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April 01, 2020

Supporting Youth and Families – No Matter What

A letter from our Executive Director, Gary Clemons.

Thank you to all who have reached out to ask about the needs of the children and families we serve. We hope you are staying safe and well, and we are overwhelmed by your care and generosity. Our incredible team of professional mentors is working around the clock to ensure that our consistent presence in our Achievers’ lives is not interrupted. This includes:

Enriching Activities: Friends are providing structured academic support and spending quality time with youth leveraging technology. Friends and Achievers are participating in creative remote outings such as Read Alouds and cooking. They continue to focus on our Core Assets such as Problem Solving, Self-Determination, Hope and Self-Management, which have assumed heightened importance as our Achievers navigate this "new normal."

Collaborating with Parents and Caregivers: Friends are regularly connecting with parents to create and support new routines for their Achievers. They are focused on ensuring that caregivers are not operating in isolation by connecting with them to provide emotional support.

Basic Needs Assistance: Friends are regularly contacting parents and caregivers to find out what they need most in a quickly evolving situation and connecting them with resources and supplies, including food. They have already selflessly coordinated the distribution of donated food to dozens of families.

How can you help?

Financial Support: The communities we serve are likely to be most impacted by the crisis we are all facing. We must continue to support them, and so we are asking you, if you can, to please consider making a gift to support our shared continued investment in our Achievers, their families and communities.

Our Friends are on the front lines of caring for the New York City children and families most in need, those who were already fighting to break the cycle of poverty. Our youth and families need us now more than ever.

A Friends NY corporate supporter has agreed to match any increased or new donations made to friends up to $100,000 over the next three months!

It is essential that we raise an additional $200,000 by June 1st so that we can continue to serve the children and families that are part of the Friends–NY community and ramp up our services to respond to the greater struggles they will face. Your gift will enable us to respond to pressing needs as they emerge.

Gifts can be made through our website or via check mailed to:

PO Box 1649
New York, NY 10026

Provide Technology Supplies: Many of our families are in need of new or gently used laptops or tablets that will enable children to continue to participate in school and connect to the world outside of their homes – including the ability to regularly connect with their Friend.

Send Care Packages: We are also accepting care packages for families. These should be packaged so that each care package can be given directly to an individual family. Items should be new and chosen from our List of Needs.

Spread the Word: Share this message with at least three people who may be able to provide support to our youth and families.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we were forced to cancel our May 5th benefit. Funds typically raised at this event are critical to the essential supports that we provide to youth and their families. For those who have already made gifts to the benefit and have asked us to turn them to 100% tax-deductible donations, we thank you.

For those of you who can, we cannot thank you enough for stepping up at this time. It will be because of you that our youth and families will persevere. To our entire community of supporters, you are in our thoughts.

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