O P E N I N G Holiday Party –

Volume 4
Issue 2
Winter 2011
OPENINGDOORS
TO
C H I L D R E N
W I T H
S P E C I A L
H E A LT H C A R E
N E E D S
NAC
Holiday
Party –
a Great
Success!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
2
Letter from the Executive Director
3
Spanish-Speaking Parents Group
Artists’ Corner
4
Former Client Speaks
New Board Members
5
NAC Holiday Party
6/7
Celebrating Volunteers
8
NAC Gala
Grants at Work
Thank You Donors
Corporate Volunteers Support NAC’s Mission
“ NAC owes much of its success to generous volunteers who donate their
time, energy, and talents to help our children and families. We are especially
fortunate to have the support of almost a dozen corporations who send
teams of employees to volunteer at NAC events. Corporate groups come
with a cohesiveness and sense of purpose that make them enthusiastic and
effective. Many volunteers have expressed gratitude that their companies
provided them with a volunteer opportunity at NAC, and their positive
attitudes are evident in their work with the children. With the fellowship
and support of coworkers, they play games, face-paint, and help medically
fragile young people celebrate and enjoy life. All of us at NAC send a
special thank you to our corporate volunteers and the companies that
help us achieve our mission.”
J E S S I C A L U T Z K E , L M S W , Director of Volunteers, Community Relations & Training
NAC has many events throughout the year that depend on volunteer
assistance including the NAC December Holiday Party, the NAC Halloween
Party, and the NAC Kids Olympics. As this agency grows, it is increasingly
important that we can rely on teams of corporate volunteers to make these
events successful. C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 2
New Alternatives
for Children, Inc.
37 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
T 212.696.1550
F 212.696.1602
15 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
T 212.994.7940
F 212.994.3003
www.NacKidsCan.org
W H O W E A R E A N D H OW YO U C A N H E L P
Who We Are NAC’s comprehensive programs ensure that children with complex
medical/mental health conditions live in safe, loving and permanent birth, foster or
adoptive homes.
How You Can Help The rewards of getting to know NAC children and families are
extraordinary. For information on volunteer activities, please contact Jessica Lutzke,
Director, Volunteers and Community Relations, at 212.696.1550 x230 or
[email protected]
You will find information about donations, NAC’s wish list, volunteer activities and how
to become a foster parent at www.NacKidsCan.org
OPENING
DOORS
PAG E
2
New Alternatives
for Children, Inc.
B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S
President
Virginia Aaron
Vice Presidents
John R. Cannell, Esq.
Jonathan A. Knee
Patricia S. Levinson
Andrew P. Mezey, MD, MS
Secretary
Barbara R. Rauch, LCSW
Treasurer
Louis Lipschitz
President Emerita
Elizabeth S. Pforzheimer
Diane Abbey
Terri D. Austin, Esq.
Bryan Beller
Pascal Desroches
Vivian Farah
Alan R. Fleischman, MD
Robert L. Friedman
Jill Sabin Garner
Susan G. Gevertz
Carol Gutman
Peter R. Haje, Esq.
Joseph R. Ianniello
Ronald Iervolino
Thomas A. Jarecki
Mark N. Kaplan, Esq.
Meryl R. Kaynard, Esq.
Fern June Khan, MSW
Robert D. Marcus
Adam L. Miller
Thomas Newman
Eugene A. Pinover
Sanford B. Prater
Eric J. Rosen
Glenn Rufrano
Meryl Sherman
Susan M. Slater, MSW
Alma T. Young, MSW, Ed.D.
Advisory Directors
Margaret Grey, Dr. P.H.
K.D. Hendricks-Muñoz, MD
Sandra Lerner
Cecily Truett
Directors Emeriti
Iris Abrons
Dale G. Berger
Michael P. Gaertner
Louis Maloof
Wayland M. Mead, Esq.
Stephen Richardson, Ph.D.
Lorraine Tregde, MPA
Duncan Whiteside
Mary C. Wolf
Executive Director
Arlene Goldsmith, LCSW, Ph.D.
DOING BIG THINGS
Dear Friends,
A line in President Obama’s State of the Union Speech
made me think about NAC. He spoke about Center Rock,
the company whose employees worked around the clock
creating drilling equipment to rescue the miners in Chile.
After all 33 miners were saved, an employee said, “We
proved that Center Rock is a little company, but they
do big things.”
While NAC has grown considerably, we are still smaller
than many NYC child welfare agencies. We are, however,
DOING BIG THINGS. Our outcomes in safety, permanency
and well-being for our children and families are extraordinary. Young adults have entered college and others are
graduating with Master’s degrees. 75% of NAC parents in
PIP (Partners in Parenting) are working or in school.
