Tag Archives: donation

Ridgewood students raise money for wounded veterans

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy I.S. 93

Students from I.S. 93 in Ridgewood raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project through the Penny Harvest Program.

A group of seventh- and eighth-graders from the middle school held weekly meetings focused on finding a charity to support. After much research, they decided to donate $500 to the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military.

In addition, the kids signed up to become student ambassadors for the Wounded Warrior Project. They decided they wanted to help even more by raising additional money. They fundraised by selling Wounded Warrior Project bracelets and pins, informing the I.S. 93 community about the special ways in which this program helps wounded soldiers.

They were able to raise an additional $200, totaling a $700 donation to the organization.

As a special surprise, the group of students were able to meet a true wounded warrior: Sgt. Juan Arrendondo, one of the first soldiers to receive help from the Wounded Warrior Project when it began over 10 years ago.

Arrendondo spoke to the students about his injuries, losing an arm and part of his leg, and gave an inspirational speech on how he considers himself lucky to be alive.

“When you told your story about how you got hurt I wanted to cry,” said Weronika Pawlowska, a student at I.S. 93, in a thank-you letter to Sgt. Arrendondo. “It made me sad at how this happened to you and many other people. I love how you have confidence in telling us about your injuries and how you opened out to people. I learned no matter what happens, life can be amazing and full of surprises.”

I.S. student Anthony Paredes wrote, “Dear Juan, it was indeed a pleasure of meeting you. When I met you I knew that you were a person of endurance and that nothing could stop you. When you told us your story, you couldn’t prove me more correct of how you were a symbol of courage. I hope to be like you one day.”


East Elmhurst boy runs again to raise money for autism programs

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Larry Sillen

One East Elmhurst boy is getting his running shoes ready once again to help make a difference.

Max Moore, 10, will be participating in the June 29 Achilles International Hope and Possibility 5 Mile Race in Central Park for a third time.

“We are super thrilled to see Max enjoy running and to see that he is eager to run each year,” said Max’s mother Jacqueline Moore.

This year will be Max’s second time running to raise money and bring awareness for the Queens Museum’s ArtAccess Autism Initiatives. Last year the youth raised $1,279 in funds online, surpassing his goal of $1,000.

“For us it’s a huge honor, it really moves us. It’s inspirational to us. He’s our hero,” said Michelle Lopez, manager of ArtAccess and Autism Initiatives at the Queens Museum. “It feels really good to know that he is doing this, this is his activity of choice. He chose to run again, to run for us.”

The 10-year-old, who is autistic himself, has been part of the ArtAccess Autism Initiatives together with his family. This past year they have been involved in the museum’s new project called emPOWER Parents, a partnership between the Queens Museum and Museo ICO and its cultural partner, Hablarenarte, in Madrid, Spain.

According to Lopez, the funds raised by Max last year helped contribute to the program.

The partnership uses the arts, art therapy and technology to create and put into effect crucial programming for families of children with autism. It also creates an international network and “digital bridge” where the families can share their experiences.

Max’s mother said the program has allowed him to connect with new friends in Spain who share the same interests.

Max has been preparing for Sunday’s race for the past three months with Achilles Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides training and racing opportunities for children with disabilities. He has been with the group for about four years and in the past few months has been training in Central Park and also participating in several other 5K races.

“I think the Achilles Kids Family is quite an exceptional group of kids, parents, staff and volunteers,” Moore said. “One big family that gets larger and larger every year.”

This year Max will again be running alongside Marissa Fong, a guide provided by Achilles, and his dad, John. Although his mom said John will try to keep up with Max, he might not be able to; last year, Max left him at the three mile mark and went on to finish the race in less than one hour.

“What is wonderful is that running can be something he can enjoy in the future,” Moore said. “That is all we can ask for as parents, that we help him to find his joys and passion in life. We hope Max will continue to run further distances when he gets older and maybe one day accomplish a triathlon.”

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Glen Oaks elementary school donates to military veterans

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A Glen Oaks elementary school has donated $1,000 to military veterans.

Youngsters at P.S. 115 presented a check to Services for the UnderServed (SUS) on Friday, March 15. The funds were allocated for SUS programs that support the country’s veterans.

“It really touches an old man’s heart,” said Howard Wheeler of Elmhurst, who served 22 years in the U.S. Navy. “It means so much to us that you all, as young as you are, have the mind to think of others than yourself.”

The pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students raised funds through a bake sale and a school dance. They then worked with AmeriCorps, a federal government program focusing on community service, to connect with SUS.

“It’s an extraordinary gesture on their part,” said Kevin Burke, the school’s parent coordinator. “These children are our future. It’s very important that they recognize the history of our country and know there are people that commit themselves in protecting our country.”

P.S. 115 plans to hold another bake sale at the school on April 22.

“It’s a very, very selfless act,” Staff Sergeant Nicole Robinson of the Army Reserves said to the students. “You guys are future soldiers for change. You did a very good thing.”



Little Neck school gets leg up with donation

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Teachers at a local Little Neck elementary school now have the means to supply their classrooms after a major retail conglomerate gave the educators a $1,000 leg up.

P.S. 94 received $50 gift cards from Walmart on October 26 for 20 of its teachers to purchase school supplies and classroom resources, school administrators said.

“This is really the first time that a huge corporation has come up and given us something tangible we could use for the children,” said Principal JoAnn Barbeosch. “It’s very gracious that they’re doing this. It’s absolutely remarkable.”

Barbeosch said the shot in the arm was much needed for the small school with limited resources, which has been struggling after budget cuts.

