers is a longtime friend of The Foundling and we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend this event and demonstrate our mutual support!
 
Staff and volunteers from The Foundling look forward to this event each year. It’s a chance to connect with fellow New Yorkers and answer questions about the programs and services The Foundling provides across New York City. Many thanks to the Siller family and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation for including The Foundling in the finish line festivities this year!

SAVE-THE-DATE: Interested in joining The Foundling’s Junior Board? Come to an information session on October 5 where you can meet current members, ask questions and learn more about the work we do to support children and families throughout New York City.

 

Last weekend The Foundling launched its new Digital Inclusion Program which will help narrow the digital divide that exists between foster youth and their peers in New York City. Computer classes were held at The Foundling’s West Village Location and will take place throughout the fall.  Each participant receives a free computer and Internet access in their homes for four years.

 

Less than 50 percent of former New York City foster youth are employed within four years of emancipation—and only 3 percent of foster kids nationwide graduate from college. These are startling facts and something must be done to stop this cycle. For this reason, The Foundling has chosen to focus its efforts on digital inclusion through two unique programs.

 

The first program is available to foster youth ages 12+ and teaches basic computer and internet skills. Foster parents are encouraged to participate as well, and can use these newly acquired skills to enhance their own digital and tech abilities. The program includes a series of three classes which consist of a curriculum developed by The Knowledge House, a Bronx-based, tech organization. This program will empower foster youth and give them the tools they need to excel in school and beyond.

 

The second initiative is a workforce development program for highly motivated youth interested in technology. The Foundling will identify candidates from eight foster care agencies (collectively serving more than 40 percent of the New York City’s foster population) and enroll them in one of three tech vocational organizations: Per Scholas, Year Up or General Assembly.

 

Benefits of this program include: a laptop computer, access to tutors knowledgeable in their course content, opportunities for mentorship with professionals in technology, a peer support group, access to social service supports (e.g., help with housing needs, child care, relationship difficulties, etc.) and enhanced job placement services.

 

“Our first-of-its-kind workforce program aims to close the tech employment gap with young adults who face huge barriers to finding jobs, who bring unexplored ideas and experiences to tech and who are motivated to work hard in this field,” said The Foundling’s Chief Operating Officer, Bethany Lampland, who developed both pilot programs.

 

Want to learn more? Check out this article about our new program which was featured in Metro New York.

From the 56 applications that were submitted, The New York Foundling was one of only ten organizations selected to move on to the second phase of the 2015 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

 

“Congratulations to the ten semifinalists. They represent the best in nonprofit management and other organizations stand to learn much from them, which is exactly the point of this awards program,” said Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust.

 

The Awards program has attracted more than 685 applicants from across the city and its suburbs over its first nine years. The Awards recognize outstanding management practices in eight key performance areas identified by thousands of nonprofit leaders across the country.

 

The eight areas of excellence are: management focus on results; strong governance; excellent financial management; diverse and culturally competent organizational practices; enlightened human resources; model IT practices; effective communications; and, exemplary fundraising and resource development.

 

Click here to read a press release issued by The New York Community Trust.

It was a blast at the Healthy Families Picnic in Staten Island last week when family, friends and supporters gathered to enjoy a sunny day while celebrating themselves and their community. 

 

Throughout the afternoon there were so many activities to choose from: Arts and crafts, face painting, basketball and running through water sprinklers! Together, with observing a Native American drum circle and having the opportunity to climb a Rock Tower Wall provided by the NYPD, there was so much to do and see! The Healthy Families Picnic was made extra memorable by our special supporters Fidelis Care, KTU and the NYPD–we couldn’t have done it without them! But what made the day particularly amazing were all the astounding families that were there to have a good time!

 

“Our families have stated that this is a wonderful opportunity for the family to spend a fun day together, as well as for those who are more isolated to get out, meet people and learn some of the services available in the community,” – Dorothy Gordon, Healthy Families Supervisor at The Foundling.

 

Other annual events coming up are our Pumpkin Picking Adventure (in costume) and a Christmas Party! We also will be providing trips to see Elf and Disney On Ice.