It may be your summer holiday, but at Friends of Karen, a non-profit that helps children battling cancer and their families, it’s Back to School time! Boxes filled with new backpacks, notebooks, markers, pencils, erasers, gift cards, etc. are being packed up and sent out to more than 850 Friends of Karen children so they can begin the new year happily and successfully.
“When we received the school supplies today the look on the kids’ faces…the excitement, it brought a little ‘normal’ back to us and for that we will forever be grateful,” says one mom.
Friends of Karen supports families who are struggling to stay afloat financially and emotionally while caring for their child with a life-threatening illness. Parents say how shattering it is to go into a store and see healthy children, so excited about the new year, choosing their school supplies while their own child is in the hospital, uncertain about what the next day will bring. Parents often agonize between buying new school supplies for their “well” child or paying their ill child’s mounting medical expenses. Imagine being faced with that decision.
You can help by participating in the Friends of Karen Back to School Program. You can give these parents peace of mind that their children will be prepared for school and provide the children with that good feeling of heading back to school wearing a new outfit and carrying crisp notebooks and sharpened pencils.
And it’s so easy. Here’s how you can help:
- Drop off or send new backpacks (for all ages), $25 gift cards (to Staples, Target, Old Navy, Macy’s), 3 ring binders, filler paper, composition books, washable thin markers to Friends of Karen, 118 Titicus Road, North Salem, NY 10560. And if you shop on Amazon, be sure to visit www.FriendsofKaren.org, scroll all the way to the bottom of the homepage and click on the Amazon logo. Friends of Karen will then receive a percentage donation directly from Amazon.
- Visit www.FriendsofKaren.org/gifts-for-children for more details.
Friends of Karen’s mission is to help families with a child battling cancer or another life-threatening illness in NY, NJ and CT. The organization is unique in that it customizes the assistance they provide. When a child is seriously ill, it affects the entire family so Friends of Karen social workers work with each family member. This includes child life specialists and creative arts therapists who provide sibling support to the other children in the family. Treatment can last many months or even years, but Friends of Karen is there with an individualized program of emotional, financial and day-to-day practical support. No family is ever the same after a diagnosis like this, but they can remain strong and functioning if they are not alone. Friends of Karen is there every step of the way.
For more information about Friends of Karen, visit www.friendsofkaren.org or call (914) 617-4042.