Currently, these are the charities benefiting from Embrace the Difference® in Western New York.
We are adding new charities every month!

13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc.
13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc. was established in 2001 following the death of Melissa Sengbusch who was 19 years old when she died of acute myeloid leukemia. Since its beginning (first called Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation), 13thirty has become an internationally known and respected leader in the field of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer because of our strong passion, clear vision, and steadfast commitment to a singular focus – teens and young adults with cancer.
Unlike many other cancer support organizations, we concentrate our efforts and resources on a targeted national problem that affects approximately 82,000 young people in the United States each year. As Melissa asked of her mom, we are making a difference. We are making things better for teens and young adults with cancer around the world.
The mission of 13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc. is to help adolescents and young adults (AYAs) impacted by cancer live their very best lives – today!

AccessCNY offers person-centered services that empower individuals of all ages and abilities to reach their full potential as part of our shared community. Services are provided with dedication, compassion, innovation, and commitment. AccessCNY provides services to over 3,000 individuals in five primary areas: programs for individuals with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries (ABI), services for those with mental health issues, clinical services for those with disabilities, preschool education and Consumer Directed Homecare. All services empower individuals to reach their unique level of independence.

AccessCNY is both a new agency and one with a rich history. The organization was founded in 2015 as the result of the merger of Enable and Transitional Living Services (TLS). Together, the two legacy organizations have 100 years of experience serving people of all abilities in our community.

Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention

The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention will reduce bullying abuse in schools and in the community by contributing knowledge and providing evidence-based tools to effectively change the language, attitudes, and behaviors of educators, parents, students, and society.

LINK: Website | Facebook


ALEH is a rehabilitative network of centers caring for the most severely disabled children in Israel. Established in 1982, ALEH believes that every child, regardless of the severity of the physical or cognitive disability, has the right to benefit from the best available care and develop to his or her full potential. Its four facilities located in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Gedera and the Negev, provide 650 children and young adults with all the specialized services they need to live a quality life: residential living, medical care, rehabilitative and therapeutic treatment, special education, vocational training opportunities, plus social and cultural activities.

As Israel’s largest organization for the severely disabled, ALEH’s groundbreaking rehabilitative concepts are changing social perceptions regarding the care for the most vulnerable amongst us. To learn more about ALEH please visit our website –

Ali’s Rally

On February 2, 2003, Alison Gerlach’s life came to a sudden and tragic end. Only seventeen years old and a senior at Williamsville South High School, she was an outstanding athlete and a well loved student. Upon her death, Ali’s family chose to honor her memory by contributing her organs to other needy children and adults as a reflection of her unselfish love. In this memory and to continue to bring the gift of life to others, theAli’s Rally Foundation was born. Since its inception, Ali’s Rally has raised over $220,000 for UNYTS  (Upstate New York Transplant Services). Those funds are specifically designated towards UNYTS’ “Donate Life” program, a school outreach program with the objective of continuing to make Western New York aware of the need for organ donation. LINK: Ali’s Rally Paul & Eileen Hettich           Randy & Claudia Gerlach     716-626-6627                        716-631-2159

Alzheimer's Association -In honor of Arnold B. Gardner

We exist to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease – a fatal brain disease, and the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. today. Until that day arrives, we give crucial information and support to those diagnosed, and their caregivers, so they may do their best to manage the disease. Services include a 24 hour care consultation phone line, to speak with a person, not a recording; Early Stage programs; education events; support groups; and respite care. We serve all 8 counties of WNY, and also support funding for research. Our website is

American Cancer Society - Relay For Life

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. The American Cancer Society raises funds through a variety of different avenues, but the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is Relay For Life. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event. It is held overnight to raise money for cancer research and local programs, to celebrate the life of survivors, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and fight back against cancer. The Relay For Life of New Hanover County will be held on April 25th and April 26th, 2014 at Ashley High School in Wilmington, NC. Last year, Relay For Life of New Hanover County raised over $265,000 and had over 1000 registered participants. CONTACT: Erin Bright • 910-254-4870 • 2262 Wrightsville Ave, Suite 111, Wilmington NC LINK: American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society WNY

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support at 1.800.227.2345 or

American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading nonprofit health organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association conducts programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, reaching more than 800 communities.

The mission of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To fulfill this mission, the American Diabetes Association funds research, publishes scientific findings, provides information and other services to people with diabetes, their families, health care professionals and the public, and advocates for scientific research and for the rights of people with diabetes.

LINK: American Diabetes Association

The Anthony F. Martino Fund

The Anthony F. Martino Fund was established at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute to provide financial aid to students in their sophomore, junior or senior year of study. Qualifications are not solely based on academic excellence. The purpose of the fund is to support a student who is an all around student, has school spirit and a sincere interest in academic pursuits while needing financial assistance to remain at St. Joe’s. Annually, the Fund grants assistance to one or more deserving young men. St. Joe’s continually strives to be a Community of Excellence. FOR 150 YEARS, students have been challenged to perform to the best of their abilities, and inspired to achieve their goals while serving the greater community. St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute (SJCI) is a Christian Brothers, independent college-preparatory high school educating young men of diverse backgrounds. Through a broad and balanced education, SJCI guides the development of each student’s unique talents, fostering a commitment to academic excellence, service, and leadership in the global community.

The Arc - Formerly known as Heritage Centers Foundation

Heritage Centers is a leading not-for-profit agency in Western New York, annually serving over 3,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities

through a network of over a dozen programs; all designed to assist these individuals in becoming independent and productive members of our community.  With nearly 60 years of providing excellent services and programming, Heritage Centers has become an integral part of the local human service network, providing a full range of individualized life services.


Artists Unlimited, Inc.

Since 2007, our mission has been to offer a unique expressive experience, in a safe haven, to those individuals who may not otherwise have an opportunity to participate as actors in other venues. Performing quality works with the message of inclusion and respect, Artists Unlimited’s theater program seeks to break down barriers and stereotypes often attributed to those who are disabled. By integrating our cast, individuals with and without disabilities often learn life skills from each other that go beyond the theater venue.

Aspire of Western New York

We at Aspire are driven by the core belief that children and adults with developmental disabilities have the right to realize their full potential and live as independently as possible. Aspire compassionately and relentlessly works toward facilitating this end. LINK: Aspire of Western New York

Autism Society of Central New York

Autism Society of Central New York is a local chapter affiliated with the Autism Society of America (ASA), the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, which exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. ASA does this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. As a local chapter we make this information available to our membership and the community at large through support groups, monthly family sensory & social opportunities, our website, education, workshops, and seminars. LINK: Autism Society of Central New York

Autism Society of North Carolina

Autism Society of North Carolina is a chapter affiliated with the Autism Society of America (ASA), the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, which exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. ASA does this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. CONTACT: Kristy White • 910-743-0204 LINK: Autism Society of North Carolina

Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania

Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania is a local chapter affiliated with the Autism Society of America (ASA), the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, which exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. ASA does this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. As a local chapter we make this information available to our membership and the community at large through support groups, monthly family sensory & social opportunities, our website, education, workshops, and seminars. LINK: Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $500 million dollars to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speakshas established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit


Bornhava is an early intervention and preschool program, nurturing and educating children with developmental disabilities. We partner with families to prepare our students for a full and productive life through encouragement and support. Please contact Barbara-Jo Hard at 716-839-1655 or visit us on the web at

Buffalo RPM
The mission of Buffalo RPM is to empower people with autism and related disabilities with Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). RPM is an educational method that leads to communication for individuals who are nonverbal or lack functional speech. RPM provides a means to express knowledge, understanding, reasoning, and thought which can lead to educational growth, self-expression, and fuller participation in society.  For more information, please visit our website at
Creating Hope through Opportunity, Participation and Empowerment, Inc. (C-HOPE)

C-HOPE (Creating Hope through Opportunity, Participation and Empowerment) provides programs for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities which focus on social and adaptive skill development along with job readiness skills. C-HOPE is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, based in Western New York. C-HOPE was founded by parents of children with developmental disabilities transitioning to adulthood looking for more and diverse opportunities for their children and their children’s peers.


