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It Takes A Village: Children's Village

"It takes a village to raise a child."

I am a firm believer in the fact that it takes a community --- parents, teachers, extended relatives, church, mentors, etc. --- to contribute to the totality of the rearing of children. This includes those kids and sometimes parents who don't have the luxury of having all of the above at their disposal. That's why I love The Children's Village.

Founded in 1851 and located just outside of New York City in the Hudson River town of Dobbs Ferry, the mission of the Children's Village is to work in partnership with families to help society’s most vulnerable children so that they become educationally proficient, economically productive, and socially responsible members of their communities.*

Their values fall into the following three core beliefs...

  • First, all children and youth need connections to adults, preferably family members, who believe in them and will remain connected throughout their lives.
  • Second, education, appropriate social behavior, and job skills are essential to functioning independently in society.
  • And third, every human being has strengths and the desire to make his or her life happy and fulfilling; with support and the tools to overcome obstacles, most can and will succeed.*

During 2007-2008 Youth and Families were served in the following ways:

  • Residential School - 457 Youth
  • Day School - 123 Youth
  • Family Preservation Services - 2,145 Families
  • Shelters & Short-term Residential - 647 Youth
  • Foster homes- 325 Youth
  • Supported Community Living – 128 Youth
  • Crisis Residence – 206 Youth
  • Work Appreciation for Youth & Aftercare- 267 Youth
  • Community Outreach to Youth- 4,032 (does not include 792 hotline calls)
And it's not a one-way street. The kids have the opportunity to enter programs such as the Assistance Dog Training Program where they train special service dogs to help children, adults and veterans with physical handicaps. For more information, please visit www.childrensvillage.org.

I cannot tell you how much I believe in the aims, goals and outcomes of this organization. Over the years and as recently as last month, I've donated money, clothes, toys, sports equipment and furniture to assist in their efforts to empower the young men and women of the Children's Village.

No one is oblivious to what is going on with the US Economy. If we're affected just imagine how much the disenfranchised are. I would like to put the power of the Internet and this blog to work for the residents of the Village by pledging a $3,000 donation to assist in their holiday efforts this year. In the right hand column of this blog you'll see the section entitled "Make a Donation To the Chidlren's Village" just beneath the social networking icons or you can visit my fundraising page for the Children's Village directly. It is a 100% tax-deductible, totally safe and secure process (VeriSign) that will allow you to use a major credit/debit card. If all you have to donate is one dollar, that's better than nothing at all (if 3,000 people donated a dollar then the goal will be met).

$35 pays for a teenager to go skiing.
$150 will allow staff to take 10 of the younger children snow tubing.
$200 pays for a whole cottage to go to the movies or go bowling.
$400 pays for a two-day winter camping trip for 8 boys.
$500 will allow 10 kids to go to a Knicks game or see a holiday show.

You can also help by putting the power of social networking behind this effort by sharing, emailing, Tweeting, Facebooking this post as many times as possible to get the word out.

As always, thanks so much for reading and please, lend some financial assistance to the Children's Village. You can visit the Children's Village website to learn more about this amazing non-profit organization.

*Excerpted from the Chidlren's Village website.

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