A Day (and Season) of Giving!

A Day (and Season) of Giving!

Congratulations! You’ve survived the whirlwind of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Phew! First, take some time to enjoy the outdoors with your family, maybe jumping in some piles of leaves with your little one!

But after that, remember that today is the day to do something to make you feel good while doing good for others!

Today is Giving Tuesday, when people across the globe join together to make the world a better place.

On this special day, please support the mental health of the children and families in your community by donating as generously as possible to North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center.

But don’t stop there!

From Thursday Dec. 1 through Saturday Dec. 3, shop at Americana Manhasset’s Champions for Charity® and designate North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center as your charity of choice! 25% of your designated full-price, pre-tax purchases will be donated back to us! Select stores at Wheatley Plaza also take part. Simply register for your Champion Number (It’s free) at championsforcharity.org and present it at the time of each purchase.

Finally, don’t forget to shop year-round through AmazonSmile at no extra cost to you. Just click on North Shore Child & Family Guidance Association here to register us as your charity of choice.

Thank you!


Why Support the Guidance Center?

Below are some comments from some of our most dedicated donors about why they spend their philanthropic dollars to support the Guidance Center’s mission.

Rosemarie and Mitchell Klipper

Rosemarie and Mitchell Klipper

The connection between Board Member Rosemarie Klipper and the Guidance Center has been a strong one for many years, as she and her husband Mitchell are always giving of their time, financial resources and creative ideas. “As you give to others, you’re helping yourself as well,” says Rosemarie. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I encourage everyone to get involved by giving to such a wonderful organization as the Guidance Center.”


Andrea and Michael Leeds

Andrea and Michael Leeds

Board Member Andrea Leeds and her husband Michael are longtime devoted supporters who continually amaze us with their dedication to our work. “The Guidance Center’s programs continue to grow to meet the needs of children dealing with difficult personal issues like depression, anxiety, bullying and so many others,” says Andrea. “The mission is more important now than ever during the COVID crisis, with illness, death and trauma having a devastating impact on the children and families in our community.”

National Grid volunteers work on our Nature Nurser

National Grid

“We know mental health is so important to all in our community, and it’s key to have places like the Guidance Center to help families and children on Long Island,” says National Grid’s Kathy Wisnewski. “National Grid is dedicated to investing in our youth, and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support the mental health of the next generation of leaders.”

Daniel Donnelly

Dan Donnelly

Dan Donnelly says that the work the Guidance Center does for children on Long Island is what motivates him to be such a dedicated supporter.  But he also credits his admiration for the staff. “The people you have working here are such caring souls,” he says. “Life is about people and connecting. The relationships that I have with the Guidance Center staff and support team are one of the reasons why I stay involved.”

Jane and Marty Schwartz

Jane Schwartz

Our former Board President Jane Schwartz has been a dedicated friend and supporter of the Guidance Center for more than five decades. “The Guidance Center “provides a wonderful service to the Long Island community, with caring, dedicated staff members and a Board of Directors that are so devoted to helping all children and families, including those who cannot afford to pay for services.”

Some Thoughts on Gratitude

Some Thoughts on Gratitude

November is National Gratitude Month, and we asked our staff members to tell us what they are grateful for.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is grateful for all of you who support our work during this holiday season and throughout the year. Your generosity is the reason we have been able to bring hope and healing to the children and families of Long Island for nearly 70 years.

Thank you, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m grateful for being able to partake in my passion of traveling to different countries again and embracing their beauty. – Kathy Rivera, Executive Director/CEO

I am grateful for many things, one being my family. When I was younger, I was diagnosed with HPV and was told I might never be able to have kids. Today I am happily married and a mother of three beautiful children. I am forever grateful to God for giving the beautiful gift of being a mother; they are my strength and fill my life with so much joy every day. I am also grateful for my husband who is an extraordinary partner and amazing father to our children. And last but not least, I am grateful for both my mother and mother-in-law who are still with us and get to see their grandkids grow.  – Joselyn Alberto, Assistant to the Director of Outpatient Operations, Regulatory Compliance & Quality Assurance Officer

I am grateful for nature and overall, the fall season. November is actually my favorite month for many reasons. Some of them being trees (I take many, many pictures of them), spending time with family on thanksgiving, and it’s also my birthday month! – Evelyn Turcios, Bilingual Social Worker

I’m grateful for my family! – Holly Abro, Therapist

I’m grateful for my loving husband who is supportive, helpful, and loves me for who I am. I’m also grateful for my fur baby, Spike. Spike suffered through a severe case of Pancreatitis several months ago and we didn’t know if he was going to survive. I am so grateful for God giving me more time with my fur baby Spike. I am more appreciative of Spike than ever before after almost losing him. Spike is emotionally supportive for me and loves me more than he loves himself! He’s my best friend –  he’s family! – Lucille Buscemi, Peer Recovery Specialist 