Camp Good Days & Special Times

Camp Good Days is a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults and families whose lives have been touched by cancer. Camp Good Days offers year-round support, activities and services in addition to summer camping sessions free of charge to participants, which include: children with cancer, children who have a parent or sibling with cancer, children who have lost a parent or sibling to cancer and adults with cancer. For more information, please visit

The Cantalician Center for Learning

Cantalician Center for Learning, Inc. is an educational, rehabilitative and occupational facility for persons from infancy throughout adulthood who are challenged by a variety of developmental and physical disabilities.

Please contact Ashely at, 716-901-8728.

LINK: The Cantalician Center for Learning

C.A.P.S. - Challenged Athletes Participating in Sport

The purpose of Challenged Athletes Participating in Sport or C.A.P.S. is to provide safe, nurturing and supportive athletic activities and opportunities for children and young adults with physical and mental special needs. An easier way to put this is that we give people with disabilities a chance to play sports and to participate in various recreational activities that may be difficult to find elsewhere. C.A.P.S., Inc. has become well known and respected not only for our baseball program but for other sports and activities as well. By using the facilities of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, we have been able to add soccer, basketball and broom hockey, along with recreational programssuch as our social club and dances. We are now operating year-round rather than only during the summer season. The future holds unlimited possibilities,and C.A.P.S. plans on being a positive and supportive part of the special needs community. We’ve Leveled the Playing Field.

Please visit us at:

Catholic Charities of Buffalo

Catholic Charities of Buffalo is please to become an “Embrace the Difference” beneficiary. Robyn Zimmer’s mission to spread a message of acceptance and kindness reflects our own mission to provide ‘hope for all seasons’, serving anyone in need of every faith, race or walk of life. Any financial support we receive from the sales of such beautiful jewelry will help us to spread our messages of hope and acceptance.

Visit us on Facebook.

The Central New York Chapter of the Autism Society of America

Thank you for your role in enabling the Central New York Autism Society to positively impact our local community. Autism remains a puzzle, as it affects each individual differently. Our organization remains committed to developing and implementing programs to meet these needs and draw out their abilities, as each special person has so much to offer. Everyone who reaches out to help provides one more piece to solving that puzzle. Again, we thank you.

CHC Learning Center

CHC LEARNING CENTER, a program of The Center For Handicapped Children, Inc., is a non-profit school serving students with multiple disabilities ranging in age from birth to 21 years.

CHC supports the philosophy that every child had the right to be educated in the least restrictive, most normalized environment possible. Individual and small group instruction as well as therapeutic intervention and nursing services are provided. CHC is located in Amherst, NY.

Child & Family Services

One of the nation’s oldest and largest human services agencies, Child & Family Services has been located in Buffalo, NY since 1873.  On an annual basis, the agency helps nearly 12,000 individuals in Western New York, regardless of age, race, gender or income.  More than 30 programs and services help individuals, children and families overcome social, emotional and physical barriers to reach their full potential as healthy and productive members of the community.

Programs include:  Haven House, Erie  County’s only licensed domestic violence shelter; Family Mental Health Counseling; Foster Care and Adoption; the Stanley G. Falk School, a NYS-approved Special Day School; and much more.

Please visit to learn more.

The Children’s Growth Foundation

The Children’s Growth Foundation provides psychological counseling for children, adolescents and adults who have a wide range of endocrine conditions and sexual developmental concerns.

LINK: The Children’s Growth Foundation

The Children’s League

The Children’s League, formerly known as the League for the Handicapped, Inc., Preschool Learning Center, was founded in 1961 to provide educational and therapeutic services for children ages birth – 8 with all types of developmental disabilities.  The program serves over 200 children annually residing in Erie, Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties.  The program operates 12 center-based classrooms and also provides home and community based services during the 10 month school year and 6 week summer program.  A specialized program serves children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other children who benefit from an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) approach. Early diagnosis and early initiation of services are critical to insuring that young children with special needs are given the foundation to maximize their potential. LINK: The Children’s League

Cody's Wheels of Hope

Cody’s Wheels Of Hope was started as a memorial to Cody Scott Filson who died of cancer 8 days before his 5th birthday. His beloved bicycle was given to another child at the hospital. A need was found for more bicycles for more children. CWOH was started by his grandparents and father. We give bicycles and other wheeled toys to children with life threatening illnesses.

Our ONLY requirements are that the child be 15 years old or younger and have a life threatening illness. During treatments, families are often financially burdened and under stress. We try to provide some happiness at a time when all these children may know is pain.

We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit and rely solely on private donations. Our mission is to brighten the lives of hopeful children. Please visit our website at and see the pictures of some of “Cody’s Friends”.

Column of Hope

Searching for better understanding, treatments, and cures for Chiari malformation, syringomyelia, neuropathic pain, spinal cord injury, and related conditions. We are a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, committed to the efficient use of our volunteers’ time and donors’ contributions. We will hold ourselves to the highest levels of accountability to those suffering, researchers, donors, and each other. Communication with our supporters and friends will always be with respect, openness and honesty.   “Join us to make a difference, stop the pain, find a cure, and change people’s lives.” Laura Kane-Punyon

Comforting Hugs Foundation

COMFORTING HUGS FOUNDATION was created to provide comfort and spiritual support to children (and their famlies) living with cancer, longterm illness or disability. We bring them care bags, hand sewn pillowcase, snacks and supply mom/dad with a Tim Horton coffee card. We are in the process of also trying to help parents pay for parking.

Our impact is immediate – many organizations are focused on saving tomorrow’s children through research. Our focus is on helping children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses today.

Find us on FACEBOOK.

Community Services for Every1 (formerly Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled)

Community Services for Every1, Inc. offers people with developmental disabilities a wide range of services including employment programs, residential options and a variety of supports in their homes and communities. We are consistently adding innovative programs that seek to make a positive impact on all areas of a person’s life  and address areas where we have identified unmet needs.

180 Oak Street, Buffalo, New York 14203  716-883-8888



Compeer recruits, screens, and matches trained volunteers and mentors in one-to-one supportive friendship relationships with children, adults, military veterans and older adults who are striving for good mental health.

Our wonderful volunteers and mentors become positive role models, help raise self-esteem, increase social and communication skills, and encourage independence for their Compeer friends. Compeer provides a fun flexible volunteer opportunity that fits into your current lifestyle. There are endless rewards and opportunities for personal growth and satisfaction when you join the Compeer family.


Cradle Beach

Cradle Beach serves the needs of children with disabilities and those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We provide a healthy environment and organized activities to promote socialization, self-worth, and decision making, in an atmosphere of love and acceptance.

Residential Summer Enrichment Camping Program

The Residential Summer Enrichment Camping Program has long been staple of the programming offered at Cradle Beach. This program is offered every summer to nearly 800 children with disabilities and those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Children come to our site located in Angola, NY for 7-10 days of experiential learning in an inclusive setting. Our entire program is focused upon the 40 Developmental Assets as recognized by the Search Institute. The Developmental Assets are the building blocks of healthy development that all children need to grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible adults. Research demonstrates the more assets a child has in his or her life, the greater the likelihood that they will avoid high-risk negative behaviors, while at the same time choose more positive attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, asset development programming promotes an increase in academic achievement, a value for tolerance and diversity, good health and delayed gratification. Asset-based programming will also protect youth from harmful behaviors by reducing alcohol use, illicit drug use, sexual activity and violence. For more information on the 40 Developmental Assets, visit:


The Cradle Beach Respite Program provides a weekend getaway for individuals with a documented developmental disability. Participants stay at Cradle Beach and the program is a relaxed combination of indoor and outdoor activities. Staff members  are experienced summer staff and are trained to work with people with special needs. For more information please click here.

