WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Founded over 100 years ago, Westchester Children's Association (WCA) has grown from a small group of women volunteers to a dedicated staff working to improve the lives of children in the community.
Though times have changed, the goal of WCA has remained the same: find out what children need, work to make those needs known by the public and make sure those needs are met.
"The organization originally had local chapters that raised money for what they saw were issues in the community," said Cora Greenberg, executive director of Westchester Children's Association. "In the early years, the association only had volunteers, so they could only focus on one child at a time."
The association now operates on a much larger scale and touches the lives of hundreds of children in the community each year. Over the years, the idea of finding and addressing children's needs evolved into and advocacy for changes in public policies and programs that affect children.
"We still have the same mission as we did years ago, but the way we do it has changed," said Greenberg. "We are based around thought leaders and think tanks and come up with solutions that make sense for certain issues. It could be at the county level with putting money in the budget, at the state level or even trying to change a law at the federal level."
While social media and the internet have allowed WCA to reach more people in a quicker way, the association still relies on active community members who care about their cause. Members of WCA speak at Rotary Clubs, PTA meetings, church and synagogue groups to help spread issues that affect the lives of the youth.
"People who know us and care about our cause introduce us to their community," said Greenberg. "Educating people about what's at stake for the young people of our community still remains our priority."
In an effort to educate teenagers and young adults on the attitudes and attributes needed for success at work, WCA partnered with The Westchester Bank to launch a public awareness campaign called READI. The campaign, which stands for Respect, Enthusiasm, Articulate, Dependable, and Initiative, is one of the many projects the Children's Association is working on to help children in Westchester.
WCA also recently honored The Westchester Bank at an annual gala which recognizes a business or organization with an outstanding record of advocacy, actions and philanthropy which has benefited young people in Westchester. "The Westchester Children's Association may not be a household name, but we have the ability to impact so many things that affect children on a daily basis," said Greenberg.
For more information about the Westchester Children's Association, click here.
For more information about The Westchester Bank, click here.