In the News....
July 2018


Thank you to the Tri-City ValleyCats for a spectacular day at the ball park!  A huge thank you to Cap Com Federal Credit Union for sponsoring our outing!
Our Day Hab individuals had so much fun! 
"I liked the batting cages and the locker room, and throwing with the baseball players," Tavious said.
"I liked doing the batting cages and throwing the ball with the players," Christine said.
"I liked playing baseball, and I liked meeting the players and getting their autographs," Patricia said.
"I liked that the team taught me how to play baseball and gave me a tour around the place," Helen said.  
"I liked meeting the players, the battling cages, and throwing on the field," Cliff said. 
What a day filled with baseball activities!   
Our individuals took to the field to throw and catch at "The Joe"!   
A tour of the locker room and the media room, swings in the batting cages, autographs by the players, and a group photo rounded out the day to remember! 
Chiara R. has been at Vanderheyden for just over a year, but her positive influence on others has already left an indelible mark.
The Brooklyn native is only going to the 11th grade, and has already made a substantial difference in the lives of others.
Nicolea Timmons is a Vanderheyden Direct Care Worker in Chiara's cottage.
Timmons said Chiara has grown a lot and has seen a great change in her since she's been here. She said she is very proud of her.
"She's very positive. The girls in her cottage who have negative behavior, Chiara tries to talk to them in a positive manner," Timmons said.
She said Chiara is a very positive influence in Vanderheyden's program and with those in her cottage.  
"She really tries hard to talk to them about what they need to do, and what they need to do to get back home to their families," Timmons said.
Chiara also left a positive mark at a Wynantskill preschool and day care, where she worked for the summer. She said she enjoyed the experience and would definitely go back.
"It was a good experience knowing little kids," Chiara said. "It helped with patience, and it loosened me up to little ones. I feel comfortable working with kids."
Some of Chiara's duties at the day care included playing with the children, lunch duties, hiking, and helping the children learn a new topic, for example "bear," each week.
"She is an incredibly motivated and compassionate individual," Andrew Brinkerhoff, a CDOS Coordinator for Vanderheyden said. Brinkerhoff's focus is to find our individuals employment throughout the Capital Region.
"I've only worked with her this summer, but, the feedback I've received from her employer has set the precedent for what I believe will be an individual who has a bright and a successful future," Brinkerhoff said.
Even though college is about two years away, Chiara is thinking about becoming a lawyer. Her second choice would be to become a cosmetologist, since she likes doing makeup.  
Her favorite subject in school is social studies, and said she would like to travel to Dubai in the future. In the past, Chiara has traveled to Florida and Jamaica, where her family is from.  
Reading "anything that catches my eye that day" and writing down her thoughts are other things Chiara likes to do.
She said her hobbies include shopping for clothing and sneakers, dancing, and cleaning up her surroundings. In the past, she said she has played tennis and basketball.  
Chiara said the program at Vanderheyden is an easy one for her, and one that she can work with.
"It helped a little bit to help me cope with certain things," she said.
The cottage individuals and the Team Members win praise from her, too.
"I talk to them a lot about my day, about school, and tough phone calls," she said. "They'll help me out."
Chiara also has great advice for those just starting at Vanderheyden.
"Stay out of the mix. It keeps you out of trouble," she said. "If you need any help, talk to staff, because they can help you."
Thank you Chiara for being an extraordinary bright star in our Vanderheyden community.

Thank you Finch Paper in Glens Falls for your donation for badly-needed repairs to our porch at our Philo Group Home!  We so appreciate all what Finch Paper does for us! 



Thank you to the Rensselaer County Department of Health and all of our participants at our first-ever Narcan training event at Vanderheyden! 

Each participant received a life-saving Narcan kit, and instructions how to use it.


Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin stopped by for a tour of our Wynantskill campus and our Group Homes in Troy with our President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo.   

Vanderheyden individuals and Team Members enjoyed summer days at Grafton Lakes State Park.  Swimming, hiking and a BBQ were part of the fun-filled day!  