 Project SOAR

Project SOAR (Success, Opportunity, Achievement, Responsibility) provides tutoring, mentoring and academic support  throughout the school year by tutoring and mentoring 3rd – 6th grade students directly in the classroom. Cradle Beach staff are inside the classroom on a daily basis at three Buffalo Public Schools – Lovejoy Discovery School – BPS #43, Lorriane Academy and Southside Academy. Additional programming is provided to these students through weekend retreats, a summer camp component and summer enrichment activities.

LINK: Cradle Beach

Cranberry Hospice & Palliative Care

The mission of Cranberry Hospice & Palliative Care is to provide excellent, evidence-based care, education and advocacy to individuals and families who are faced with serious illness and to care for those who grieve following the death of a loved one. Cranberry Hospice &Palliative Care is a not-for-profit hospice agency that is Medicare certified and accredited by the Joint Commission. We have consistently provided quality care to residents of the South Shore for over thirty years. Currently organized as a department of the Beth Israel-Plymouth Hospital, Cranberry Hospice serves: -Pediatric patients who are facing serious illness and their families -Families whose unborn child is at high risk of death or serious medical complications following delivery -Children and adults who have lost a child, parent, spouse or sibling following an accident, illness, homicide or suicide -Schools, businesses and/or other community groups that need education and support around end-of-life or grief issues -Adults and children who suffer from life-limiting illness and their families. Website

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable auto immune diseases that attack the digestive system.  Many patients require hospitalization and surgery.  Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  There are 10,000 patients in Western NY alone—500 of whom are children.  

Since its inception, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has invested approximately $125 million in research. The organization has played a role in every major scientific breakthrough for Crohn’s and colitis, from generating data that has contributed to the development of new therapies to the discovery of the first gene for Crohn’s disease.  Locally we offer patient education and support and a camp dedicated to kids and teens with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

LINK: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

CURE Childhood Cancer Association

CURE Childhood Cancer Association was started 35 years ago by a group of parents who lost their children to cancer.  Our mission is to provide emotional, financial and educational support from the time of diagnosis, during treatment and after.  We are a local organization and serve over 1500 families annually.

LINK: CURE Childhood Cancer Association


Danceability Inc. is a dance and creative movement program for children and adults with special needs. Our family focused approach seeks to improve quality of life for those challenged with special needs, as well as their families and staff. Classes focus on the individuals’ abilities, motivations, love of music and movement. The program promotes physical, social and emotional well being in a comfortable environment that embraces acceptance and tolerance for all, while providing an outlet for fitness and fun.

LINK: Danceability

disAbility Resource Center

The mission of the disAbility Resource Center (dRC) is to empower persons with disabilities to become and maintain their independence in their communities. The disAbilityResource Center provides services to people with disabilities of all ages and all types of  disabilities and those who support them.   Phone: (910) 815-6618 Website: disAbility Resource Center

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte
The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (DSAGC) is a non-profit, family support organization.The goal of the DSAGC and its families is to enable individuals with Down syndrome (Ds) to reach their full potential and become respected members of their community. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all individuals with Ds by providing information and support to individuals, families, professionals and the community through educational and social activities.

LINK: Website

Down Syndrome Parents Group of WNY

The Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York is a non-profit organization consisting of parents and families of children with Down syndrome.

DSPG seeks to raise awareness of Down syndrome while enhancing the lives of people with Down syndrome. The organization’s informational and social events provide a broad range of opportunities for families to support and encourage each other. We provide this Website as a continually expanding resource for those affected by Down syndrome in the Western New York area. Please check back often for event updates and more. And don’t forget to “Like” us on facebook, and follow us on twitter for all of the latest DSPG news and happenings!

Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Foundation

The Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Foundation provides fundraising support for the Barber National Institute in carrying out its mission of “Making dreams come true” for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.  Each year, the Barber National Institute serves more than 3,600 children and adults with a wide range of educational, vocational, residential and behavioral health programs.

In addition to the main campus in Erie, PA, the Barber National Institute serves communities in Northwestern Pennsylvania as well as in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions.

Emma's Footprints
Emma’s Footprints was founded to serve families who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss.  Our goal is to provide compassionate guidance, resources and personalized services, including referrals and financial assistance as families begin this difficult journey. As of August 2015, we have served over 60 families by paying for the cost of funeral services, headstones, or counseling.

LINK: Emma’s Footprints


Every situation is different. Every individual has different circumstances, needs, and goals. Our job is work with you to navigate the system, and identify the best services for you.

The staff at Empower will guide you or your loved ones in receiving individualized services so they can receive the best possible care. Our goal is to ensure better health, personal growth, more independence, and community involvement. Together we EMPOWER individuals to lead their best possible lives.

Mission: Empowering the people we serve to live their best lives

Vision: Empower will be recognized as a human service provider, employer, and collaborator of choice

Core Values: Dignity, Accountability, Excellence, Leadership and Collaboration



The Eric Brigandi Foundation

Without a word spoken, Eric inspired a movement that will live through the efforts of the foundation named after him!  With a magical smile he melted all our hearts and reminds us each and every day that “There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world”

The foundation’s mission and purpose is to create awareness and outreach for the diverse needs of the rapidly growing population of chronically ill children in need of long term care in facilities that can provide various interventions and medical services that cannot be met within the home environment. The foundation is dedicated to family support efforts, outreach and the funding of projects relating to children in specialized long term care facilities.  The Eric Brigandi Foundation is a proud supporter of the Embrace the Difference initiative as its design brings meaning and awareness to all in a very unique and beautiful way.

Rosalie LaRocco, Founder The Eric Brigandi Foundation, Inc. P.O Box 172, Whiting, NJ 08759 Telephone: 732-703-6576

LINK: Eric Brigandi Foundation

Equality Florida

Equality Florida consists of two organizations – Equality Florida Institute, Inc., our 501(c)(3) educational charity and Equality Florida Action, Inc., our 501(c)(4) advocacy organization. Together, these organizations form the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LINK: Equality Florida

Familial Dysautonomia Foundation (FD NOW)

Familial Dysautonomia Foundation (FD NOW) supports research that will deliver safe treatments to the FD community.  FD NOW is currently funding Dr. Rubin’s and Anderson’s fast-track research at the Laboratory for Familial Dysautonomia Research at Fordham University in New York, USA.

FD is an abbreviation for Familial Dysautonomia, a rare, life-threatening, genetic, neurologic disease present at birth. Familial means the condition is inherited. Dysautonomia (pronounced “dis-aw-tuh-noh-mee-uh”) means a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls automatic body functions, such as breathing, digestion and circulation.  People with FD have an impaired autonomic nervous system, rendering each breath, swallow and heartbeat undependable and erratic. They are prone to wide swings in blood pressure and to life-threatening autonomic crisis.  Those with FD live in unstable, unreliable bodies.

In addition to the detrimental effects of FD on the organs that involuntarily function (e.g., lungs, stomach and heart), FD also impairs a part of the sensory nervous system that controls pain and temperature. Thus, broken bones, burns and frostbite often go undetected.