The current economy has impacted NAC families. Mental
health concerns in both children and families have significantly increased. Requests for basic necessities including
food, clothing and housing are at an all-time high. We have
expanded our food and clothing banks. Staff are addressing the lack of affordable, accessible housing. We continually assess how we can best support our families to meet
their emerging needs; in response, we have expanded our
Mental Health, Education, Nursing and Quality Assurance
Departments. New groups have been added to our wide
array of support and therapeutic programs.
The variety of indispensable supports that NAC provides
every day offers security, safety, opportunity and newfound hope to NAC families. Thank you for your belief
in NAC as we continue to DO BIG THINGS!
Arlene Goldsmith, LCSW , Ph.D.
E X E C U T I V E D I R E C TO R
C O N T I N U E D F RO M PAG E 1
Corporate Volunteers Support NAC’s Mission
We have been fortunate to connect with young professionals who want
to make an ongoing commitment to a NAC child as a mentor – as a friend,
role model, and confidant. Their career advice is invaluable for our older
teens. Volunteers also accompany NAC children and staff to museums,
theater, movies, the beach, parks, and other outdoor events. Volunteers
have donated Yoga and dance classes, led programs on money management,
and provided make-overs for NAC teenagers. Volunteers may receive
matching grants or in-kind donations for NAC from their employers as a
result of their work with NAC. Employee groups and volunteers have
contributed generously to our food pantry and clothing bank. We welcome
new volunteers, both corporate and individuals, and new ideas for making
the NAC community more rewarding for all of us.
www.NacKidsCan.org
OPENING
Thank youVolunteers!
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PAG E
7
There is always so much to do around the Holidays
– NYC is brimming with parties, events, gift shopping,
and time with family and friends. So, when busy
New Yorkers spend the Saturday before Christmas
with NAC children and families, we know that these
volunteers are remarkable people, and that they are
having a great time.
This year more than 100 corporate and individual
volunteers from Accenture; Société Générale;
New York Life Insurance; Friends of Alexis Farah
and Arvind Singh; New Yorkers For Children Teen
Advisory Board; and Polo Ralph Lauren came to the
party, and we are deeply grateful for their participation.
Angel on a Leash provided pet-assisted activities.
The Jeunes Virtuoses de New York delighted families
with classical selections, and the amazing Ladies of
Elegance step-danced. As always, the volunteers
helped set up and run activities, joined the children
in games, danced, and assisted parents with their
children. We also received a wonderful response to
our web site’s Holiday Wish List, with more than
100 gifts coming in from all over the country from
individuals and corporations. We received gifts
from The Esteé Lauder Companies, Polo Ralph
Lauren, The Today Show and other companies.
Bloomingdale’s donated all the “Big Brown Bags”
which our families use to take home their gifts.
OPENING
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3
Pet Assisted Therapy
Adds Reading Aloud
Children can gain confidence and
improve their reading skills by reading aloud to a pet. The experience
is enjoyable and calming, and research
shows that children with attention
deficit disorder can improve their
ability to focus. NAC’s pet assisted
therapy sessions now start with each
child reading aloud for a few minutes
to the dogs – an appreciative and
totally non-judgmental audience.
Spanish-Speaking
Parents Group –
a Great Success!
¡ U N BU E N É X I TO !
When English is not a family’s first language, the challenges of
caring for a child with disabilities can be greatly compounded.
Language barriers are everywhere, but at NAC’s Spanish-Speaking
Parents Group, parents get answers to all their questions,
including questions about schools and homework; healthy food
preparation; housing, tenants’ rights and benefits; and understanding medical diagnoses and treatment. Parents also learn
to advocate for themselves and their children as they come to
understand better the systems they must confront. Jhoselin
Martinez, Recreation Specialist, and Dannet Ellis, Preventive
Services Social Worker developed the fall 2010 series to include
Artists’
CORNER
Attention Parents!
Parents in all NAC programs are
invited to attend the Parent Open
Art Studio. Take a break from your
everyday stress and get support
from others while creating jewelry,
sewing, knitting or painting. We
meet on Thursdays from 10:30 to
1:00 in NAC’s 6th floor conference
room. Call Linda Peck at
646.352.9074 to confirm
your attendance.
Spanish translations of new NAC materials. There was a schedule
of guest speakers from NAC staff, including Dr. Mike Vergara,
Pediatric Nurse Nydia Mendez, and Resource Specialist
David Shichman.
In just a few weeks, the results were tangible. NAC Educational
Specialist Joel Herrera successfully assisted a family in obtaining a
more appropriate classroom placement for their child. A mother
reported that, with recipes for foods that were not previously
familiar to her family, her four-year-old was eating new foods.
Parents reported more confidence in caring for their children
after discussions regarding diagnoses and treatments. The group
was so successful that all nine members asked to be included in
the spring series. There will be new parents as well, with more
sessions, and additional speakers, including Amy Pacifici, NAC’s
Vocational Specialist.
