The Children's Aid Blog

In an Emergency, the Neediest Cases Fund Provides Relief

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The following is an excerpt from the November 6th issue of The New York Times:neediest.190

Published: November 6, 2009

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund begins its 2009-2010 campaign today. The tradition of helping those who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families began 98 years ago, after Adolph S. Ochs, then the publisher of The New York Times, encountered a shabbily dressed man who was out of work and down on his luck. Their exchange inspired Mr. Ochs to begin printing profiles about the city's worst-off citizens in The New York Times. Since then, readers have responded to the articles printed every holiday season by sending in contributions by mail and, more recently, online at All told, the Fund has raised over $244 million. Below, the seven agencies supported by the Neediest Cases Fund describe how readers' donations bring stability to people's lives in times of crisis.

Children's Aid Society

A child walks to school without a coat in winter and does not want to worry his jobless mother about it. A widowed father chooses to use his reduced wages to put food on the family table, but doesn't know where to turn when he receives a utility shut-off notice. These are family situations that come to The Children's Aid Society on a daily basis.

Read full article…

To learn how you can make a difference, please link over to The New York Times Needist Cases Fund or contact:

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund
230 West 41st Street Suite 1300
New York, NY 10036
(800) 381-0075

Swimming Lessons at East Harlem Center

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The East Harlem Head Start program made quite a splash when they recently had their first day of swimming lessons.  Already in its third year, the East Harlem Head Start Swimming Program has taught over 50 preschoolers, 70 parents, and even 1 Head Start teacher, how to swim2kick, stroke, and swim their way across the Milbank pool.

The classes, held every Friday, pool together a variety of CAS resources - the Early Childhood Department, the Milbank Center, East Harlem Head Start staff, and one enthusiastic lifeguard.  Each preschooler is accompanied by one, or sometimes both, of their parents. The program is designed so that both the child and the parent build up their confidence and learn how to swim.  Each lesson allows for the parents and children to really swim1 connect with one another, to feel proud of what they accomplish, and, most importantly, to have fun!  Stay tuned, the group will be swimming laps in no time!

Shop the Miracle on Madison Avenue Event for a Good Cause

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miracleteusMark your calendars for Sunday, December 6th from noon to 5:00 pm for the 23rd Annual Miracle on Madison Avenue!

On Miracle Sunday, over 75 participating retailers along New York City’s famed Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets will donate 20% of the day’s sales to The Children’s Aid Society’s health services.

Children’s Aid’s health services include: acute and preventive treatment, medical, dental or mental health care, counseling by a health educator, ophthalmology/optometry and more.

Miracle is the perfect opportunity to start holiday shopping and help children in need.  Purchasing a handbag could help provide a nebulizer for a child with asthma. Your scarf could help provide an eye exam for a child struggling to see the black board.

Join thousands of caring New Yorkers as they shop on Madison Avenue. Law & Order: SVU’s Tamara Tunie, the Chair of Miracle on Madison Avenue, will be on hand at noon for the opening ceremony at Madison Avenue and 69th Street.

See you on the Avenue on December 6th! And remember to use #shopmiracle when mentioning this event online.

Our East Harlem Center Gets a Special Halloween Visit from the NYPD

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The East Harlem Head Start program's Halloween party was extra special this year when a number of our Community Partners came to celebrate.


Many of our neighborhood friends came to visit:  representatives from State Senator Serrano's office, el Museo del Barrio, the Mexican Consulate, the 100th Street Bus Depot, and the New York Police Department (23rd Precinct, Manhattan North, and the New Immigrant Outreach Unit).


The children especially loved seeing all the police officers in their 'costumes.'  The big highlights were decorating creepy cupcakes, a very competitive game of musical chairs, showing off creative costumes, and, of course, the candy distribution!


Thanks to all our friends that came to share the day with us!


Nonprofits Go on the Offensive

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If you check your inbox or mailbox today, there’s a good chance one of them contains an appeal from a nonprofit agency.

It could be a newsletter containing information about new programs, or a request to contribute toward a donor-match program. Or it could simply be a profile of someone whose life was improved because of the financial support of people like you.

This is because now more than ever, nonprofits need to focus on marketing and outreach. If your own company is going through difficult financial times, your sales force is the last place you look for savings. Cutting your sales department would be mortgaging your future. The same thing applies to non profits. The last place we reduce spending is in the areas that help us add to our coffers: public relations, donor communications, and marketing.

Like most charities, The Children's Aid Society needs to make every effort to keep our supporters up to date on our activities and impact. That means we need to......