LINK: Familial Dysautonomia Foundation

Family Justice Center of Erie County

The Family Justice Center of Erie County will reduce barriers to justice and services faced by domestic violence victims by providing a safe location where professionals work together to support victims and their needs across a continuum of care. The FJC is a place where services are victim-driven, where children are protected, where violence stops, where families heal and thrive and where hope is realized.

LINK: Website

Fantastic Friends of WNY

Fantastic Friends of WNY recognizes the need for a safe, comfortable space and friendships for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. A place of understanding, compassion and no judgements. Through our events we will continue to create these environments for the developmentally disabled and their families in WNY. Everyone deserves to have fun and make lasting friendships.


FICE was established in 2014 by a group of parents who share the same desire; for their children with special education needs to be educated in their local Catholic school with family and friends.  Inclusion is an approach to education which allows ALL children to learn together in the same school with the necessary services and supports.  FICE works toward providing Catholic schools within the Diocese of Buffalo the necesssary funding for professional development and other supports that benefits those children with academic, behavioral and social challenges.  An Inclusive Catholic Education benefits all children by teaching compassion, acceptance and the value of every child of God. 

At Gateway-Longview, we never give up on a child.  Gateway-Longview is a charitable health and human service agency that has been providing care, counseling, and support to marginalized children and families from across Western and Central New York since 1890.

Our mission was founded by the faithful focused on serving orphaned and abandoned children.  Over the years, Gateway-Longview’s programs and services have changed to meet the ever changing needs of children and families in our community. Yet the mission of enriching children’s lives through high-quality best practice based programs remains the same.  Currently, we serve over 900 children and families everyday through our Special Education, Foster Care & Adoption, and Residential Care programs.

Thank you in advance for your support.

LINK: Gateway-Longview

GiGi's Playhouse El Paso

GiGi’s Playhouse is an established series of Down syndrome achievement centers. Serving children and adults of all ages, each Playhouse provides educational and therapeutic programs at no cost to families; and in a way that individuals with Down syndrome learn best. All programs aim to maximize self-confidence and empower individuals to achieve their greatest potential.


GiGi's Playhouse - Syracuse

GiGi’s Playhouse is an established series of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers.  Serving children and adults of all ages, each Playhouse provides educational and therapeutic programs at no charge to families; and in a format that individuals with Down syndrome learn best. All programs aim to maximize self-confidence and empower individuals to achieve their greatest potential. GiGi’s Playhouse-Syracuse

Gilda’s Club Rochester

Gilda’s Club Rochester has been serving the Greater Rochester community since 1959, first as Cancer Action, Inc., and then in 2000 as a Gilda’s Club. Today we support over 17,800 people yearly with over 1,200 FREE programs offered to men, women, teens and children who are affected by cancer. Our programs offer much-needed social and emotional support to those living with cancer along with their families and friends. Named for legendary Saturday Night Live comedienne, Gilda Radner, whose spirit lives on as members both give and receive love and laughter through our unique programs and events.

Girl Friends Fund, INC.

The Girl Friends Fund, Inc. (“The Fund”) brings dreams to life by providing scholarships and mentoring to high-achieving, African-American students who face significant financial obstacles in their path toward a college education.

We recognize the limits of financial aid, hence the goal of our scholarship program is to offset expenses associated with tuition, books, and housing. Awards for $1500 are presented each Spring to a select group of graduating high school seniors, nominated by chapters of The Girl Friends®, Inc, who plan to attend an accredited four-year institution.  The $1500 award is renewable for up to four years, provided the student continues to satisfy eligibility requirements.


Girls On The Run
Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience based curriculum. Our organization is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Grace Guest House, Inc.
Grace Guest House, Inc. will be the place and the people that directly assist and serve families who are in the South Buffalo area due to a medical crisis or medical issue.
Grace will be a haven for those families in need of overnight accommodations and respite while their loved ones are in the care of the medical professionals at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo or at other medical facilities in Buffalo’s Southtowns.  Grace will operate out of a guest house to be located at 484 Abbott Road in South Buffalo, just one-tenth of a mile from Mercy Hospital.

LINK: Grace Guest House

Headway of Western New York

Since 1985, Headway of Western New York has been there to help.  We are a volunteer support, advocacy and resource organization, founded by caring families and individuals who have survived brain injury and other disabilities.

We are a not-for-profit agency that provides support groups, educational materials, in-service seminars, recreational opportunities, resource and referral services as well as linkage for case management and more.

LINK: Headway of Western New York

Heritage Farm, Inc.

The mission of Heritage Farm, Inc. is to provide an individualized program for each participant that reflects the founding belief that farming and rural life foster self-worth, independence and a sense of responsibility toward family, friends and community. 

We hold to the principle that the person comes first, not the disability.

The programs we offer are Day Habilitation, Community Habilitation, Weekend Respite, Hourly Respite, Supported Employment, Medicaid Service Coordination, After School Ag Program and School-age Summer Program.

For additional information, please visit our new website at , call us at (315) 893-1889 or

stop in for a program and farm tour at 3599 State Route 46 Bouckville, NY 

HITS Foundation
The mission of the HITS Foundation is to provide financial, facility and program support for underprivileged children and adults. We offer opportunities for recipients to participate in activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them. The HITS Foundation enhances their quality of life and enriches the lives of the families and friends that support them.

LINK: HITS Foundation

Hope Chest Buffalo

Hope Chest empowers breast cancer survivors — no matter what age or stage with breast cancer — to improve their quality of life through fitness, support, encouragement, and dragon boat racing. Hope Chest is a breast cancer survivor organization that promotes living well after breast cancer with exercise classes, nutrition classes and camaraderie. Hope Chest offers free Hope Chest exercise classes at 3 BAC locations, at various times. Hope Chest encourages joining the sport of Dragon Boat paddling, and the support of Hope Chest Dragon Boat festival in June of each year at Riverworks.


Hope RPM For Autism

HOPE RPM stands for Helping Optimize Potential and Expression through Rapid Prompting Method.  We offer academic tutoring, communication-skills training, and educational consultations for nonverbal and limited verbal individuals with autism and related disabilities. RPM lessons help build cognitive, motor, tolerance, and self-expressive skills essential for learning and communication.  Your donation will be used for need-based tuition assistance.  For more information, please visit  Link

Horizon Health Services

We offer a wide range of services to help individuals and their families deal with the complex issues of  treatment and recovery with many convienent locations around Western New York. Our mission is to help individuals and their families achieve health and recovery from mental health disorders and or addiction.

WNY needs additional resources to combat the growing epidemic of drug addiction that is resulting in early deaths of young adults. We are asking for your help.  Please consider supporting the development of life saving treatment at Horizon Health Services.  For more information, please visit our website at

Hospice Buffalo

Hospice Buffalo is one of the nation’s largest hospice and palliative (comfort) care program, serving more than 500 patients a day in homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and the Mary & Ralph Wilson, Jr. Hospice Inpatient Unit in Cheektowaga. Hospice Buffalo serves individuals with serious illness and their families and caregivers through a continuum of care spanning the course of illness and bereavement. We assist individuals to make choices about their care, support those who are grieving and educate the professional and lay communities on end-of-life issues. Please visit to learn more about our services, or call (716) 686-8000 for a free in-home confidential consultation.

Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Inc. (HOME)

For fifty years Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Inc. (HOME) has served as a staunch advocate for fair housing and civil rights.  HOME’s mission is to promote the value of diversity and to ensure the people of Western New York an equal opportunity to live in the housing and in the community of their choice through education, advocacy, enforcement of fair housing laws, and the creation of housing opportunities. HOME’s services work to eradicate discrimination in housing and ultimately create stronger more diverse communities for which our future generations to work, thrive and excel.

