Father's Day: Loving Foster Father Says His Children Are a “Godsend”
Angelo Reid (pictured), recently named “Foster Parent of the Year” by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services at the LGBTQ and Ally Awards Ceremony, knows how important it is to provide a loving home for children, and particularly for those who have suffered great trauma in their lives. Having grown up in the foster care system himself because his mother abused drugs, he realized some years ago that it was vital to raise kids the “right” way. Now a Conference Services Coordinator for an energy law firm, Mr. Reid’s financial stability and profound love for children led him to become a foster parent. With the support of JCCA, he has cared for seven children since 2005 and adopted two: DJ is now 15 and Manny 19. “These kids need unconditional love and we have to celebrate their individuality. I tell them ‘we’re going to work toward you becoming a better you.’ We have an open door policy in our home: I tell my children they can always say how they feel as long as they do so respectfully,” he says. “And you have to be a strong advocate for them—they’ve been through so much.”
“I can’t begin to tell you how much help I’ve gotten from JCCA and how important that is,” he continues. “Cy, Maria and all the staff have provided consistent support with all sorts of medical and school issues, and if they don’t know an answer to a question at first, they make a point to find out and let you know. They check in with us on a regular basis and that really makes a difference.”
Both of his sons are doing well: “DJ is growing tremendously in every way and Manny is in Atlanta and applying to college there. We do a lot of traveling to see each other and that’s great—we’re very close,” he adds. Both have inherited their father’s spirit of “giving back.” They donate one of their Christmas presents every year to needy children, and DJ is looking into becoming a Big Brother. “It was overwhelming to be honored as Foster Parent of the Year,” Mr. Reid says with emotion, “but I tell everyone, including my sons, that it’s because of the kids. They’ve enriched my life so much and are a godsend in times of trouble.”
edenwald: Crayola Surprises Edenwald Residents With Toys, Crayons And A Morning Of Fun!
Orchid, the Crayola mascot, surprised 14 boys in an Edenwald Cottage recently, presenting them with boxes of crayons, a portable Be a Star game (which allows kids to turn themselves into coloring pages) and many other lively activities. The boys were chosen as part of a nationwide social media contest and Edenwald is the first stop on a nationwide Crayola Experience Tour.
The boys, who have developmental delays and cognitive difficulties, were delighted. One of the residents, Joshua, said, “I was really happy they chose our cottage. It was awesome!”
“The event was marvelous. It was a joy to see smiles on all the boys’ faces as they colored in their personalized coloring sheets with their personalized crayons. They enjoyed meeting Orchid and opening their gift bags. We are so blessed to have had this experience. Our great thanks to Crayola and the Dave Thomas Foundation,” said Tara Glick, LCSW, Administrative Supervisor, Pleasantville Cottage School.
Pictured: Christian A.
Volunteering: Goldman Sachs Volunteers Plant Vegetable Garden at Edenwald
On Wednesday, June 3, 10 volunteers from Goldman Sachs came to the The Cottage Schools Campus to help our youth from Edenwald Center prepare and plant their annual vegetable garden. Together the volunteers and youth weeded the garden, prepared the soil and planted a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers. The Goldman Sachs employees volunteered as part of the firm’s Community TeamWorks program, which gives employees a day off each year to participate in community service projects.
Working together, it took the team only a couple of hours to complete the garden, leaving time for an afternoon of fun and games. Staff prepared a barbecue lunch for all, and later, everyone enjoyed card games, touch football, and a friendly game of soccer.
Sam Shikiar, CFA, the Goldman Sachs team “captain,” has been participating in this annual event for the past several years and told us, “I get great satisfaction working side by side with the youth, helping them accomplish their goals and knowing that they will be harvesting the garden all summer. I look forward to this every year and can’t wait to come back next year.”
Jewish Child Care Association is a comprehensive child and family services agency. We work with those who need us most, including children who have been neglected or abused, immigrant Jewish families, and those building new lives. Most of our clients come to us because they struggle with poverty or family crises, and because they are working to create an independent future. JCCA helps more than 16,000 children and families every year and is consistently rated at the highest levels for the quality of our programs. In all our work, we are motivated by tikkun olam, the value within Jewish tradition that calls upon all of us to repair the world, and by our belief that every child deserves to grow up hopeful.
Jewish Child Care Association is authorized by the Council on Accredication and recognized as a provider that continues to successfully
implement high performance standards and is delivering the highest
quality services to all of its stakeholders.”