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North Salem's Friends Of Karen Gets Ready For Back To School

It's back-to-school time for the nonprofit Friends of Karen.
It's back-to-school time for the nonprofit Friends of Karen. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – It still may be summer, but at Friends of Karen, a nonprofit that helps children battling cancer and their families, it’s back-to-school time.

Boxes filled with new backpacks, notebooks, markers, pencils, erasers, gift cards and more are being packed up and sent out to more than 850 Friends of Karen children so they can begin the new year happily and successfully.

“When we received the school supplies today the look on the kids’ faces – the excitement, it brought a little ‘normal’ back to us, and for that we will forever be grateful,” said one mom.

Friends of Karen supports families who are struggling to stay afloat financially and emotionally while caring for their child with a life-threatening illness. Parents often agonize between buying new school supplies for their “well” child or paying their ill child’s mounting medical expenses.

There are various ways to help Friends of Karen:

  • Drop off or send new backpacks (for all ages), $25 gift cards (to Staples, Target, Old Navy, Macy’s), three-ring binders, filler paper, composition books and washable thin markers to Friends of Karen, 118 Titicus Road, North Salem, NY 10560.
  • Call or e-mail Denise Tredwell at 914-617-4052 or for more information.
  • Visit the Friends of Karen website for more details on how to help.

Friends of Karen’s mission is to help families with a child battling cancer or another life-threatening illness in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The organization is unique in that it customizes the assistance it provides. When a child is seriously ill, it affects the entire family so Friends of Karen social workers work with each family member; this includes child life specialists and creative arts therapists who provide sibling support to the other children in the family. Treatment can last many months or even years, but Friends of Karen is there with an individualized program of emotional, financial and day-to-day practical support.

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