Executive Director, Judy Factor
“What is the Essence of Life? To Serve Others and to Do Good.” Aristotle, 2,300 years ago
Among the many things I am most proud of at Friends of Karen are our volunteers who dedicate over 4,600 hours of service each year. Both in our Long Island and Westchester offices, we are blessed with volunteers of all ages who devote their time and talents to supporting our ill children and their families in the most amazing ways. Whether packing holiday gifts to surprise the children, planning a special fundraising event, decorating lucky shamrocks for our annual St. Patrick’s Day sale, addressing remembrance cards that our social workers send to bereaved families, making “Birthday in a Bag” gifts for each child, serving on our advisory boards, and through a myriad of other wonderful efforts, volunteers are cherished members of the Friends of Karen team. They have been since the very beginning when our founder Sheila Petersen mobilized members of the community to help Karen and her family more than 40 years ago.
Recently, I asked Rae, a frequent volunteer in our North Salem office, what motivates her to devote so much of her time to Friends of Karen. She told me, “Volunteering provides me with a sense of purpose. A purpose that makes a difference in someone else's life as well as my own.”
The truth is that our volunteers have an enormous impact on our ability to provide support for our children and families, and they serve an especially important role as Friends of Karen ambassadors, spreading the word in their own community about who we are and the needs of our families.
I happened upon this quote that seems so fitting now. “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” The Friends of Karen community is a caring one, filled with remarkable people who choose to devote their time, talent and treasure to helping hurting families caring for a seriously ill child.
We honor our precious volunteers in April during Volunteer Recognition Month and all year long. Displayed in our offices are signs that say “We Love Our Volunteers,” and we really mean it!
With thanks for your help,
P.S. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer in all sorts of ways. Please contact our volunteer coordinators to find out more, Denise Tredwell (914) 617-4057 in Westchester, or Rebecca Plant (631) 473-1768 ext 303 in Long Island.
Ways to give
Friends of Karen is creating a pathway of loving messages from all of our supporters and families.
Bring critically ill children and their families the HOPE they deserve all year long. As a Guardian of Hope, you Donate Monthly. With your help, children will receive the emotional support they need
Leave your imprint to benefit future generations. Naming Friends of Karen in your estate plans will continue to impact the lives of critically ill children and their families well into the future.
Friends of Karen believes that families can maintain a sense of balance and stability even in the midst of the crisis of caring for a child with a life-threatening illness.