HELPING CHILDREN IN NEED
A Unique Birthday Celebration
at the New York Foundling Hospital
Gillian Granoff, a Brown graduate, had celebrated her 10th reunion at Brown University, when she decided she would have her birthday party with 15 children, ages 4 to 12 whose birthdays, and indeed existence, had been ignored by absentee parents for years. With her customary thoughtfulness and concern for others, Gillian (a reporter for Education Update) planned the party with the Foundling Hospital’s director William Baccaglini Jr., arranging for 6 huge pizzas, salad, bottles of soda, cake, pin the tail on the donkey, hokey pokey and prizes for all. Gillian asked friends and family to bring small stuffed animals and toys in lieu of gifts for her.
There was lots of fun and good old fashioned cuddling and hugging of all the children interspersed with the excitement of the games, goodies and toys.
One of the Sisters had the children say a blessing before eating and Gillian shared a biblical Hebrew prayer before eating as well. The warmth and love in the room was palpable, the exchange of prayers made each person aware and accepting of religious differences.
Covenant House, founded in 1859 by the Sisters of Charity, was to provide shelter and respite to poor orphans as well as abused and abandoned children. Today, there is an acute unit for ill children as well as the unit where Gillian had her party which contains a Department of Education School, and in addition, a unit for pregnant teens where their babies can be born in safety.
Are you having a birthday soon? Follow Gillian’s tradition; consider sharing your special day with children less fortunate who will remember your birthday forever and treasure the small toys that no one else cares to give them.#
Contact Gillian at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.