FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2018
Contact: 
914-617-4042
Non-Profit Supporting Families With Critically Ill Children Seeks Donations of School Supplies and Gift Cards
NORTH SALEM, NY, July 24, 2018 -- Friends of Karen, the non-profit children's charity which supports families in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who are struggling to stay afloat financially and emotionally while caring for their critically-ill child, has launched its 2018 Back to School Program beginning today. They are seeking help from the community, in the form of both school supplies and gift cards. 
 
Friends of Karen parents often recount the emotional heartbreak of visiting their local stores this time of year and seeing healthy children so excited about the new school year, choosing their supplies while knowing 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.
 
“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,” said one mom.
 
Over 850 Back to School lists will be filled through the annual Friends of Karen Back to School Program. Boxes filled with new backpacks, notebooks, markers, pencils, erasers, gift cards, etc. are being prepared to be sent out to Friends of Karen families and children so they can begin the new school year happily and successfully. 
 
Anyone can help and participate in the Friends of Karen Back to School Program. Donations of any kind or amount will help give parents peace of mind that their children will be prepared for classes and it will also provide the comfort of heading back to school with a new outfit and carrying crisp notebooks and sharpened pencils to children whose lives have been so affected by a sibling’s illness.
 
And it’s so easy. Here’s what we need:
 
* $25 gift cards to Target, Forever 21, Macy's, The Gap, Old Navy and Walmart for new outfits
* 3-ring binders, filler paper, subject dividers
* Pencil sharpeners with covers, low odor dry erase markers, erasable pens, thin markers, pre-sharpened #2 pencils
* Flash drives, scientific calculators
* Graph paper, scissors, sticky notes, glue sticks
* Backpacks
 
All items should be dropped off or mailed to Friends of Karen by August 10: 
 
(Westchester) Friends of Karen, Attention: Denise Tredwell, 118 Titicus Road, North Salem, NY 10560
 
(Long Island) Friends of Karen, Attention: Nancy Mariano, 21 Perry St., Port Jefferson, NY 11777
 
To schedule a delivery or to get more information on needed supplies, contact Denise Tredwell at 914-617-4052 or DeniseTredwell@FriendsofKaren.org  
 
The mission of Friends of Karen is to provide emotional, financial and advocacy support for children with a life-threatening illness and their families in order to help keep them stable, functioning, and able to cope. Friends of Karen serves families living in the New York tri-state region and offers its lifeline of support services at no cost to them so they have more time for what's most important: each other. Friends of Karen has received a four-star rating for nine years from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates the financial efficiency and responsibility of over 8,000 U.S. charities. Friends of Karen also meets the 20 Standards of Charity Accountability of the BBB of Metropolitan New York.
 
For more information on Friends of Karen, visit www.FriendsofKaren.org or call 914-277-4547.