Sharing Shelf Backpack Drive is happening NOW!

 

We believe every child deserves to start the school year ready to learn, with a backpack filled with the supplies s/he needs  For the 7th year in a row, our program, The Sharing Shelf has launched  “Backpacks to School” initiative. Each backpack is filled with the grade-appropriate school supplies for children in Westchester.  

Become a Part of Our Junior Board

Join us for opportunity to learn more about getting involved with our Junior Board of FSW and the work being done to serve more than 30,000 Westchester residents. Email us at fswjrboard@gmail.com to RSVP.

What’s in it for you?

  • Network with other philanthropic individuals who care about the community in which they live
  • Expand your leadership influence
  • Cultivate new skills
  • Attend social events
  • Serve the local community through hands-on volunteer projects
  • To know that what you are doing actually does make a difference to youth and families in need
 Board Requirements
  • A passion and commitment to bettering the lives of disadvantaged youth living in Westchester County
  • NO age limit
  • The Junior Board meets about eight times annually on the second Wednesday of the month in White Plains
  • Junior Board members are expected to attend at least four meetings per year
  • Members are required to choose a committee on which to serve: Finance, Events, Volunteerism, Communications, Membership
  • Commitment to a two year term, with option to continue
  • Suggested annual donation to the Junior Board and FSW of $100

FSW VP named to “40 Under 40” 2017 Rising Stars by Business Council of Westchester

Port Chester, NY (May 30, 2017) — Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is proud to announce that Michelle A. Nicholas, Vice President of Development and External Affairs, has been named a 2017 Rising Star by the Business Council of Westchester (BCW) in its annual “40 Under 40” awards.

“We are thrilled to have Michelle on our Executive team,” said Susan B. Wayne, FSW’s CEO and President. “In just a little over a year, Michelle has put together a solid department, overseen multiple successful fundraising events and increased the agency’s visibility.”

Nicholas, a resident of Mount Vernon, said she was pleased and humbled by the honor.

“The Business Council of Westchester represents the County’s most accomplished leaders, so it’s an honor to be welcomed into their network,” she said. “Since joining FSW last year, I have been inspired by the organization’s dedication to Westchester’s residents—from its children to its elderly—and I have witnessed the County’s great capacity to take care of its most vulnerable families. This award represents an opportunity to build on the business community’s efforts to make life better for all Westchester residents.”

Howard Greenberg, Chair of FSW’s Board of Directors, called Nicholas “very deserving” of the Rising Star designation. “Michelle is enthusiastic, creative, and detail-oriented. She constantly seeks out new opportunities to raise funds for FSW,” said Greenberg. “She is always alert for new ways to expand our reach and increase our potential to help Westchester’s most vulnerable residents.”

BCW President Marcia Gordon said this year’s Rising Stars winners “are truly exceptional, not only for their talent and leadership, but also for the breadth of industries they represent,” according to the Business Council’s website. The honorees will receive their awards during a ceremony on June 15, 2017 at 800 Westchester Avenue, Rye Brook. A full listing of the winners can be found here:

2017 Rising Stars

Join FSW’s Junior Board June 13th for the FUNdraising Event of the Summer!

Join FSW’s Junior Board for the FUNdraiser of the Summer from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 13th at Halftime Beverage in Mamaroneck. All proceeds support the Junior Board Grants, which help fund FSW’s many programs and services.

Recipients of the Junior Board 2017 Spring Grant cycle will be recognized at the Summer Social. They are:

EMERGE and Coming Home Program: $2,000, Director Janet Donat
Port Chester Cares: The Weber Community Garden: $2,500, Director Alex Payan
R.E.A.L. Parenting Program: $2,500, Director Alphonse Simmons
Westchester County Youth Councils: $2,000, Director Marisa Ragonese

Come congratulate the winners and learn more about their life-changing programs. RSVP by clicking the invitation above.

Big Brothers Big Sisters receives Earth Day 2017 Recycling Award from Westchester County


Laura LoBreglio of BBBS of FSW receives Westchester County’s Reuse and Recycle Award from Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett (L) and Department of Environmental Facilities Commissioner Thomas Lauro (R) at the Earth Day ceremonies May 13, 2017, at Kensico Dam.

Bronxville, NY: May 13, 2017 – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester (FSW) was honored Saturday with Westchester County’s Earth Day Award for collecting materials throughout Westchester for reuse or recycling. The 2017 Reuse and Recycling Award was presented by Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino as part of the County’s annual Earth Day celebration at the Kensico Dam.

“Congratulations to the Family Services of Westchester and their Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester program on this great accomplishment,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “Family Services of Westchester continues to set a great example by going above and beyond to make our community a better place to live.”

“We are grateful to County Executive Rob Astorino and the County of Westchester for this honor and for recognition of our efforts,” said BBBS Program Executive Director Valerie Brown. “The principals of recycling, renewal and environmental preservation are an important message to instill in our youth and the wider community alike.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of FSW shared the County’s 2017 Earth Day recycling award with fellow honorees Good Will and Furniture Sharehouse.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester is a youth mentoring organization, providing at-risk children aged 7-17 throughout Westchester County with strong, positive and enduring one-to-one relationships that help them realize and reach their potential. Our one-to-one mentoring model matches adult volunteers (our “Bigs”) with children (our “Littles”) and has proven to positively change our Littles’ lives by developing stronger educational, emotional, and social well-being. Our Littles are 52% less likely to skip a day of school and 46% less likely to start using illegal substances than their peers who are not in the program. We are proud to say all of our Littles have graduated high school this year and are moving on to college and post-secondary vocational opportunities! To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit www.bigswestchester.org or contact Valerie Brown (914) 937-3779 or vbrown@fsw.org.