I am grateful for my family, friends and supportive work colleagues. – Dr. Sue Cohen, Director of Early Childhood & Psychological Services

I am grateful for all the wonderful and talented people who make working here at the Guidance Center such a privilege! – Lauren McGowan, Director of Development

I am grateful to be a daughter/caregiver to this lovely lady who is 84 years old and blind. Doesn’t she look lovely? -Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Director of the Leeds Place

My 10-year-old puppy, Lucy, who greets me with such joy each day, gives me reason to be grateful every day of the year. – Jenna Kern-Rugile, Director of Development

I am grateful for my relationship with God, my boys, home, job, dancing hobby and health! – Monica Doyley, Head Teacher, Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court

I’m grateful for my siblings. – Stacy Brief, Therapist
Donor Profile: National Grid

Donor Profile: National Grid

While financial donations are crucial to making our work at the Guidance Center possible, there are several other ways to contribute to our lifesaving mission.

Case in point: our wonderful community partners at National Grid, an electricity, natural gas and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people across New York and Massachusetts.

Kathy Wisnewski

Kathy Wisnewski, Long Island Regional Director, Community Customer Management, says that National Grid has a long and proud history of volunteerism. “We’ve always been dedicated to having an impact on the communities where we live and work,” she says.

Project C

Though National Grid’s volunteer efforts at nonprofits, parks, businesses and other locations have been going on for many years, the utility officially launched what it calls “Project C” in 2021.

According to Wisnewski, Project C is designed to go beyond the utility’s work in the energy sector and to inspire positive change, create positive impact in our neighborhoods and strengthen communities for years to come.

In addition to volunteerism, Project C focuses on four key priorities: clean energy and sustainability; workforce development; neighborhood investment and community engagement; and environmental justice and social equity.

A dedicated group of National Grid employees (pictured here with Guidance Center staff) did an amazing job sprucing up our Nature Nursery.

Inspiring Future Leaders

The Guidance Center’s partnership with National Grid began in February 2019, when we hosted a Career Day at Nassau B.O.C.E.S. High School in Wantagh.

Juan Santiago, National Grid Customer and Community Manager, won over the students, sharing that he wasn’t that interested in academics as a youth but found his way with a little faith and hard work. “Just because someone doesn’t take a traditional route doesn’t mean they are any less motivated,” he told the audience. “There are many paths to success, and if you put your hearts and minds into it, you can do anything!”

Our next collaboration took place that March, when National Grid employees Sarah Kahrs and Paula Gendreau generously donated their time and expertise to coach students in a Mock Interview Day at Nassau B.O.C.E.S.

“This event was an incredible experience,” says Kahrs. “It was so exciting to be able to take an active role in helping these young adults prepare for their future.”

Gendreau adds, “I was impressed by all the positive energy! I was fortunate to meet some great candidates, and it was my pleasure to be part of a wonderful day.”

As spring 2019 arrived, we welcomed seven National Grid employees to our Leeds Place in Westbury, where they spent the day planting and painting our signpost, giving the building a fresh, friendly look.

Fran DiLeonardo, Director, IT Customer Service Management at National Grid, enthusiastically put his all into the project. “It was another great day making a difference in the community that we live and work in,” says DiLeonardo. “It’s always rewarding to put the time aside and make it happen; that’s why we keep coming back!”

Volunteers Bring the Energy

The Guidance Center was chosen for Project C this year by National Grid’s Alexandra Paoli, who was the onsite leader for the Day of Service at our Nature Nursery at the Marks Family Right from the Start 0-3+ Center (see cover story). She had learned of our mission through her mother, Michele Paoli, who has been with the utility for 25 years. The mother-daughter team, along with nine other National Grid volunteers, worked cheerfully and with gusto during the day-long beautification project.

“My mother knew about the great work of the Guidance Center,” says Alexandra. “When she suggested it be one of the sites of our statewide volunteer initiative, it was a natural choice.”

Making a Difference

Wisnewski credits National Grid’s staff for their devotion to the neighborhoods in which they live, work and raise their families. “Many of our employees have their own relationships with organizations in the community. Year-round, they do such remarkable things and make a real difference.”

National Grid plans to be back at the Guidance Center in 2023 for the next Project C Day of Service. “We know mental health is so important to all in our community, and it’s key to have places like the Guidance Center to help families and children on Long Island,” says Wisnewski. “National Grid is dedicated to investing in our youth, and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support the mental health of the next generation of leaders.”

We are so grateful to our friends at National Grid, and we’d love to partner with your company! Contact Lauren McGowan at 516-626-1971, ext. 320, to discover ways to help.

Main Photo: Our Leeds Place benefited from the wonderful volunteer efforts from National Grid.