Find us on Facebook! Visit our website


JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes.  It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal.  Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump – each day, every day of their lives.  And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.4 billion to diabetes research, including $101 million in FY2009.  In FY2009, JDRF funded research projects in 22 countries throughout the world, including more than 40 human clinical trials.


JDRF Coastal Carolina Branch

The Coastal Carolina Branch of JDRF encompasses nine counties:  Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson and Sampson.  Our goal is to engage with our nine counties to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications through increased awareness, outreach, and fundraising to support research.

We are focused on growing our overall diabetes network by connecting with the newly diagnosed through the “Bag of Hope” program for pediatric patients and the Adult Type 1 Toolkit and Pumper’s Support Groupfor the other 80% of  individuals with T1D in our population.

We are in the process of implementing a Young Leaders Professional Board which will provide professional development opportunities as well as social networking for the 21-40 year old Type 1 population and their peers.

Our government relations advocates work to educate our local political representatives about diabetes’ impact and also helps to petition national representatives and the FDA in regards to research and health issues.

JDRF is a volunteer driven organization that is streamlined and efficient in its use of donations.  It consistently receives the highest marks from various Philanthropic rating agencies.  Through funds raised by Walks, Galas, Rides, 3rd Party Events, Major Gifts, and Planned Giving, JDRF has emerged as the only organization that has the resources and expertise to fund research to cure Type I diabetes and its devastating complications.

We are an energized, enthusiastic and committed group of staff and volunteers.  We are proud members of the JDRF Family and we invite you to get to know us and our Coastal Carolina Branch!

CONTACT: Erin Mabry • 910-509-9899

LINK: JDRF Coastal Carolina Branch

Joyful Rescues
Joyful Rescues operates as a no-kill rescue, taking in cats, dogs, puppies and kittens in need, within our means to provide safe housing, quality food, medical care and love to all pets in our care until suitable, responsible and loving, permanent homes can be found through a strict screening process.  We also strive to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering which controls the pet overpopulation, responsible pet ownership, and the humane treatment of animals, and also to educate the public on the horrors of puppy mills and pet store/internet puppies for sale.  We assist in spaying/neutering pets for low income families, as funds allow, which will aid in population control. In 2016, Joyful Rescues took in 856 homeless animals, and adopted out 902 animals into forever homes.
Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation

Joubert Syndrome and its related disorders are rare genetic disorders characterized by decreased muscle tone, difficulties with coordination, abnormal eye movements, abnormal breathing pattern and cognitive impairment. The Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has been providing information about the disorder to families all over the world since 1992! Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation is an international network of parents who share knowledge, experience, family support, networking, newsletters, and conferences. Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation plays an important role in educating physicians and their support teams as well as increasing public awareness. Celebrating our 21st year of providing information about the disorder to families all over the world! 

LINK: Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation

Kaelys kindness Foundation

Kaelys Kindness Foundation helps teenage girls with cancer with their unique emotional, physical and practical needs. Kaely Kwitek was diagnosed with an aplastic large cell lymphoma. Ak Kaely embraced her diagnosis and moved along her journey she found minimal resources to assist her in dealing with being a teen living with cancer. Family friend Kathy Tabor and Kaely’s mother Maggie Dreyer started this foundation to provide resources for teenage IRS With cancer such as makeovers, dinners, trips support groups and relaxation activities. Please contact Kaely Kwitek at 716-430-0703 for more information. LINK: Kaelys Kindness Foundation

Kallie's Krusade

On August 16th of 2013, 21 month old Kallie Swan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It turned the Swan’s world upside down. They thought to themselves, “How and why did this happen to our 21 month old daughter?” Although the doctors couldn’t give them answers, they knew they had to do something. So they have rallied with family, friends and community to “fight like a girl” and crusade against Childhood Cancer.
Not even a month after Kallie’s diagnosis, in September 2013, an entire weekend was planned to benefit Kallie and her family. The weekend, along with the multiple events that took place, fittingly became known as, “Kallie’s Krusade.” This event helped raise money for the expenses the Swan family incurred. The community rallied together and it was a huge success! Which inspired the creation of this foundation! Since that weekend in September, Kallie’s Krusade has become a non-profit organization

100% of the monies raised at the annual fundraiser events will be utilized to help other families in our community whose lives have been stricken with pediatric cancer. From transportation, lodging, and other expenses, the foundation will helpto alleviate the financial toll that childhood disease takes on a family. Kallie’s Krusade is a community effort to “fight like a girl” against pediatric cancer and other
childhood illnesses. We will support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the taken, and never ever give up hope. In addition, Kallie’s Krusade will strive to raise awareness to childhood cancer, a tragedy that effects 1 to 2 children out of 10,000 every year in the United States and can affect any family at any time. No parent wants to see their child suffering at the age of 2 or even at the age of 30.
Together with the community, Kallie’s Krusade will “fight like a girl” against pediatric cancer and other childhood illnesses. Kallie’s Krusade will bring financial relief and community support to families stricken with childhood disease. Kallie’s Krusade vows to bring honor to those who have fallen to childhood illness through continuous efforts of raising knowledge and awareness to the cause. Hand in hand, with all of the childhood disease survivors, Kallie’s Krusade will instill in the community that there is always hope and help in a seemingly endless battle.


Kevin Guest House

Kevin Guest House is America’s first healthcare hospitality house, founded by Claudia and Cyril Garvey of Sharon, PA in honor of their son Kevin. Opening in 1972, Kevin Guest House paved the way for more than 600 healthcare hospitality houses across the country today, including the inspiration for a family to start Ronald McDonald House Charities. Since opening, more than 54,000 guests visiting Buffalo for medical care have passed through our doors. We welcome guests of any age, for any medical condition, and visiting any medical facility. No guest is ever turned away for an inability to pay.

LINK: Facebook

Kids Escaping Drugs

The mission of Kids Escaping Drugs is to raise, manage, and distribute funds for the development and support of facilities, community education, and advocacy programs for adolescents and their families in Western New York suffering from alcohol and drug dependency/addiction.

LINK: Kids Escaping Drugs

Learning Disabilities Association of WNY

The Learning Disabilities of Western New York (LDA of WNY) is a non-profit that specializes in the servicing of persons with learning disabilities, neurological impairments, developmental disabilities and disabilities with similar multiple service needs.  The organization strives to create and provide an environment in which all individuals they serve experience independence, respect, dignity, and full participation in the community so that they can reach their potential.  For more information on LDA of WNY, please visit or visit the agency’s Facebook page at

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Founded in 1949, we are relentless in pursuit of our mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Investing in blood cancer research: LLS has invested more than $875 million in research, approximately $68.4 million in fiscal year 2012 alone. Programs like the Specialized Center of Research (SCOR), which brings together teams of scientists from different disciplines and our Translational Research Program, which funds research with a high probability of producing innovative patient treatments in an accelerated time frame, have directly contributed to many breakthrough cancer treatments.

Research funded by LLS has led or contributed to advances such as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies such as Gleevec®, Rituxan®, Velcade®, Thalidomid®, Revlimid®, Istodax®, Zolinza®, Dacogen® and Vidaza®.

Providing critical information and support for patients and their families: We make contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals through our Information Resource Center (IRC), our award winning Web site and community based patient service programs. We put people together with experts through Webcasts and teleconferences, and provided professional education through seminars, to extend the latest findings to a broader professional audience.

