Friends of Karen Sends Kids Back to School with Smiles

Friends of Karen, a local charity that provides vital, practical and comprehensive support for families caring for a child with a life-threatening illness, needs help filling 650 backpacks for their back-to-school program.

North Salem, NY, August 03, 2013 --( “The back-to-school supplies were a blessing. It alleviated the stress of trying to fit one more thing in to do in between doctor visits and transfusions and everything else that is crazy in our life. What a tremendous impact your generosity has had on our family.”

Friends of Karen received this letter from the parents of a child with leukemia. The charity, which provides vital, practical and comprehensive support – at no cost – to families caring for a child with a life-threatening illness, has a Gifts For Children program that includes back-to-school help. Over the summer Friends of Karen collects donations of school supplies, book bags and clothing gift cards to make sure each of their sick children and their well siblings starts school in September with the right supplies and a new outfit.

“Imagine going into a store and seeing happy, healthy children choosing school supplies and clothing while your own 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. “We step in to help in this very tangible way so that parents don’t have to make these impossible choices.”

Friends of Karen needs donations of new backpacks and school supplies, including new 3-ring binders, 2-pocket folders, pencils, pencil sharpeners, pink erasers, glue sticks, colored pencils, washable markers, and construction paper. Gift cards to Target, Gap, Macy’s and Old Navy are greatly 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 20 years, and it gets bigger each year,” Ms. Tredwell says. “Last year, we received school lists and sent each child back to school with a new backpack filled with their supplies and a gift card for a new outfit. This year, we have 650 children!”

Friends of Karen is a registered IRS 501(c)(3) charity, and the only organization in the New York tri-state area that provides a wide range of programs to families of a child with cancer or another life-threatening illness to help free them of everyday needs and concerns, so they have more time to love. Since 1978, they have touched the lives of more than 12,700 children in the New York Metro region. Headquartered in North Salem, NY with additional offices on Long Island and in Manhattan, Friends of Karen is widely recognized for its operational efficiency, with 82 cents of every dollar collected going directly to support families. Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates the financial efficiency and responsibility of thousands of U.S. charities, has consistently awarded Friends of Karen a 4-star rating -- their highest award.

To find out more about Friends of Karen, visit .
Friends of Karen
Lisa Dashman