Money given to P.S. 94 from the city has diminished tremendously, Barbeosch said, causing most teachers to have to shell out some $300 out of pocket each year to stock their classrooms.

“We run low on supplies and it’s hard to replace them,” said Heidi Bateman, a fifth grade teacher at the school, who spends at least $200 of her own money each year. “This is a great help.”

Walmart representative Nicole Estremera said each store in the company is given about $1,000 each year to donate to one local school in need.

The 41-77 Little Neck Parkway school is home to 427 students, roughly 25 full-time teachers and about 10 part-timers, Barbeosch said. The money would also be used to buy snacks, provide incentives for the classrooms and fill prize bins with seasonal goods like spider rings or fancy pencils and erasers, she said.

Teaming up to help the needy

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Swami Durga Das

The River Fund New York — a local non-profit organization located in Richmond Hill — recently partnered with Payless ShoeSource to give away free shoes to nearly 90 underprivileged children.

More than 120 pairs of shoes were given away during the January 15 event. It was part of the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids initiative — a national, grass roots effort to give $1.2 million of free shoes to children of families in need.

Fairway collects for Figoski Fund

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Fairway Market recently raised some “green” for a good cause.

The supermarket held a fundraiser on January 5, during which it collected thousands of dollars for the Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund, a charity benefiting the four daughters of the slain, 22-year NYPD veteran.

Fairway donated 10 percent of the proceeds from all sales made between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. at its locations in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Plainview, Long Island, and Douglaston, Queens – amounting to $20,000.

“We have had a longstanding history of supporting those in service, so when we saw the opportunity to help out with this cause, it was a natural fit for us,” said Dan Glickberg, vice president of Fairway. “[Our motivation] was a combination of the community and the tragedy. [Figoski] was involved in two communities that are around our stores, and those are communities we help out.”

The scholarship fund, launched by the New York City Police Foundation, was formed to assist in paying for Figoski’s daughters to attend college. It has reportedly already topped $2 million in total contributions.

Figoski, 47, of West Babylon, Long Island, was shot and killed on December 12 while responding to a home invasion robbery in Brooklyn. His partner captured the gunman, Lamont Pride, who has been charged with first-degree murder. Figoski was posthumously promoted to detective.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund can visit www.nycpolicefoundation.org or mail checks to:


New York City Police Foundation

Attention Peter Figoski Fund

555 5th Avenue, 15th Floor

New York, NY 10017

Grant will go to Queens libraries

| squigley@queenscourier.com

Times are tough and the Queens Library has been facing deep cuts, but a New Year has brought with it a gift to help offset budgetary constraints.
Carnegie Corporation of New York President Vartan Gregorian announced that the organization will be giving $5 million to the public library systems of New York.

The Queens Library, which serves 2.2 million of New York’s student population, adult learning community and literary enthusiasts alike, will be receiving a $1.5 million infusion. Just last year alone, the city cut $3 million from libraries.

Some library patrons already have their hopes set for what is to come with the grant. Borough bookworms anticipate such luxuries as better access to best sellers, reopening of libraries on Saturdays, more children’s programs, part-time work opportunity, more computers and of course, elongated rental periods.

“Sometimes, especially during the holidays, seven days is just not enough time to finish an 800-page book,” said Ellen,  a Bay Terrace Library frequenter.

However, some are a little more skeptical about the possibility of any immediate and meaningful change. Faithful Queens Library patron Andy told The Courier, “The libraries need all the money they can get their hands on, because they aren’t getting it from [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg. These days, even $5 million is just a drop in the bucket, but hey, every bit helps.”

Queens Public Library spokesperson Joanne King said that they cannot yet be sure of exactly what change, if any, is to come, saying, “I can’t say things won’t change because it is simply too early to tell.”

King said that after the budget cuts, the library has a “desperate need to fill in the losses.”

The New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library will also benefit from the grant.

With this latest contribution, the Carengie Corporation would have donated $15 million to New York’s libraries over the last 14 years.

Astoria school feted for fighting hunger

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Thirteen hundred pounds of food can go a long way towards easing the suffering of poverty-stricken people.

In an effort to aid those less fortunate, P.S. 17 has held an annual food drive for the past seven years, during which students have collected and donated thousands of pounds of food to their community.

In 2010, P.S. 17 held two food drives and gathered over half a ton of food.

In recognition of their work, the elementary school, located at 28-37 29th Street in Astoria, earned National School of Distinction status from the School’s Fight Hunger program, an initiative focused on uniting schools across the country to combat hunger.

“It is an honor to be recognized, but we do it from our hearts without expecting anything in return,” said Constantina Pilios, the organizer of the food drives and the parent coordinator at P.S. 17. “We hold these drives because they teach the children lifelong lessons and show them how to practice good values, and it’s also satisfying helping someone else who is starving and in need of food. As a community, it is our responsibility to look out for one another.”

National School of Distinction status, which is an honor fewer than 2,000 schools across the country achieved this year, is awarded to schools that exhibit an exceptional effort in battling hunger.

Other activities that may warrant the award are volunteering at pantries and cultivating a garden to donate freshly-grown food.

“The students, staff and families of our School of Distinction schools should be very proud of their efforts and the impact they’re making on the hunger cause,” said Tim Sullivan, the founder of Schools Fight Hunger, which is in its second year of operation. “Of course, the short-term results are impressive, but we also love to see how our next generation of leaders is getting active in their communities at such a young age. In a day when so much news about our kids and our schools seems so negative, these schools and these students are well worth celebrating.”