Join Us for an Evening of Art & Music

The Child Welfare Program at WIHD works with over 250 of Westchester’s children in foster care every year.  Most of these children come to WIHD after having experienced significant personal trauma ranging from abuse to neglect to sudden and harsh separation from their biological families.  While these children tend to be amazingly resilient, they are children, and they are vulnerable.

Through the medium of play therapy, a therapeutic modality built around the idea that children best communicate their feelings through the use of toys and play, WIHD’s expert therapists help these children process traumatic experiences, heal emotionally painful wounds, and develop tools for coping with life’s future challenges.

While the therapeutic techniques at WIHD may be based on modern child mental health science, our facilities are outdated and are in desperate need of refurbishment, fresh toys, and art supplies. 

On Saturday, November 15th at 6 pm, WIHD will be hosting a benefit concert at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY.  Featured at the event will be the Manhattan-based Salome Chamber Orchestra.  Salome has performed at venues such as Steinway Hall, Carnegie Hall, Christie’s, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has been featured on national television and National Public Radio.  Most recently, they were featured in the New Yorker Magazine.

Please support WIHD and our therapy room renovation project by purchasing tickets for the November 15th event and/or providing sponsorship by placing an advertisement in our program brochure or by donating an item for our silent auction.  Further information about the event can be obtained by visiting the concert website.

Our fundraising event is just a few weeks away and only a limited number of tickets are available!  Please show your support by purchasing tickets today!

 

We Stepped Up!

On Sunday, September 28th, over 100 Westchester supporters participated in a Run/Walk 5K to raise awareness about the prevalence of child abuse in New York State.  This event, our second annual Step Up for Kids Run/Walk, attracted an enthusiastic crowd of parents, children, teens, community leaders, and professionals, all eager to promote knowledge and education about the prevalence of child abuse and the important role that Children’s Advocacy Centers play in the investigation and treatment of abuse.  We also raised much-needed funds for the Children’s Advocacy Center at WIHD, as well as for the New York State Children’s Alliance, Inc. (NYSCA).  The event took place on the campus of Westchester Medical Center, in Valhalla, NY.

Just like last year, Mother Nature was on our side.  Under a cloudless sky, our wonderful friends from Club Fit led two different warm-ups, one for kids and one for adults.  After opening remarks from Sunny Hostin, CNN Legal Analyst and the event’s Honorary Chair, and from Danielle Weisberg, Director of Child Welfare Services and the Director of the CAC at WIHD, our youngest athletes participated in a spirited (and adorable!) Superhero Fun Run, in which each child got a chance to break a sweat and finish a winner.  Tom Swet from RedMagik Entertainment added to the fun with an overflowing supply of balloons and magic, and the kids could not get enough of it.  The timed 5K, which began shortly thereafter, was no less exciting.  Dedicated volunteers from the Pi Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha were present at every turn to help facilitate a smooth event.  Their enthusiasm and energy was contagious!  We were honored to have John Befus from Westchester County Department of Social Services on hand to deliver post-race remarks and to assist in the granting of medals.

Special thanks go out to our generous sponsors.  The Gold Sponsors were: Sterling Ambulette, Kirshenbaum, Urban & Tan, LLP, and Wilson, Bave, Conboy, Cozza & Couzens, P.C.  Our Silver Sponsors were: Stop & Shop Supermarket, Habermann Koehn Foundation, Manhattan Center for Dermatology, and Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP.  Our Bronze Sponsors were: Fern Juster, Vera Halpenny, Village of Mamaroneck PBA, and Westchester Jewish Community Services.

We also appreciate the steady guidance of Lisa Walker from NYSCA, without whom we could never have pulled this off.  Many thanks, also, to AKA leaders Katherine Kelly and Jackie Boucher for their heroic efforts.  We’d also like to thank Donna Clark at WIHD for going the extra mile-literally and figuratively!-and for helping to plan such a seamless and successful event.  And finally, it is important that we thank the WIHD professionals who took time from their busy weekend schedules to participate in this event.  Your dedication is very much appreciated; this has never been just a job for you!

Children’s Advocacy Centers coordinate, support and participate in the interdisciplinary response to allegations of child abuse in a neutral child-friendly environment that seeks to minimize further trauma to children.  In the past year alone, Children’s Advocacy Centers in New York State have provided support and service to over 18,500 children.

For more information about how you can make a difference, please contact mailto:dweisberg@wihd.org

 

School Supply Drive

The Every Family Counts (EFC) Aftercare Program is a two-year post-discharge program designed specifically to support families reuniting after foster care placement.  Over the summer, we completed our annual school supply drive to benefit children in the program.  Again, the response was overwhelming.  Donations were received from staff at WIHD and New York Medical College, and the Pi Iota Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.  Due to everyone’s generosity, children from our other Child Welfare Programs were able to benefit, including children in foster care and children who have been adopted from foster care.  Once again, a generous thank you to all those who contributed to this year’s drive.