Friends of Karen Sends Kids Back to School with Smiles

Friends of Karen, a charity that provides vital, practical and comprehensive support to families caring for a child battling cancer or another life-threatening illness, needs help filling backpacks for 800 children with school supplies and a $25 gift card to get something new to wear to start the school year.

North Salem, NY, August 15, 2014 --( “The boys were so excited and thankful for the box of school supplies they received today, as were mommy and daddy. Thank you for everything and for making our lives that much easier while dealing with everything else we have going on in our lives.”

Friends of Karen received this note from the parents of a child who has been battling leukemia for over two years. The charity, which provides vital, practical and comprehensive support – at no cost – to families caring for a child with cancer or another life-threatening illness, has a Gifts For Children program that includes back-to-school help. Friends of Karen is collecting donations of school supplies, backpacks 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 something new to wear.

“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 your donation of new backpacks and school supplies, including new 3-ring binders, 2-pocket folders, pencils, pencil sharpeners, pink erasers, colored pencils, washable markers, and composition books. $25 gift cards to Target, Gap, Macy’s or 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 keeps getting bigger,” Ms. Tredwell says. “In 2012, we received school lists from 660 children, and last year it was 730 children. This year, we have over 800 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 a life-threatening illness to help free them of everyday needs and concerns, so they can focus on what’s really important: each other. Since starting in 1978, they have touched the lives of more than 13,000 children. Headquartered in North Salem with additional offices on Long Island and in Manhattan, Friends of Karen is widely recognized for its operational efficiency, with 81¢ 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
(914) 617-4042