May 4, 2020
NoMad Heroes: New Alternatives for Children (NAC) Provides Help and Hope
New Yorkers know the adage, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The admirable nonprofit New Alternatives for Children (NAC) is doing exactly this. As the city confronts ongoing challenges due the health pandemic, NAC’s doors remain open and its staff is hard at work, continuing to support children and families who need their important services.
Here are just a few things NAC has continued to provide during this tumultuous time:
- NAC Food Deliveries have been made to over 400 families NAC.
- Education Services staff members have been monitoring the tech needs of children to ensure they can remain fully engaged in school.
- NAC Social Workers have been in contact with each and every client on a weekly basis, either in-person or virtually.
Founded in 1982, NAC believes that every child deserves a safe, nurturing home and a bright future. Over many decades of hands-on involvement, NAC has expanded its capacity to serve New York City’s most vulnerable children and families.
During the current crisis, the NAC community is confronted with very real challenges:
- Families are experiencing food insecurity.
- Students are lacking the technology and tools required for remote learning.
- Vulnerable children are at increased risk of domestic violence.
- Care-givers are presenting symptoms of COVID-19, some being hospitalized.
- Clients with ongoing mental health issues are experiencing heightened feelings of depression, isolation, and fear.
You can be a Nomad Hero, too
You can join these heroes by helping New Alternatives for Children (NAC) to continue doing their extraordinary and important work. There are many ways you can help NAC to continue its outreach and support.
NAC continues to believe in the importance of literacy in the home. They are building an online library of stories being read aloud by staff and volunteers. Kids of all ages can access these stories at any time. To become a volunteer reader, following these simple steps:
Make an at-home recording for the library:
- Record yourself (audio or visual) reading your favorite children’s book.
If you don’t own such a book, check out this NYPL link to get an eBook.
- If you have a pet, get them to snuggle with you and bring extra comfort to NAC children.
- Provide a very short explanation about why you like your chosen book.
- When you have finished your recording or video, please email email@example.com.
- After NAC receives your email, it will send instructions on “How To Upload” your story.
Many NAC clients are bilingual learners, so NAC welcomes readings in Spanish, too.
Stories bring people together, even in times of isolation. By sharing a favorite story with NAC children, you are not only opening their eyes and ears to a favorite book, you’re also reminding them there are many people who care. And what better gift to give a child than a love of reading.
Gift Card Donations
The anxiety we all feel during this extraordinary crisis is exponential for families who do not have the means to stockpile food and other basic necessities. NAC is seeking gift cards to give to families to help them have the means to shop for what they need.
eGift Cards in the amount of $50, $100, or $200 from Target or Amazon will allow NAC to directly email families, enabling them to shop right away.
Gift cards should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailable Gift Cards
For families who do not have the technology to receive eGift cards and/or may also live in neighborhoods where there are few shopping options, Visa or Mastercard Gift Cards are best.
Gift cards can be purchased online and mailed to:
New Alternatives for Children Relief Fund
37 West 26th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
NAC has identified 230 families in need of new laptops, cell phones and access to WiFi. NAC will gladly accept devices and equipment or funding to help with helping NAC families to remain connected to support, family, friends, and school during this time.
Another way is help is to make a donation. Your donations could help power the NAC fleet of vans, pay for pet-assisted therapy, support arts or sports programs, and much more. No matter the size, your gift will help enable NAC to maintain the highest quality services for medically complex children and their families. Your contribution is 100% tax-deductible. Donate here
Volunteers are always welcome. You can choose a role that you’ll enjoy, whether that’s assisting with a larger effort, working one-on-one with children, doing research, or helping in the office: Volunteer here
NAC has always seen the strengths in its clients and their families, and it continues to alleviate some of the pressures that may keep them from succeeding. Children and families throughout New York City appreciate its invaluable services and support as everyone involved looks forward to a brighter tomorrow.