Help Friends of Karen Send Children Back to School with Smiles

This children’s charity helps fill hundreds of backpacks for the upcoming school year.

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Photo by: Friends of Karen

Port Jefferson, NY - June 29, 2015 - When Kyle and Samantha’s mom saw the delivery from Friends of Karen, she was elated. Inside were the much needed supplies for her children to begin a successful school year. It was a relief for the family of five, whose other sibling, Erin, was diagnosed with Leukemia at age seven.

“The last thing on my priority list, unfortunately, was getting the kids off to school with their necessary items. What a relief when Friends of Karen stepped in with this beautiful gesture,” she said. “Not just for Erin, but my other children as well.”

Friends of Karen, 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. Over the summer, Friends of Karen collects donations of school supplies, backpacks and gift cards to make sure their families are able to get their children back to school in September with the right supplies.

“Many of the families we help are trying to balance paying for their child’s medical bills, keeping up with regular household expenses and putting food on the table for their family,” said Nancy Mariano, Friends of Karen’s Regional Director.  “Purchasing school supplies falls to the bottom of the list. This is a wonderful way for the community to help our families in a tangible way.

Friends of Karen needs donations of new backpacks and school supplies, including new 2” 3-ring binders, subject dividers, two-pocket folders, wide-ruled spiral notebooks, filler paper, construction paper, pencil sharpeners, Crayola crayons, colored pencils, pens, highlighters, ruled index cards, sticky notes, soft zipper pencil cases, washable markers, glue sticks, Elmer’s glue, plastic supply boxes, rulers, scissors, pink erasers and marble notebooks. $25 gift cards to Target, Forever 21, Gap, Old Navy, Macy’s and Staples are greatly needed.

The deadline for collections is July 31 and can be delivered to Friends of Karen’s Port Jefferson office. If you can donate any of these back-to-school supplies or gift cards, please contact Patricia Conway at 631.473.1768 ext. 303.       

For more information about Friends of Karen, please click here

Friends of Karen 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 1978, when they helped one child, Karen, and her family, Friends of Karen has touched the lives of nearly 14,000 children. With headquarters in North Salem, NY and offices in Port Jefferson and Manhattan, Friends of Karen is widely recognized for its operational efficiency, with 83¢ of every dollar donated directly supporting families. Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates the financial efficiency and responsibility of more than 8,000 of United States charities, has consistently awarded Friends of Karen a 4-star rating – their highest award.