Advocating for issues impacting blood cancer patients: With more than 66,000 advocacy volunteers throughout the country, our voice is being heard by those responsible for legislation to fund blood cancer research and educational programs. The need is critical: An estimated 1,012,533 people in the United States are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma. Approximately every four minutes, someone new is diagnosed with blood cancer. Approximately every 10 minutes, someone dies. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children, adolescents and young adults under the age of 20. Lymphomas are the most common blood cancers and incidence increases with age. The survival rate for myeloma is only 41.1 percent. Incidence is more than twice as high among African Americans as for all other races.

LINK: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

LINK: Make-A-Wish®

Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina

Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.  These wishes are granted to children who live in the 49 North Carolina counties we serve.  During the last year, our chapter granted a record 190 wishes.  Today, we have nearly 200 children waiting for their one true wish, so the need is more urgent than ever.  Wish granting is made possible only by the generous donations from individuals, companies, foundations and organizations in our local community.  Learn how you can share the power of a wish® by visiting our web site at

CONTACT: Ken Boroff • 919-821-7111

LINK: Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina

Make Lemon Aide Foundation for CP

The Make Lemon Aide® Foundation for Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a 501c3 nonprofit foundation that was established in 2013 in an effort to bring awareness to CP.

Inspired by Lauren Walier, a young woman living with CP, we follow her motto – Be Courageous – in everything we do and we won’t stop until we accomplish all of our goals.


Mary Cariola Children's Center

Since 1949 Mary Cariola Children’s Center has provided the highest quality individualized services for children and young adults with developmental delays and especially for those with complex or multiple disabilities. The Agency is dedicated to  excellence in educational, residential,  therapeutic and community support services and to developing program initiatives for emerging populations of children with special needs. Mary Cariola serves 450 students from 40 neighboring school districts representing a 10 county region in Western New York. LINK: Mary Cariola Children’s Center

Mercy Center for Women

Mercy Center for Women is a secure refuge for homeless women with or without children who are ready to develop the life skills they need to care for themselves and their families. As a transitional housing facility in Erie, PA, the women and children stay with us for an average of 15 months while they address issues such as education, addictions, domestic violence, parenting, self-esteem and budgeting with a goal of empowering  them to becoming self-sufficient, productive members of society.   Please contact Chris Tombaugh at 814-455-4577,  LINK: Mercy Center for Women

Mikey’s Way Foundation

Mikey’s Way Foundation (MWF) received its vision from our founder, Michael “Mikey” Friedman—a way to help connect and enrich the lives of children suffering with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The foundation helps children cope with the isolation, boredom and fear associated with life-threatening illnesses. It is the goal of the foundation to be able to connect every child with their friends, family and school, enabling them to cope with the long hours, days and weeks of separation that they must endure. In creating a connection, we are in turn presenting the child with a form of diversion. This diversion is a necessary element to the Mind-Body connection, or Psychoneuroimmunology. Continued studies have shown that when the mind is stimulated and engaged, the body can respond in positive ways—more tolerable nausea, lower fever, higher blood counts and a more relaxed patient. This holds great importance for our seriously ill children.Our “Mikey’s Way Connection Cart” circles the pediatric floors of the hospitals we serve, giving away all forms of electronics that permit the child to create their own diversion and thus allow for the Mind-Body connection. Every child is allowed to choose the item that they feel will work best for them.

Minding Your Mind

Minding Your Mind is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with a mission of reducing stigma and destructive behaviors
associated with mental health issues while promoting help-seeking behavior in youth through education.
Minding Your Mind offers an evidence-based, contact strategy through in-school and community-wide mental health education programs aimed at middle school, high school, and college-age students. Through our professionally-crafted presentations, students hear stories of hope and recovery from young adult speakers who successfully and productively cope with their mental health issues. Our educational programs move away from crisis-based response to prevention through education. Programs create a safe space for communication and aim to normalize the conversation around mental health. Our goal is to help reduce the incidence of substance abuse, self-harm, isolation, bullying, and suicide in teens and young adults. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults aged 14 to 23. Suicide almost always is the result of an untreated or under-treated mental health condition. Stigma and shame are the greatest barriers to treatment. Our goal is to create a culture of openness and advocacy. Since 2007, through our young adult speaker program, Minding Your Mind has reached hundreds of thousands of high school, middle school, and college-aged students, their teachers, families, and caregivers. The programs occur during school assemblies, health classes, and workshops. Issues addressed in these presentations range from mood disorders, suicide ideation and eating disorders, to addictive behavior and bullying.


Mission for Marcia: Fighting ALS

In January 2015, our dear friend Marcia Nachreiner was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, which is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. With no known cure for ALS, we hope to raise money to give back to her at least a small part of all she has given to us.

Marcia, a woman whose beautiful heart has touched all our lives, is the kind of person who is always there for others. Even now, stricken by a disease which has stolen her strength and independence, she continues to inspire those of us lucky enough to be family or friend.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater North Carolina Chapter

The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. In 2012 alone, through our home office and 50 state network of chapters, we devoted $122.1 million to programs and services that assisted more than a million people. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $43.3 million to support more than 350 research projects around the world.

CONTACT: Shannon Hinson • 919-792-1002

LINK: National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Greater North Carolina Chapter

National Multiple Sclerosis Society WNY

MS stops people from moving. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. Our vision is a world free of MS.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Upstate New York Chapter offers a wide array of nationally recognized and award winning programs for nearly 12,000 people affected by MS throughout 50 counties in Upstate New York.

In addition to local services, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a leader in clinical care standards and is the largest private funder of MS-related research in the world. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested nearly $36 million to support 375 research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS.

Join the movement at and

Olmsted Center for Sight

The mission of the Olmsted Center for Sight is to help people who are blind or visually impaired achieve their highest level of independence. Each year we provide service to over 2000 people a year. We offer rehabilitation, low vision, manufacturing, early education preschool services. We are also home to the Statler Center; a national training program that trains individuals who are blind, visually impaired or physically disabled for careers in hospitality, contact centers or customer service. Students from over 35 states and 3 countries have traveled to Statler Center to participate in our training programs.

LINK: Website

Opportunities Unlimited

Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara was started nearly 60 years ago by families who were in need of support and services for their loved ones. The largest not-for-profit in Niagara County, Opportunities Unlimited provides day programming, employment and training, community-based volunteer opportunities, on-campus programs at Niagara University, horticulture therapy, fine arts, service coordination for any age, clinical services, recreation (youth and adult), residential services, and supportive services. The Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Foundation mission is to provide a long-term source of financial support that ensures people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have opportunities toward independence and integration within the community.

Please visit our website for more information.

Parent Network

Parent Network of WNY is a not-for-profit agency that provides education and resources for families of individuals with special needs (birth through adulthood) and professionals in the eight counties of Western New York including: 1-on-1 Support and education through resources, workshops and support groups.  Our mission is to support families and professionals to empower individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential.

Visit our Website:


Find us on Facebook:

People Inc.

People Inc. – Where your world opens up.

People Inc. is Western New York’s leading non-profit human services agency. Through a variety of services including residential, employment, community outreach, health care and recreation programs, we help seniors, families and people with disabilities live more healthy, independent and productive lives.

For more information: 

Prader-Willi Alliance of NY

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder due to an abnormality on the 15th chromosome resulting in an excessive preoccupation with food and constant hunger, which in turn can lead to obesity and obesity–related health problems. Hypotonia, small stature, cognitive delays, and other developmental disabilities are also associated with PWS. The mission of the Prader-Willi Alliance of New York, Inc. (PWANY) is to help all people with Prader-Willi Syndrome living in New York State to have the hope and support they require throughout their lives. Your donation will help provide assistance, information, referral, and advocacy services to families and friends of persons suffering from PWS and encourage and support research into the causes, cure and treatment of PWS.



