New Dining Room, Children’s Play Area Donated for Young Mothers at Upper West Side Samaritan Daytop Village

cutting the bow opening

December 3, 2019 – The joy of giving was in full force on Giving Tuesday 2019 at Samaritan Daytop Village's Young Mothers Program, with the reveal of a donated dining room renovation for mothers on the road to recovery from addiction, featuring a new play area for their children.

The Young Mothers Program is an intensive residential substance use disorder treatment program where up to 36 young women live with their newborn and toddler children while working on their recovery. This early holiday present to them was made possible by the generosity and handiwork (with some donated professional help) of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and volunteers from Cantor Fitzgerald, and Bright Horizons Foundation for Children’s Bright Spaces initiative and volunteers from Bright Horizons.

Bright Horizons volunteers from centers in Tribeca, Jersey City, Newark and Citi Children's Center came early to put the finishing touches on the dining room, as volunteers from Cantor Fitzgerald’s Network of Women gathered with donations of clothing and toiletries that they had collected for Samaritan Daytop Village’s young mothers and their children.

Mitchell Netburn, President & CEO, Samaritan Daytop Village, Mary Lou Burke Afonso, COO of Bright Horizons, North America, and Lori Pennay, Global Head of HR & Partnership for Cantor Fitzgerald, cut the ribbon for the official opening of the cheerful and inviting space as the program’s mothers and babies, volunteers and guests looked on.

Addressing the group, Netburn said, "I’d like to thank the wonderful volunteers and donors from Cantor Fitzgerald and Bright Horizons. This is your generosity in action – this beautiful space and the hope that it brings. It can be life changing for our clients to know that others care about their wellbeing. Your impact will be felt long after today has passed. We are grateful to have you as partners and supporters, not just on Giving Tuesday, but all year."

"The Cantor Fitzgerald family is proud to be a partner and ally of Bright Spaces by helping to provide young mothers with the support and care they need. Through our Network of Women, we look forward to continuing to serve our communities," said Pennay.

Funding for the project was provided by the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and executed by the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children through its signature Bright Spaces program.  Bright Horizons and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children have worked with Samaritan Daytop Village’s Young Mothers Program for over a decade, beginning with the creation of a "traditional" child care space. This is the first dining room renovation that Bright Spaces has undertaken.

"With the support of great partners like Samaritan Daytop Village, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Network of Women (NOW), the Bright Horizons teachers and many volunteers, we have created our fourth Bright Space for the Young Mothers Program," said Burke Afonso. "The Bright Spaces at Samaritan Daytop Village’s Young Mothers Program provide children and families in need with a safe and supportive environment where children can play, build resilience and bond with their families and other caring adults. The renovated rooms make whatever challenges they are facing seem a little easier and as a result brighten their day."

The dining room renovation ribbon cutting was followed by a festive tree-trimming party where volunteers, moms and babies mingled as they decorated for the holidays and enjoyed seasonal treats.

This story was featured in live broadcast segments on NY1. To read the full story in the AMNY, click here; in I Love the Upper West Side, click here; and in NYN First Read, click here.