We all strive to teach our children responsibility, compassion and to help others in times of need so what better time to do this than on your child’s birthday. There are a number of local organizations your child can support in lieu of accepting gifts. Here are a few:
The Birthday Box Stacey Iskovitz, a local Mount Kisco mom recently opened the division of The Birthday Box in Westchester. This non-profit provides children in need with an opportunity to blow out candles and make a wish on his or her special day. An entire birthday celebration is assembled, packaged and then delivered in a recycled box. This party in a box includes a birthday cake (or cake mix and frosting), candles, party plates, decorations and a birthday present. Please contact them directly for ways in which to support this local charity.
Share Your Wish. Founded by Rebecca Schleifer, a local Westchester mom, Share Your Wish provides a birthday party invitation website which helps guests donate to one or more charities of the birthday child’s choosing. It’s a win-win—the birthday child decides what percentage of the monies go towards their charities of choice and the remaining amount goes into the child’s fund so they can buy a gift of their choice. Share Your Wish takes the hassle out of shopping for a gift—party guests send an anonymous cash donation through the website and 48 hours after the event the birthday child receives a check in the mail.
Make A Wish Hudson Valley Since receiving its charter in 1986, Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley has granted the wishes of more than 2,300 children in the Hudson Valley region with life-threatening medical conditions.
Serving the eight counties of Delaware, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester, the Chapter’s mission is to ensure that every child residing in the Hudson Valley who qualifies for Make-A-Wish services is granted his or her fondest wish. While wishes are referred and completed on an ongoing basis, an average of 110 wishes are in progress at any given time.
Completed wishes include: a room redecoration; meeting One Direction; going to the Super Bowl; traveling to Hawaii; a trip to Disney World and being a model for a day. For more information please email them or call the chapter directly at(914) 478-9474
Humane Society of Westchester–Founded in 1911, the New Rochelle Humane Society, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the human/animal bond through the compassionate care and treatment of animals throughout the communities in Westchester County and beyond. Their goal is to create a living environment that is not just a shelter, but a transitional home for stray, lost, abandoned, injured, and abused animals, until they can ultimately be placed in loving permanent homes. They serve 19 communities in Westchester County including Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Greenburgh, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Rye Brook, City of Rye, Scarsdale and Tarrytown. For more information on donations please visit their website.
Guiding Eyes For The Blind–Located in Yorktown, NY, this wonderful organization provides superbly bred and trained guide dogs to men and women who are blind or visually impaired. Dogs not suited for guide work may become service dogs for children on the autism spectrum. All Guiding Eyes dogs expand horizons for people to achieve life’s goals. All services are offered free of charge to people who are blind or visually impaired and to families with children with autism.
Pleasantville Cottage School on JCCA’s Westchester Campus is one of the oldest and most respected residential treatment programs in the U.S. The first cottage-style center in the country, it celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Pleasantville also was home to the first psychiatric clinic in an American child care institution, and this tradition of innovative excellence has been a hallmark of the agency ever since. Pleasantville Cottage School is home to emotionally troubled boys and girls, ages 7-16. Its philosophy is that the child is part of a family that must be engaged and helped so that the child can safely return home permanently. Donations can be made directly online.
The Greenburgh Nature Center–The Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC) is a 33-acre nature preserve with trails, a pond and gardens. More than 80,000 visitors come to the GNC each year. The property is a significant wildlife habitat refuge, both for indigenous species and for the hundreds of species of migratory birds that use it as a resting place on their spring and fall travels. The property includes 30 acres of woodland, two significant wetland sites, and a native plant meadow. Make a monetary donation or host your child’s next birthday party at the Center.
Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary–This non-profit began as a labor of love initiated by Nicole Chillemi, a licensed veterinary technologist with a passion for animals as teachers and healers, and Russell Lipensky, an intuitive bodyworker with a gift for healing. Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary provides rehabilitation services to both animals and humans. They rescue all types of animals, focusing mostly on wildlife, exotics, and farm animals. Donate directly online or let them host your child’s next birthday party.
The Wolf Conservation Center—This non-profit environmental education organization located in South Salem is committed to conserving wolf populations in North America through science-based education programming and participation in the federal Species Survival Plans for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. Through wolves the WCC teaches the broader message of conservation, ecological balance, and personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World. Support the WCC by hosting your child’s party at their facility or by making a donation to the cause.
Blythdale Children’s Hospital– With more than 120 years of experience, Blythedale located in Valhalla is a nationally recognized leader in developing innovative, multidisciplinary inpatient programs. As one of only 19 pediatric specialty hospitals in the United States, Blythedale has the combined staff, expertise and resources – including the largest pediatric therapy department in New York State – to provide exceptional comprehensive care for medically complex children and support for their families. They are also the first hospital in the United States to develop a post-NICU/PICU program and are New York State’s only children’s hospital with its own K-12 public school district on site.