Cornell graduate and former FSW intern credits agency for career trajectory

Sam Wood, 24, a 2015 graduate of Cornell University and a former intern with FSW, credits his time with the agency for giving him direction in his career.

“I was going into the medical profession to be a doctor,” he remembers. “I come from a family of physicians. Interning at Family Services made me want a much broader role in health care services. I wanted to effect more change.”

Sam, who has worked as a health care informatics analyst with Chicago-based VillageMD since August 2015, majored in premed studies and graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Society from the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His experience as an FSW intern with the Yonkers clinic and the My Second Home program in Mount Kisco helped him forge his present career path.

“What I had seen was the awesome and honorable work FSW is doing in the social aspects of health care. I wanted to be involved in filling the gaps the system was not able to accommodate,” he said. “I decided I wanted to do something make our system better, with a more holistic approach. I think it really propelled me into the job I do now.”

Loyal FSW supporters Jeffrey and Kathy Wiegand allowed Sam to “crash in their (Westchester) basement in the summer of 2014” during his FSW internship. His experience with the agency gave Sam a desire to help revolutionize the health care system and make it affordable for all.

“Today at VillageMD, I feel we are changing the culture of health care; holistically, from a systems perspective. I really do realize the impact FSW had on me and my career and I’m happy to give back. My experiences at FSW lead me to my career path and hopefully one day, I’ll be able to lead innovative, culture-changing company myself.”

FSW’s RideConnect Program receives National Transportation Award

Family Services of Westchester’s RideConnect program
Awarded 2016 Star Award for Merit
by the National Volunteer Transportation Center

Family Services of Westchester’s (FSW)’s RideConnect Program, a volunteer-based transportation service for older adults, has been awarded a 2016 STAR Award for Merit by the National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC). The NVTC STAR Award, which provided a generous $1,000 prize, recognizes outstanding volunteer transportation programs and the involvement of their volunteer drivers in promoting and providing transportation services to passengers, especially older adults.

RideConnect provided 15,971 rides and referrals to its older adult clients throughout Westchester County in 2016. As part of the award, RideConnect volunteers will be offered the AARP Driver’s Safety course free of charge. More than 140 volunteer driver programs across the country submitted applications for STAR Awards in 2016.

NVTC is an initiative of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA). Its purpose is to provide assistance and support to volunteer transportation programs across the United States. On an annual basis, these programs provide millions of rides and result in enormous time and dollar contributions of volunteer drivers. The 2016 NVTC STAR Awards were sponsored by Toyota.

RideConnect, a program of Family Services of Westchester, was established to encourage independence and mobility by providing accessible and responsive transportation options to those in need. The program was established by FSW in 2011 to foster independence for older adults who have limited mobility options and to build lasting community collaborations.

RideConnect’s volunteer drivers are critical to the success of the program. Please visit http://www.rideconnectwestchester.org/ for more information on how to become a volunteer and help improve the lives of older adults throughout Westchester County.

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The Sharing Shelf’s Spring Teen Boutique provides clothing for 250 teenagers

Volunteers descended on the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle on Saturday, April 29th, and converted the gym into a rainbow of color, with racks brimming and tables stocked high with spring and summer clothing. The reason: Teen Boutique, a free pop-up boutique created by The Sharing Shelf, a program of Family Services of Westchester (FSW), for low-income teen girls throughout Westchester County.

This was The Sharing Shelf’s 10th teen shopping day. More than 250 young women shopped for a season’s worth of clothing, shoes and accessories donated by the local community. By the end of the day, more than 6,000 items were distributed and an additional 23 bags of clothing were donated to The Summer Camp, a nonprofit summer camp serving at-risk, low-income and foster girls. Attendees of Teen Boutique were referred by 22 different schools, social service agencies, food pantries, community groups, or churches.

The Sharing Shelf’s founder and Director, Deborah Blatt, praised the tireless efforts of more than 150 volunteers who support the effort. “We wanted to make sure it was a special day both for the girls and the volunteers who do so much to make it a success. We added teens from area high schools to our planning committee who offered their insights. Our clothing donors and volunteers were incredible, making sure we had the right clothing and everything was ready for the big day.”

Teen Boutique benefited from a large donation of new clothing from K.I.D.S/Fashion Delivers. Employees from Nordstrom at The Westchester and SmartPros, as well as students from the Masters School and Iona Prep, provided sorting, packing and moving support. Miller’s Toys of Mamaroneck once again provided a truck to transport the donated clothing from the warehouse to the event site.

Blatt said attendees came away with more than just clothing – they also got a boost to their confidence and a sense of self-esteem. “This event has become very personal and special for all of us,” she said. “One girl told me that Teen Boutique inspired her to give back. She now donates time each month to do the hair of girls less fortunate than herself.”

The girls love the event and look forward to it every spring and fall. Karen, a caseworker who brings attendees from a residential program in central Westchester, said “The girls were so excited to attend and were thrilled with all the clothing and accessories they were able to pick out. They were all wearing one of their new outfits the next day.”

The Sharing Shelf collects new and gently used clothing for infants, youth and teens, then distributes the items to more than 2,000 children a year at no cost. Each month, volunteers assemble over 1,400 outfits for at least 150 children and teens, providing each child a week of seasonally appropriate clothing. Blatt partners with more than 50 food pantries, social service agencies, non-profit programs, schools and hospitals county-wide to distribute the clothing.

Sam Lehr & Philippe Valy Exclusive Designer Sale to benefit FSW: Tuesday, May 9th, 6-9 p.m.

Just in time for Mother’s Day: Don’t miss this exclusive designer jewelry and clothing sale to benefit FSW!

FSW’s Youth Action Council Kicks Off Youth Action Training 2017 on Friday, April 28th!

Click the link below for more details!

WCYC YAT 2017 Flyer