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Friends of Karen

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Friends of Karen Sends Kids Back-to-School with Smiles

Friends of Karen, a regional charity that provides emotional, financial and advocacy support for children with a life-threatening illness and their families, is aiming to put supplies, backpacks and clothing gift cards in the hands 650 children this September.

Purdys, NY, July 19, 2012 --( Remember the great feeling of heading back to school in a new outfit, with new notebooks and pencils and a new bookbag to put them in? That’s the point of Friends of Karen’s Back-to-School program. The charity, which provides emotional, financial and advocacy support to children in the Tri-State region who are fighting a life-threatening illness, aims to put supplies, backpacks and clothing gift cards in the hands 650 children this September.

“Imagine going into a store and seeing happy, healthy children choosing school supplies and clothing while your own critically-ill child is in the hospital, or having to decide whether to buy a backpack and new school shoes for your ‘well’ child or paying for medicine for your sick child,” says Judith Factor, Friends of Karen’s Executive Director. “These are totally real situations for the families we’re assisting. We step in to help in this very tangible way so that they don’t have to make these impossible choices.”

Friends of Karen needs donations of new backpacks, totes and messenger bags and school supplies including 3-ring binders, 2-pocket folders, pens and pencils, pencil sharpeners, pink erasers, glue sticks, colored pencils, washable markers, and construction paper. Gift cards to Gap, JC Penney, Macy’s, Old Navy, Sear’s and Target are needed. If you can donate any of these back-to-school supplies or gift cards, or if you prefer to help with a cash donation, please contact Denise Tredwell at or 914-617-4052.

“We’ve been doing this program for over a decade, and it gets bigger each year,” says Ms. Tredwell. “Last year, we received school lists from 593 children, and we sent each of them back to school with a new backpack filled with their supplies and a gift card for a new outfit.”

Friends of Karen is the only organization that provides emotional, financial and advocacy support to families of a child with cancer or another life-threatening illness, from diagnosis through treatment. Since 1978, they have touched the lives of more than 11,800 children in the New York Metro region. With compassion, dedication and expertise, Friends of Karen helps the entire family during an overwhelmingly frightening and turbulent time. Friends of Karen serves all qualified families without regard to race, religion, or national origin. To find out more about Friends of Karen, visit
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Friends of Karen
Lisa Dashman

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