Each community is defined by its shared thoughts, actions and intentions. Holiday events, especially at the end of the year, have a tendency to galvanize communities and enable them to share their core values with surrounding neighborhoods. The New York design community understands this and comes together in many ways, shapes and forms around this time of year to share their knowledge and creativity with others in need. One of the best examples of this type of community collaboration is We Care, an event sponsored by Herman Miller at the Children’s Aid Society in Harlem. Founded in 1853, the Children’s Aid Society is a New York institution and one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies. Offering children and their families a network of services that range from teen pregnancy prevention programs, education, health and recreation to adoption and foster care services, the Society has been the home of We Care in New York since 1996. Now in its fourteenth consecutive year, We Care delivers seasonal cheer to over 3,500 deserving children in twenty-six cities across the U.S. and Canada. In other cities, We Care works closely with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America for each respective event.
This year, over 100 people working for twenty of the top New York design firms, furniture dealers, design associations and manufacturers all gathered to enable youngsters to achieve their artistic vision by providing them with a variety of craft materials to make holiday gifts and cards for family and friends. “We regularly serve about 200 kids ourselves throughout the year,” said Casper Lassiter, director of the Children’s Aid Society. “For this event, we also invite some of our sister sites in surrounding neighborhoods to participate. Our goal is to have each craft station serve about 400 kids in around two hours. Each station develops a something so creative that it just blows everyone away – kids and adults alike. The most popular is the gingerbread cookie decoration booth; that is usually the longest line,” he said. Referring to the station run by the New York office of Environetics, it was evident they had a steady stream of eager kids throughout the event and went home without any leftovers. Painting a cookie with different colors of frosting is not only a lot of fun, it also has tasty results.
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