Here's some of Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary History Facts that we have been sharing with our Team Members each week:

The Great Fire of 1862 in Troy destroyed our 65 Grand Division Street home. No injuries or deaths were reported as 110 children were evacuated. The orphanage then moved to the Blatchford Mansion at 2nd Ave and 113th Street in "The Burgh" Lansingburgh for two years, before moving to 294 Eighth Street in Troy.
Miss Sophia Eastman was a part of the Troy Orphan Asylum from its beginning in 1833, then as Supervisor up until she died in 1870. She led 110 children to safety in the Great Fire of 1862 in Troy. Her final resting place is at our obelisk at Oakwood Cemetery among the children she loved so dearly.
In 1942, the name Vanderheyden Hall replaced the Troy Orphan Asylum name, but not legally. The official name change was in 1956, when the Troy Orphan Asylum merged with the Fairview Home for Friendless Children, to become Vanderheyden Hall. Our official name today!
Dr. Dorothy Brown, a resident of the Troy Orphan Asylum, was the first African-American woman to serve in the Tennessee state legislature. Dr. Brown sponsored legislation to enact Negro History Week, which led to the establishment of the national Black History Month.
In 1933, a book entitled "History of the Troy Orphan Asylum 1833-1933" was written by Irving E. Fancher. In 2018, a book about our first 185 years as the Troy Orphan Asylum, the Fairview Home and Vanderheyden Hall is being written by local author Don Rittner.
Before the 1940s, Vanderheyden Hall was also known as the Troy Association for the Relief of Destitute Children, The Benevolent Society of Troy, the Troy Orphan Asylum and the Fairview Home for Friendless Children.
Research is underway where we are identifying the approximately 250 children who passed away while at the Troy Orphan Asylum and the Fairview Home since 1836. We are in the process of locating their final resting places. Stay tuned for more details as to how we will be remembering our individuals!
"The Troy Orphan Asylum Hymn" from the 1800s, was sung to the tune of "Juanita." The lyricist of 1855's "Juanita," Caroline Norton, paved the way for women in Victorian England to have custody of their children after a divorce. She persuaded Queen Victoria to change the law.
Postcards, photos, blueprints, letters and other memorabilia from the Troy Orphan Asylum can be found in so many college, university and museum collections throughout the United States. Wow!
The contents of the cornerstone that was laid at our Spring Avenue building in 1892 was recovered after the 1981 fire, and is now at the Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy. It includes coins, newspapers and other items.
The local Apollo Commandery of the Masons had an annual tradition in the 1800s, where they would give candy and oranges to the individuals at the Troy Orphan Asylum every New Year's Day.


From Samone Baptiste, Assistant Director of Operations at Vanderheyden's Wynantskill campus... 
Mark B. became a part of the Vanderheyden family in January, 2013. He resided in our Specialized Unit for the duration of his stay, until he moved on to another facility closer to his family, this past June.  
During his time at Vanderheyden, Mark was employed on our campus and held a few different positions.
His favorite position was being a maintenance worker. Not only was he proud of this accomplishment, Mark took pride in his work and wanted to make sure his job (and others as well), was always done correctly.   
He would also let you know if "the job wasn't being done properly," and would ensure you understood why and how to complete the job. He was very skilled and trusted by the maintenance team.
I have many fond memories of Mark. One of my favorite is of Mark jumping at 5:15 a.m. during one of our snowstorms and standing by his cottage door, fully dressed in plow gear, complaining that "these guys were late and needed to step on it" because the snow was coming down hard and staff need to get their cars out!"
As soon as he saw the maintenance truck pull up on campus, out the door he went to greet them.
Mark will be greatly missed by all!