To read the full article, link here

C. Warren Moses, Former CEO

Soul Therapy: Children's Aid Society Creative Writing Programs Encourage Self-Expression through the Written Word

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“The reason one writes isn't the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

reading wednsday

It has been said that music soothes the mind, but writing heals the soul.  Whether through journal writing or poetry, short stories or plays, or even that first novel – writing is the art which has the power to fuel our need for self-expression, creativity and empowerment.  Everyone, young or old, has a story or two to tell and the creative writing programs offered by The Children’s Aid Society provide a wonderful opportunity for young people to tell their story, express grief/frustration, foster creativity – all through the written word.

Creative writing is also an excellent rehabilitative tool.  The Children’s Aid Society’s after school programs provide students with many writing and reading opportunities:  book clubs, play- and screen-writing, drama clubs and performance poetry. Children’s Aid also has partnered with Voices Unbroken, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing underserved youths aged 14-21 (the “unheard voices”) with tools and opportunities for creative self-expression.  Through this partnership, South Bronx foster care youths at The Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center (NGC) have access to experienced teachers and writers. Students attend local poetry readings, share their own creative work with peers and have exposure to new forms of literature.   Minds are opened. Souls are unburdened. And, every so often, a real artist is born.

Making Music in West Harlem at the Drew Hamilton Learning Center!

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trumpetThe Children’s Aid Society’s Drew Hamilton Learning Center runs an arts-based after-school program, with a special focus on music. The overarching goal of music instruction at the Drew Hamilton Learning Center is to develop musicianship, discipline, and self-esteem; the program pursues this goal in various ways.

The 70 students enrolled in the program participate for an average of 2-6 hours per week. Students are taught music fundamentals –reading music, history, theory and related skills.


A keystone of the program is instruction in a variety of instruments: percussion, violin, bass guitar, trumpet, saxophone, keyboard and flute.  Teaching artists instruct the students in a small group setting, ultimately seeking to enable youth to create their own original music through improvisation. This DHLC after-school music program creates specific opportunities for instruction leading up to performances, promoting self-confidence and poise in each student.

The music program connects parents and other community members to the center by providing them with occasions to listen to and celebrate music though performances both within the center and in the surrounding community. Students in the performing groups, drumsuch as the Drew Drummers and the Harmony in Harlem Jazz Ensemble, share their talents throughout the community.

This past year, the students performed at the CAS 8th Annual Children’s Art Show, Make Music New York, and Harlem Week. We look forward to another year of jamming in Harlem and the inspiration that music brings to our youth.

-Mary Newcomb

East Harlem Center and the Mexican Consulate Host a Family Health Fair

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The East Harlem Head Start program partnered with the Mexican Consulate and hosted a family Health Fair this morning.

friday healthfair2

Representatives from neighborhood hospitals, clinics, and health agencies provided information and free screenings for the families.


Information tables were set up in the gym and a mobile health van was parked out in front of the Center.

health fair

In addition, short workshops focused on topics such as women's health, nutritious cooking, and health care access for immigrants.  It was a very healthy day!

Pumpkin Picking at Demarest Farms

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A perfect day for pumpkin picking!  Our very special friends at The Bank of New York Mellon hosted a trip for the East Harlem Head Start program to go visit a farm out in New Jersey.


30 preschoolers were treated to a morning of hay rides and pumpkin-patch frolicking.  Everyone got to take a pumpkin home.


Thanks to The Bank of New York Mellon, our Volunteer Services, the East Harlem Head Start staff, Demarest Farms , and everyone who made this wonderful adventure possible for the children.


We can't wait to do it again next year!

Photos Courtesy of Children’s Aid Society

The Business of Giving: From Homeless to Harvard

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With the markets about as calm as a roller coaster, what we’re thankful for is all too often an afterthought. I don’t know anyone these days who doesn’t treat their stock portfolio as a scene from a gory horror flick: “I’m afraid to look -- but I can’t help it -- oh, I shouldn’t have looked.”

But while sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I thought about what I’m grateful for. Those people surrounding me at the table -- my wonderful wife, the kids I’m so proud of, and the grandchildren who never stop making me laugh -- top the list. But I am also thankful to have a job that I love.

I’ve spent most of my career working for the Children’s Aid Society, a New York City nonprofit whose sole mission is caring for the health, education and well-being of children. My first job with Children’s Aid was as a social worker; today, I am the (former) CEO…..

To read the full article, link here

C. Warren Moses, Former CEO