First, our name stands for the Rolling Athletic Club and Inclusion Network. We’re a dedicated group of like-minded volunteers that collectively recognized that there was little to no participation by developmentally disabled individuals in the Western New York racing community.

Together, we saw an opportunity to include these energetic and spirited folks in races of all distances. With that mission in mind, RACIN! was formed in 2013.

We bring the community together to advocate for greater opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to wholly participate in road races.

As we continue our journey, we’re always looking for additional help.

The mission of the Rollin’ Athletic Club and Inclusion Network (RACIN!) is to improve the physical, social and emotional lives of people with developmental disabilities through regular physical activity and involvement in the local racing scene. Together, we run, walk and roll!


Relay for Life of New Hanover County

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer.  The American Cancer Society raises funds through a variety of different avenues, but the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is Relay For Life.  Relay For Life is  the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event.  It is held overnight to raise money for cancer research and local programs, to celebrate the life of survivors, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and fight back against cancer. Last year, Relay For Life of New Hanover County raised over $265,000 and had over 1000 registered participants.

LINK: Facebook

Roanchar Ranch Draft Horse Rescue
Roanchar Ranch Draft Horse Rescue aims to rescue draft horses from slaughter houses, feedlots, auctions and other conditions that are harmful, by purchasing them, providing them with the necessary food, shelter and healthcare, retraining them and adopting them out to suitable homes. The goal is to work towards a day when draft horses are no longer slaughtered.


Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo®

Since 1983, Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo® has been a refuge, a “home away from home”, for families whose dreams and lives have been interrupted by their child’s serious illness or accident.  Each year, more than 600 families rely on Ronald McDonald for a warm bed, a home cooked meal, laundry services and emotional support for as long as their child is hospitalized in a nearby hospital.  And no family is ever turned away due to the inability to pay a modest overnight fee.

Please visit our website at or call 883.1177 to learn more about other ways you can support the Ronald McDonald House!

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center  (RPCCC) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCCC, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York.

The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs.

For more information, visit RPCI’s website at, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email


As a 501(c)(3) organization, SABAH is dedicated to the mission of enriching the quality of life for individuals challenged by physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disability by providing education and therapeutic recreation, promoting fitness, and developing social and communication skills.  Since its inception over 35 years ago, SABAH has developed into an organization which offers seven distinctive programs to over 600 individuals with special needs throughout Western New York.

SABAH programs include four physical education programs and three recreational programs.  Physical education programs include: the School Day Adaptive Ice Skating program, the Autism Spectrum Disorders program, Summer Athletes Bold At Heart (turf), and Adults Fit and Fun (turf).  Recreational programs include: the traditional evening and weekend skating programs, the developmental hockey program, and the summer skating program.


Sadie's Safe Harbor Canine Rescue
Sadie’s Safe Harbor Canine Rescue is a 501c3 not for profit organization passionately dedicated to the rescue of canines from local shelters, out of state shelters and direct surrender from owners who can no longer care for their dogs. Due to our wonderful network of volunteers, foster homes, boarding facilities, trainers and veterinarian support, we are able to provide a second chance for so many worthy furry friends.
Our rescue dogs reside in loving, safe foster homes while we search for their happy “furrever” after family through a screened adoption process. We also serve our community as a resource, providing information and assistance.   We understand and advocate the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.



sasi is a leading non-profit, health & human services agency that provides high quality supports and services to more than 4000 seniors, adults and children with intellectual disabilities and their families in WNY. Since 1975, sasi has assisted individuals with special needs in achieving greater degrees of independence and fulfillment.

With a focus on the unique skills, interests and goals of individuals with disabilities, sasi strives to provide experiences that enhance opportunities, encourage independence, broaden horizons and enrich lives.

LINK: sasi


Save the Michaels of the World, INC.

Making it Happen Though Partnership and Education Who Are We? Save the Michaels of the World is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse within our community and across the nation. Formed at the kitchen table of co-founders Avi and Julie Israel following the death of their son Michael, Save the Michaels began as a grassroots campaign to draw attention to the burgeoning opiate epidemic in America. Facing a life-long struggle with Crohn’s Disease, Michael David Israel subsequently found himself facing a new battle, an overwhelming one against his addiction to the prescription pain medication he was provided by his physicians. Within the midst of these struggles, Michael and his family frantically sought solutions for this life-shattering difficulty from the medical community as a whole. Catastrophically, Michael succumbed to suicide before a solution could be found. After Michael’s passing, the Israels vowed they would continue their quest for solutions, and have dedicated their lives to creating change in the name of their son. With the support of their friends, as well as other families who faced similar trauma, the Israels created Save the Michaels of the World, Inc. What began as the struggle of one family’s child, quickly manifested into a movement. How Do We Do It? Through partnership with local outreach programs such as Kids Escaping Drugs, and medical providers such as Horizon Health Care, Save the Michaels services schools, businesses and organizations with educational presentations which provide critical information about the dangers and impacts of drug abuse. Offered free of charge, these engaging workshops are an opportunity to raise awareness and develop prevention strategies among students and community members. Save the Michaels is also recognized community-wide for their support of anti-drug legislation, and common sense prescription protocol. How Can You Find Us? Check us out on the web, on Facebook or at our blog for more information!

LINK: Save the Michaels

Schofield Residence

Founded in 1910, Schofield is one of the most experienced and respected providers of home health, adult day health, rehabilitation and skilled nursing care in WNY. Each week, Schofield serves more than 700 frail elders and adults with disabling conditions such as stroke, fractures, diabetes, traumatic brain injury, congestive heart failure and other serious conditions in our community. Schofield Care provides the care you need when and where you need it. Visit us at

Senior Wishes

Established in late 2013 by United Church Home Society, Senior Wishes’ mission is to honor and recognize the lifelong contributions of our oldest citizens by granting life enriching wishes that will make a significant impact on a senior’s quality of life and bring them great joy. Wishes might be to reconnect with a loved one, visit a hometown or favorite place, participate in an activity, learn a new skill, go to an event or celebrate a passion. Wish recipients must be WNY residents age 65+ and must meet income guidelines or be a permanent resident of a care facility. Recipients must be capable of experiencing their wish, but unable to accomplish it on their own. We show seniors they have not been forgotten. For more information visit

Sensational Fun, Inc.
Sensational Fun, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in WNY with a new concept to better the lives of our special needs children and their families! Our center in Orchard Park provides an APPROPRIATE PLACE where children and adults with special needs can learn and interact with others, while still being themselves in a safe, therapeutic, and understanding play environment.   We provide an array of sports, clubs, camps, programs, and family events which are adapted to the unique abilities of the special needs community.
Seven Chances, INC.

Seven Chances Inc. recognizes the need to identify people in our local community who, based on circumstances, cannot find the necessary support needed to help them make it through their challenges. We all know people who have experienced devastating hardships, been pushed to the brink by illness, been squeezed by relentless financial pressures, or are overwhelmed by the psychological distress that accompany these types of life-altering events. When these people have exhausted all options for help, our organizational efforts are designed to provide assistance to enable revival and a means to recover.

Find us on Facebook!

5360 Genesee Street

Suite 210

Bowmansville NY 14026

Telephone: 716.688.6500

Fax: 716.688.9800

Southeast Works

Southeast Works provides a wide array of services to over 800 developmentally disabled individuals and their families in WNY helping them with the skills to lead independent and fulfilling lives through innovative services.  Some of the services include but not limited to Residential, Day Services and Employment Programs.

LINK: Southeast Works

Special Olympics-New York

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.



Special Spaces, Buffalo

Special Spaces is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and our mission is simple but zealous. It is to create dream bedrooms for children with life threatening illnesses; a place that only the child can dream of or imagine while addressing their medical needs. Special Spaces was founded on the precedent that children battling a life threatening illness need their own special space. It should be a special space of hope and inspiration and a place to find peace and comfort.