OPENING
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F O R M E R C L I E N T S P E A KS
N AC W E L C O M E S NE W B OAR D M E M B E R S
Dear Arlene,
Vivian Farah is retired from Saks Fifth Avenue where she was
the Vice President, DMM. She came to NAC with broad experience
in the non-profit sector. She has served on several boards and
fundraising committees including the Rye Country Day School,
Harmonie Club, Trinity School (Atlanta, Georgia), and Young
Audiences of Atlanta. She graduated from Wayne State University
in Michigan with a major in business. Vivian has been an active
member of NAC’s benefit committee. Her daughter, Alexis Farah,
has become an active volunteer at NAC as well, encouraging many
of her friends to volunteer at NAC events.
We know that the past passes by so
quickly, but we didn’t know that the
time passed by so quick that the
children have grown so much that we
have to leave the Agency. Of course in
some way we are happy seeing how this
showed that we have also grown as a
family, gaining new experience and learning new things. However, at the same
time we are feeling sad due to the fact
that NAC became a part of our family.
I can’t find the way to say THANK YOU
SO MUCH TO EVERYONE. As a Director,
you are very special to us. I give thanks
to the Health Department, Recreation
for Adults and Children Department,
and the Vocational Department. I am
also grateful for all the help that the
Educational Department had given us
from elementary to the transition to
college. Last but certainly not least,
I give thanks to all the Social Workers
throughout the years.
PAG E
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Tom Newman is a media executive focused on the digital space.
He is the President of Interactive One, the digital division of Radio
One, where he oversees sales, programming and the product. Most
recently, he served as AOL’s Senior Vice President of Network
Development. Mr. Newman graduated from Harvard College and
earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is involved in several
non-profit organizations, including serving as a Board Member and
Treasurer for Asphalt Green. Tom comes to NAC with a deep
empathy for our children with special needs.
We are delighted to have Vivian and Tom as part of the NAC
family. We deeply appreciate their experience and enthusiasm
for NAC’s mission.
NAC held its Third Annual Book Fair
on November 11, Veterans Day, which is
a holiday for NYC public schools. We had
over 1,400 donated books to distribute
to children and teens of all reading levels.
Along with a reading circle, reading sessions with therapy dogs, and interactive
reading activities led by volunteers, NAC
provided transportation, snacks for families
and food pantry give-aways; and informational materials for parents with pointers
on how to encourage children to read.
We would like to thank Scholastic, Inc.,
McGraw-Hill Companies, and Bluford
Books for their donations. Thanks to
Jessica Lutzke and Caroline Greig, who
joined NAC this past fall in the newly
created position of Reading Specialist,
for their efforts in organizing this event.
I thank NAC for covering all our needs
and dreams. Finally, we thank you so
much for giving Steve the opportunity
to go to camp this summer. I honestly
think that it’s one of the best times
of his life if not THE best time. Once
again, thank you so much, keep giving
the same support to all families that
need it. God bless all of you.
Sincerely,
Sonia, Jorge, Cynthia
and Steve Caceres
Adoption News
O P E N I N G D O O R S S TA F F
Domonique was adopted by
Michelle Maddox on January 27, 2011.
Editor Marcia Scanlon
Joseph was adopted by Maria Greo
on October 7, 2010.
If you know a family who can give a
loving foster/adoptive home to a child
with medical or mental health challenges,
please encourage them to go to:
Joseph and Christopher were
adopted by Greg and Lora Pellicano
on November 8, 2010.
Contributors Pam Adams,
Kyle Cheseborough, Jessica Lutzke,
Harvey Mar, Jhoselin Martinez,
Sarah Meltzer, Linda Peck,
Brian Schatz, Carolyn Synol,
Jenny Traslavina
www.NacKidsCan.org/recruitment
Congratulations to these NAC
children and parents on their
recent adoptions!
Carina Rivera was adopted by
Kenneth and Lorna Davis on
November 23, 2010.
or call:
NAC’s Homefinding Department
212.696 .1550 or 646.352.9047
Distribution Lydia Roman
Designer Shari Finger Design LLC
Photography Steven Freeman and NAC
Volunteer Steven Barall (Pages 5/6/7);
Steven Freeman (Page 8)
OPENING
A good time
was had
by all!
The annual NAC Holiday Party
for all our children and families
on December 19 was made
possible by the support of
wonderful volunteers.
Volunteers from the community
and corporate groups shared
their enthusiasm and energy to
help make it a very special day.
We thank them for their kindness
and dedication to improving the
lives of NAC children.
Corporate philanthropy is crucial
to the NAC Holiday Party, and
we are grateful for corporate
support. Not only did companies
provide volunteers, but several
generously sponsored activities.
