Paint, Sip, and Repeat: All for a Good Cause

Nicole Hidalgo may have only started at Birch Family Services in March, but she’s already made a big impact, both as a gatekeeper to our offices and as the official greeter of the dozens of Birch staff, clinicians, teachers, and individuals with autism and developmental disabilities who pass through our doors on a daily basis. Now she’s moved away from her receptionist’s desk in the lobby and into the role of fundraiser.

“Working at the front desk for Birch has allowed me to meet and hear the stories from some of the truly incredible people that we support,” said Nicole. “Some love jazz and old trains, some love transformers and think I’m old because I know what a quarter drink is! I get handshakes, hugs and high fives, and I get to see first-hand what this amazing organization is doing for some of these unique and inspiring individuals. I just wanted to give back.”

So this past weekend, Nicole hosted a Halloween-themed wine glass painting night to raise funds in support of the 7th Annual Birch Family Services 5K Run and Family Day this Sunday. The paint party was held in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, where she grew up, and being a local has its benefits. The venue was donated by Gerritsen’s Knights of Columbus chapter, where about fifty participants, including family, friends, and neighbors turned out. Nearly half the people in the room had a child with autism in their family — and one of those children had actually attended Birch’s Mill Basin Early Childhood Center preschool program in Brooklyn.

“I hope every time they see their work of art, they think of the amazing time we had and look forward to the next event they can attend in support of Birch and its wonderful cause!” said Nicole, who you’ll find at the face painting booth on Race Day.

Nicole provided the supplies and taught the group how to paint the design of their choice — and the guests took it from there, raising $1,400 for Birch Family Services in just a few hours.

“I hope every time they see their work of art, they think of the amazing time we had and look forward to the next event they can attend in support of Birch and its wonderful cause!” said Nicole, who you’ll find at the face painting booth on Race Day.

The 7th Annual Birch Family Services 5K Run and Family Day will be held on Sunday, October 27, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park. Online registration ends on Friday, October 25 at 12:00 pm, so be sure to register soon! There will be on-site registration available on the day of the race from 8:30 am to 9:30 am.

 

5K Run and Family Day

 

 

Birch Family Services is there to support people with autism and developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential in our education and community programs so they may live more independently, obtain competitive employment, and become integral members of their communities. Today, we touch the lives of more than 2,000 people and their families in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. However, that number continues to grow and the need for our services is greater than ever. As a supporter of Birch, you will make a difference by helping us raise critical resources to empower people to lead fulfilling lives.