Learn more & Donate here:

LINK: Webiste


(716) 320-0565

PO Box 775 Williamsville, NY 14231

St. Mary's School for the Deaf

St. Mary’s School for the Deaf is committed to providing equitable access to exemplary educational programs that prepare deaf students to be self-directed, lifelong learners, who are productive members of society.

To Accomplish This Mission: •We inspire all to achieve personal goals and strive for excellence. •We offer a rigorous and relevant curriculum that addresses the diverse learning styles of all our students. •We instruct our students in basic and critical thinking skills. •We promise to collaborate as a community and with the community at large. •We expect all members of the SMSD community to act with integrity.

For more information about St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, visit the website or call 716-834-7200.

Stone’s Buddies / Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo

The Stone’s Buddies Program was designed to help chronically ill patients and their families cope with the emotional, financial, and social issues that accompany chronic illness.  Whether the kids are battling cancer or learning to live with a life-long disability, their worlds are forever changed.  Our goal is to connect them with those in similar circumstances, try to make their stay at the hospital as comfortable as possible and serve as a bridge between these families and those in the community who would like to help.

Free of charge, families are encouraged to attend monthly parties, trips to the Buffalo Zoo, Fantasy Island, the Erie County Fair, and Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Bisons and Bandits games. They are invited to plays, movies, concerts, Disney on Ice and many other events sponsored by various generous community groups, schools and individuals. We appreciate the support of the community which keeps this program in existence.

LINK: Stone’s Buddies

The Ability Partners Foundation- CP Rochester

CP Rochester, part of The Ability Partners Foundation, supports individuals of all ages and abilities to determine their own pathway in life. We partner with the individual, their family, and the community to fulfill the individual’s right to live a productive and rewarding life. CP Rochester provides a wide range of quality health, educational, and support services in the greater Rochester area to assist individuals in achieving their goals.

The Ability Partners Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established to raise and generate funds that will promote, support, and augment the continuation of long-term services for people with disabilities offered through CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation in the Finger Lakes and Greater Rochester areas including Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Wayne, Livingston, Monroe, and Orleans Counties. The Foundation supports individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities and their families.


The Ability Partners Foundation-Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy, Inc./Happiness House

Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy, Inc./Happiness House is part of The Ability Partners Foundation and opened its doors in the late 1960s. With persistent grassroots enthusiasm and a professional staff of more than 200, Happiness House now operates multiple center-based programs in the Finger Lakes region which provide a variety of educational, therapeutic, recreational and family support service options to more than 1,150 children and adults with and without disabilities each year.

The Ability Partners Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established to raise and generate funds that will promote, support, and augment the continuation of long-term services for people with disabilities offered through CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation in the Finger Lakes and Greater Rochester areas including Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Wayne, Livingston, Monroe, and Orleans Counties. The Foundation supports individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities and their families.


The Ability Partners Foundation-Rochester Rehabilitation

In 2016, Rochester Rehabilitation joined CP Rochester and Happiness House in affiliating with the passive parent corporation, Ability Partners, Inc. (API). Together the three organizations collaborate to share executive and leadership resources, streamline operations, maximize funding resources and work to enhance information technology, financial, human resource, and quality support services to better provide for the comprehensive needs of all three organizations and the individuals we serve.

The Ability Partners Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established to raise and generate funds that will promote, support, and augment the continuation of long-term services for people with disabilities offered through CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation in the Finger Lakes and Greater Rochester areas including Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Wayne, Livingston, Monroe, and Orleans Counties. The Foundation supports individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities and their families.


The Summit Center

Summit is a private, not-for-profit organization located outside of Buffalo, New York. We are approved by the New York State Education Department, New York State Department of Health and New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities to provide educational and therapeutic services to children with learning, communication and behavioral challenges.

LINK: The Summit Center

Susan G. Komen WNY

At Susan G. Komen® Western New York, our mission is to end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all, and energizing science  to find the cures. Susan G. Komen is the largest non-profit provider of funding for breast cancer research and community breast health programs in the world. Komen WNY serves all 8 counties of Western New York. We are proud of the fact that 75% of all net proceeds raised here, stay in the community, funding local life-saving outreach programs providing education and treatment assistance for underserved individuals who experience unmet breast health and breast cancer needs.  The remaining 25% of funds goes to cutting-edge breast cancer research through Komen National Research Grants, including millions coming back to the Buffalo area through grants awarded to researchers at area institutions.


Touching Bases

Touching Bases is the largest, co-ed, competitive softball league for adults with disabilities in Erie County. It began in 2004 when a mother of a young man with Down Syndrome realized that there was no age-appropriate summer softball league. After contacting some local agencies which agreed with the need for a league which treated individuals as adults while teaching the basics of the game, Touching Bases was born! In 2015, nearly 140 athletes and over 50 volunteers participated in Touching Bases’ 11th season. The volunteers of Touching Bases provide lessons in softball and provide support as needed to the athletes who have varying degrees of physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. The athletes provide satisfaction to our volunteers and joy to all who watch and participate in our games.

LINK: Website

TRC Foundation

TRC Foundation, Inc., was established in 1995 with a purpose of raising funds to provide financial resources that respond to the needs of individuals with disabling conditions in Chautauqua County, NY.  To fulfill its mission, TRC Foundation concentrates on three areas:

  • the development of a fund whose income can be utilized for services needed by men, women and children with disabilities and their families;
  • the provision of responsive and adequate support for organizations and entities that serve people with disabilities;
  • the support and promotion of community awareness and greater understanding of individuals with disabilities and their potential, their aspirations and their needs.

TRC Foundation works closely with The Resource Center, one of the largest providers of services and supports to individuals with disabilities in Western New York. For more information, phone (716) 661-1519 or visit

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center

“Together we will ensure their sacrifices will always be treasured and their names will never be forgotten.”


Western New York Independent Living

It is the mission of WNY Independent Living, Inc., as a family of agencies, to provide opportunities to live with equal access and opportunities for independence via the programs and services being offered at each of our regional locations.


WNY Ovarian Cancer Project

Our mission is to educate the Western New York community on the symptoms and risks of Ovarian Cancer, and to provide information on support and networking for women diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and their families. A common bond of our founders is to educate other women on the Symptoms & Risks of Ovarian Cancer. As we looked back, some of us had classic symptoms of this cancer, but as we did not know what the symptoms were we passed them off as typical female ailments. Some of us tried to tell our doctors that something was wrong, but we never suggested they check for Ovarian Cancer. Some of us had higher risk factors that we were unaware of. We knew that educating other women on the symptoms and risks of Ovarian Cancer had to be part of our mission. Early diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer (at Stages I & II) has much higher survival rates than advanced stages. Our founding members also knew the isolation and fear that comes with a new diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer, yet each did not know where to turn to find trustworthy information or to seek out others who had survived this rare and deadly cancer. For each of these women, the first time they met face to face with another woman who had years of survival, was a powerful moment filled with hope. We help women with Ovarian Cancer cope better with their illness, by providing knowledge of treatment and side-effects, and emotional support. Empowering Women in the WNY Community through Education, Awareness & Support For more information contact us at

Yad B'Yad

Yad B’Yad provides outreach, advocacy and program support that assists people with disabilities to achieve full participation, membership and inclusion in Jewish life in Western New York.

The purpose of these efforts is to enrich the spiritual and communal lives of individuals with and without disabilities by expanding friendships, sharing mutual talents, and fostering an appreciation of individual differences.

LINK: Yad B’Yad


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