We send a warm thank you
to Accenture, The Estée Lauder
Companies, New York Life
Foundation, Polo Ralph Lauren,
and Société Générale. Our appreciation, as well, to Arvind Singh
and Alexis Farah for organizing
a group of their acquaintances
as volunteers.
Photography by: Steven Freeman
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OPENING
Corporate Volunteers Speak
“ What I get from volunteering with NAC
is always a renewed sense of spirit at
seeing all of the happy faces. The young
people and kids of NAC are some of the
happiest people I have ever met and they
give me more that I can ever give. I do it
not only because there is a need but I
truly feel happy, blessed, and alive to be
able to do it. After the NAC holiday
party I could not stop smiling all the way
home. It was pure joy. Thank you.”
A N TO N I O G O N Z A L E Z
New York Life Insurance
“ Volunteering provides a significant
source of fulfillment in my life. Being able
to give back to the community in which
I live and work is extremely important
to me. The Estée Lauder Companies’
partnership with NAC has provided me
with many worthwhile opportunities to
work directly with children and families
from our community who are in need of
extra care and support.”
PERRI HILLSBERG
The Estée Lauder Companies
“As an employee of Société Générale,
I have had the pleasure of volunteering
for the NAC organization again for the
third year in a row. The time spent with
these blessed children during the holiday
season fills my heart with joy, which is
what the season is all about – giving
back. So thank you to NAC and
Société Générale for being in
partnership together.”
YA M I R A S I U
Société Générale
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Gala
A N N I V E R S A RY G A L A
Above: Honorees Helen and Peter Haje
NAC ’s 28th
NAC’S 28TH
A N N I V E R S A RY G A L A
Grants
OPENING
AT W O R K
PAG E
NAC’s Annual Benefit Gala, November 9, 2010, at The Pierre, New York
City marked our 28th year. We celebrated what “NAC Kids Can”
achieve, and honored our good friends Peter and Helen Haje. Peter is
a long-time NAC Board Member. We would also like to give special
mention to the following: Benefit Committee Chairs were Virginia and
Roger Aaron, and Vivian and Roger Farah. Virginia is NAC’s Board Chair
and Vivian is a NAC Board Member. Dinner Chairs included Richard D.
Goldstein, Chairman & CEO, AEP Capital LLC; Robert D. Marcus, Senior
Executive Vice President & CFO, Time Warner Cable Inc.; Laura Parsons,
PsyD, Psychologist, New Alternatives for Children, Inc., and Robert B.
Schumer, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Thanks
to Peter, Helen, and a host of NAC friends,
Board members, and volunteers, the Gala raised more funding than
any previous NAC event to invest in our children’s futures. We extend
gratitude also to Polo Ralph Lauren and Time Warner Cable for their
generous assistance in underwriting the gala.
We are thrilled that The Pinkerton Foundation has awarded a major three-year
grant to NAC’s Educational Services Department. We have also recently
received grants for our Educational Services from The Achelis Foundation,
The Joseph L. & Ann C. Warner Fund and a Manhattan Borough Needs Grant
for our College Bound program. Also, thanks in large part to earlier grants
from The Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation and The F. & E. Cummings
Memorial Fund, we created the position of Special Education Teacher/Reading
Specialist to provide or arrange tutoring services for younger NAC children.
NAC now has six full-time staff dedicated to helping both our children and
parents receive the best possible educational services.
Thank You
DONORS
NAC is pleased to acknowledge the following corporations and foundations
that have made grants to us since September, 2010:
Achelis Foundation, Aetna, Inc., Florence V. Burden Foundation,
J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Mary Jane H.
and Peter J. DaPuzzo Family Foundation, DIRECTV, Federation of
Protestant Welfare Agencies, The Hearst Foundations, Helen Hoffritz
Charitable Trust, Lancit Charitable Trust, Lazard Capital Markets
Charity Day, Manhattan Borough President’s Office, Millennium
Foundation, The New York Community Trust, New York Life
Foundation, NYMEX Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, Robin Hood
Foundation, Société Générale, and the Starr Foundation.
We thank the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program
for helping to stock the NAC food pantry.
Above: Carl Pforzheimer, NAC Chair Emeritus
Elizabeth Pforzheimer, Peter Haje, and
Arlene Goldsmith
8
The circumstances of our children’s lives often inhibit their perceptions of the
world and the possibilities of what they can achieve. NAC’s Educational
Services staff remain vigilant to assure that schools are meeting the complex
needs of every student, that all students’ and parents’ rights are honored, and
that students understand just how much they each can achieve. The
Educational Services Department also provides parenting skills education,
including assistance with foster/adoptive parent training.
Above: Board Members Vivian Farah and Rob
Marcus join Board Chair Virginia Aaron in
congratulating Honorees Helen and Peter Haje
Above: Board Member Joe Ianniello
and Arlene Goldsmith
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