Guidance Center Program Addresses Suicide Prevention

Guidance Center Program Addresses Suicide Prevention


Roslyn Heights, NY, October 24, 2022 — Two years ago, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, Long Island’s premiere children’s mental health agency, launched one of its most important programs ever: the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, named in honor of the son of Ellen Feldman and Donald Feldman.

On October 19, 2022, the Guidance Center welcomed the Feldmans, their son Matthew and other guests to its Roslyn Heights headquarters for the unveiling of the Butterfly Wall, which features brass butterfly plaques recognizing donors to this lifesaving initiative.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24, with more teenagers and young adults dying from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease combined.

With the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, the Guidance Center addresses high-risk cases with a thorough evaluation for suicide risk; multiple weekly sessions of individual, group and family therapy; and a culturally sensitive treatment plan that focuses on safety strategies, healthy coping skills and relapse prevention. Evaluation with a psychiatrist regarding the possible use of medication is also provided, along with in-home treatment and referrals to programs and services that will support parents’ efforts to protect their children.

“Suicide among young people is truly an epidemic,” said Elissa Smilowitz, Director of Emergency, Triage & Suicide Prevention Services at the Guidance Center. “The Feldman’s generous gift has allowed us to make a real difference in the lives of so many young people.”

Ellen Feldman says the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project has been instrumental in the journey her family has been on since the loss of her beloved son.

“Very soon after Doug died, Donald and I knew we wanted to do something that would prevent this tragedy from happening to other families,” she said. “I grew up in this community and raised my children here, so having the Guidance Center as the beneficiary of our donation to help young people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts made perfect sense.”

“I’m so proud of the work being done by the Guidance Center,” she added. “They are truly saving lives, and I can’t imagine a better way to honor our son.”

If you know a young person who may be at risk for suicide, contact the Guidance Center at 516-626-1971. The organization promises to see high-risk cases within 24 to 48 hours. For immediate help in a crisis, call 988, the new suicide hotline. To learn more about supporting the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, contact Lauren McGowan at 516-626-1971, ext. 320.

Photo Caption: Daniel Oliver, Rosemarie Klipper, Rita Castagna, Donald Feldman, Matthew Feldman, Ellen Feldman, Kathy Rivera and Jennifer Rush

About Us:

As the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to restoring and strengthening the emotional well-being of children (from birth – age 24) and their families. Our highly trained staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors and other mental health professionals lead the way in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, training, parent education, research and advocacy. The Guidance Center helps children and families address issues such as depression and anxiety; developmental delays; bullying; teen pregnancy; sexual abuse; teen drug and alcohol abuse; and family crises stemming from illness, death, trauma and divorce. For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been a place of hope and healing, providing innovative and compassionate treatment to all who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.

National Grid Assists  In Beautification Efforts, Anton Media, October 12-18, 2022

National Grid Assists In Beautification Efforts, Anton Media, October 12-18, 2022

On September 16, 2022, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center welcomed 11 employees from National Grid to its Marks Family Right from the Start 0-3+ Center as part of the utility’s volunteer day of service, called Project C.

The volunteers spent the entire day planting, painting, repairing and whole-heartedly doing whatever needed to be done to spruce up the Nature Nursery at the Right from the Start Center, which had been left largely unattended during the pandemic.

“We are so grateful to all the National Grid volunteers for working so hard and with such great spirits to beautify our Nature Nursery and surrounding areas,” said Dr. Sue Cohen, Director of the Right from the Start Center, where the Guidance Center serves its youngest clients and their families. “The Nancy Marks Nature Nursery continues to provide our young children and their parents with an opportunity to enjoy their natural environment using exploratory, hands-on stations and activities, such as musical instruments, water, paints and graduated steps.  Having a creative outdoor space to use during therapy and group sessions allows our therapists to engage children in a different way. The youngsters who have experienced this area love all that is has to offer and look forward to regularly returning.”

National Grid’s Alexandra Paoli, who was in charge of the project at the Guidance Center site, worked side by side with her mother, Michele Paoli, who has worked at the utility for 25 years. “Thousands of National Grid employees volunteer on this ‘Day of Service,’ which takes place at locations all across Long Island, upstate New York and New York City,” said Alexandra, a recent graduate of Penn State University and Associate Analyst, Community Customer Engagement. “My mother knew about the great work done at the Guidance Center, so when she suggested it be one of the sites of our statewide volunteer initiative, it was a natural choice.”

Therese Sullivan, National Grid’s Director of Operations Enablement, has participated in both Project C Day of Service events. “I was glad to volunteer for the Guidance Center because mental health is so important, especially helping children at an early age,” she said. “It is a great resource for families, and I’m proud that our company supports these efforts.”

If your company would like to discuss opportunities to volunteer at the Guidance Center or support our mission in other ways, contact Lauren McGowan at LMcGowan@northshorechildguidance.org or call her at (516) 626-1971, ext. 320.