Friends of Karen is Bringing Gifts (and Smiles) to Sick Children

Friends of Karen needs "a few good elves" to make sure each of their sick children and their "well" siblings receives a holiday gift from their wish lists.

North Salem, NY, November 09, 2013 --( “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for letting our kids have the best Christmas. That is exactly what my 4-year-old said, 'Mommy, this is the best Christmas ever!' and without Friends of Karen it would not have been possible. When I saw all the boxes that came in the mail, I cried, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that there are people out there who care so much for my family.”

Friends of Karen received this letter from the mother of a toddler with a brain tumor. Every day, Friends of Karen is a lifeline for hundreds of families caring for a child with cancer or another life-threatening illness, providing the vital, practical and comprehensive support -- at no cost -- to cope with the anxiety and uncertainty of battling for their child’s life.

This time of year, their “Holiday Adopt-A-Family” Gifts for Children program prepares presents for each Friends of Karen sick child as well as his or her ‘well’ siblings. The program is a perfect opportunity to spread the holiday spirit.

“Each of our children sends us their wish list,” says Judith Factor, Friends of Karen’s Executive Director. “Then we match each child with a kind-hearted ‘elf’ who purchases the items on their list. We send the gifts with ribbon, wrapping paper and all the trimmings to the child’s parents, to make a holiday of surprises and delight. We love to put smiles on children’s faces -- and our children often have little reason to smile.”

You can create those smiles: Friends of Karen needs your help to make sure there are gifts for every one of their sick children and their sisters and brothers. Please contact or call her at (914) 617-4052. If you don’t have time to shop, you can make a donation and we’ll do the shopping: go to and click on “Gifts for Children Program” on the left.

Friends of Karen is a registered 501(c)(3) charity and the only organization in the New York Tri-State region that provides a comprehensive range of services that relieve families caring for a child with a life-threatening illness of everyday needs and concerns, so they have more time to love. Founded in 1978 after helping one child, Karen, and her family, and headquartered in North Salem, NY with other offices on Long Island and in Manhattan, Friends of Karen has touched the lives of more than 12,700 children. Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates the financial responsibility and effectiveness of thousands of U.S. charities, gives Friends of Karen a 4-star rating, its highest award. For more information about Friends of Karen, visit or call (914) 617-4042.
Friends of Karen
Lisa Dashman