Eileen Vieira is an essential part of assisting Vanderheyden individuals and their families in so many ways, especially behind the scenes.
The Bronx native moved to Rensselaer County in 1983.
Vieira said she always thought she should be living in the country instead of city life.
"I didn't belong there. This is where I belong. In the country," she said.
In the late 1980s, Vieira began her career at Vanderheyden. She left in 1993 to raise her youngest daughter, and came back 18 years later.
For the last seven years, Vieira has been an Administrative Assistant for our Clinical Department.  Her many duties include assisting with policies, contracts, psychologist and psychiatric doctor's reports, master treatment plans, filing the information, and, retrieving record requests.  
She also supervises some of the individuals who work in the Mooradian building at our Wynantskill campus, and an individual in our Community Services program.
When an individual leaves our program, it's always bittersweet for Vieira. She said she is happy for them knowing they are moving forward, and is very happy to have met them, but she hates to see them go because they forged a connection.
"I get very upset when they leave, because they are the type of child that when you see them, they make you feel good," she said. "And, you feel good about them."
Vieira said she was touched by many of the children, even by just a feeling.
"Just meeting some of these children you get an automatic glow or smile from inside, knowing that you met a really good child," she said. "It was a pleasure meeting them."
Vieira is also an artist, and loves to use acrylics on her canvas.  
"Painting makes me happy," she said.
In the past, Vieira's paintings of landscapes and old barn doors were exhibited at the Spectrum Theater in Albany, an art show in Chatham, and at a couple of coffee houses in the Capital Region. Her paintings also hang on the wall in our Mooradian building.
For the past 13 years, she has used her artistic skills, paints and rocks, to give back to others in a very special way.
"When my son Robert passed away (at the age of 21), a way to get out of my own pain, was, to those who have lost a child, I send them a butterfly rock in memory of their child," Vieira said.  
"So, I have sent butterfly rocks all around the world," she said.
Vieira said her son loved playing in streams, and friends pick up river rocks for her in memory of him.  
"This morning, there was a Ziploc bag at my door, filled with rocks from the Batten Kill River," she said.  
Her daughter painted a very special rock for her last year.
"She painted a rock with a face swaddled in a blue blanket - a baby was due in March 2018," Vieira said. "There was no better way to tell me that I was going to be a Grandma."
Her other loves include seeing her two daughters in New York City, and her grandson, who is now 5-months-old.
Listening to music soundtracks from movies and plays, dabbling in all types of art, and enjoying her wonderful friends and neighbors are some things Vieira enjoys.
The country-life is definitely agreeing with her, as she loves to take care of the animals (goats, chickens and dogs) on her neighbor's farm when they are away. Vieira also enjoys long walks with her dog Hazel, and searches for rocks along the roadway to eventually paint.
Thank you, Eileen, for making Vanderheyden a better place for those we serve.
Vanderheyden held a few more fantastic Paint and Sip fundraisers throughout July in Rotterdam and Footsy Magoos in Troy!  What great masterpieces created by all! 
Thank you for attending our popular sessions, and thank you to our hosts and volunteers!    
All donations go to our Community Services Summer Bash Dance in August for our individuals in our many group homes and programs in the Capital Region.


It's always a delicious annual event!  Vanderheyden's Emotional Intelligence Potato Bake!
Our Sanctuary commitment: We manage our feelings so we don't hurt ourselves or others.
Team Members and Individuals had their choice of toppings: Happy Bacon, Withdrawn Chives, Cozy Cheese, Mad Salsa, Envious Broccoli, Worried Sour Cream and Blissful Butter.

Vanderheyden celebrated National Hot Dog Day on July 18th!  
Thank you to John and Thai for getting into the spirit as they prepared and served those yummy dogs! 

October 13 - Annual Fall Festival at our Wynantskill campus.
October 25 - Vanderheyden 185th Anniversary Exhibit & Cocktail Reception at the Rensselaer History Society in Troy from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
5:30 p.m. Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony     
  More details to come.... Keep following us on Facebook!

                                             As always, thank you for your support!
Stay tuned to our social media sites to find out about upcoming celebrations for our 185th year!

This year, Vanderheyden will commemorate 185 years of providing services to thousands of youth, individuals and families.   
Vanderheyden is searching for Alumni and descendants with ties to the agency's long history, to relate their memories and inspirational stories of healing and growth.  We are also looking for pictures, or any related items from Vanderheyden, the Troy Orphan Asylum and the Fairview Home for Friendless Children.  Please reach out and leave a message at (518) 874-4964 or email us at:
We are also inviting 185 individuals to kick-off our celebration by becoming a member of the "1833 Society" with a donation of $1,833, to honor the year our organization was formed.
Our hope is that you will join in as someone that makes a future impact in the Vanderheyden legacy to change lives to save lives.  
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller .
For more information contact Cathy Yudzevich at , or call (518) 874-4901.  


Time to clean out your closets for the season!  We will accept any unwanted clothing item!  Bring them to our campus at 614 Cooper Hill Road in Wynantskill, and look for the "Blue Box" at the entrance to our parking lot.  Thank you so much for your help!                         
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