In the News....
October 2018

Thank you to all who helped make Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary Legacy Exhibit and Cocktail Reception at the Rensselaer County Historical Society on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 one spectacular night!
Thank you to our Honorary Chair E. Stewart Jones for sharing his heartfelt memories of Vanderheyden from his childhood.  
Stay tuned for more amazing events in our 185th Anniversary year!  
Photos by Joan Heffler Photography 
October 22, 1833  
Individuals and Team Members celebrated Vanderheyden's 185th birthday on Monday, October 22nd, 2018.  A birthday celebration was held at our main campus in Wynantskill, which extended to our many Group Homes in the Capital Region.
The Vanderheyden agency began in the evening of October 22, 1833 when the constitution of the Troy Association for the Relief of Destitute Children was unanimously adopted. 

As part of Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary, Team Members and individuals formed a human 1-8-5!   
The day was also a learning experience, as panels filled with photos and stories about our past were displayed. 
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.  

Jennifer, Dan and John M. 
Vanderheyden's Health Home program is not even two years old, but it has made significant positive changes in the lives of individuals and their families.
John, the son of Jennifer and Dan M. of Rensselaer County, has truly benefited from the program in only a year.
"We've achieved many goals in that year, and there's a lot of big differences in him," Jennifer said. "I think he's overcoming obstacles."
Vanderheyden's Health Home program is not a place. It is a group of health care and service providers who work together to make sure that the child is getting all the care of services they need to stay healthy.  
"So basically, we coordinate care for the client," Samantha Holmes, Care Manager, said. "We make sure that all the providers are all on the same page."
Holmes said the providers can be in the mental health field, a primary care physician, and anybody that is working with the family. The program will also work with the school the child attends, and basically anyone who is involved with the family.
"The overall goal for the child is to make sure they are getting their physicals, their six-month checkup with the dentist," Holmes said. "We're getting involved with after-school programs and activities."
Samantha Holmes, Health Home Care Manager.
Jennifer and Dan both said the Health Home program played a major impact with their son by balancing out the services. They really see the impact in John's new attitude towards school.
"I think getting through a whole school day was big last year. Before we had the services, almost every day we'd have to pick him up from school halfway through the day," Dan said. "Now, he likes going to school. He goes, comes home, and he's happy, and I think that's a good, good, good place to be."
John's parents said they were pretty impressed with the Health Home program from the start with intake and the program outline.
"It was everything we were looking for," Dan said.  "We couldn't be happier with everything, and the service they provide."
Dan said some days get overwhelming really fast with a special needs child.
"It's nice to have somebody to help us understand everything, and kind of glue it together," he said. 
Jennifer and Dan could have went with another program after John received another diagnosis, but decided to stay with Vanderheyden and Holmes as Case Manager.
"We chose to stay with Samantha because of the amazing help that she provided us and Johnny," Dan said.  "Absolutely.  He loves Samantha, and that's important to us."
Holmes said she truly enjoys her position as a Case Manager in the Health Home program.
"I absolutely love helping and working with people. That's always been a strong characteristic of mine" she said.  "It's truly fulfilling for me to help the individuals that we serve to accomplish goals that they've set for themselves."  
Success stories are what Holmes will strive for.  
"At the end of the day, I try to do my work to the best of my ability, and I hope to continue to do great work, and leave my imprint in the world," Holmes said.
Holmes, a Stamford, Connecticut native, was living in the Capital Region with a bachelor's degree from the University at Albany in Sociology and a minor in Psychology, when she heard about Vanderheyden.
She became a part of our agency after hearing about a job opening from a friend who said Vanderheyden was "an awesome place to work at," and she is thrilled with her decision.
"Vanderheyden truly cares about the individuals that we serve," Holmes said.  "I feel that the agency gives ample opportunity for growth as an employee, and most importantly it feels more like a family here than a bunch of people just working together." 
In her spare time, Holmes said she enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and most of all - traveling.  Other favorites include going to museums and learning about history, the Miami Heat, trying new food, and she is a huge fan of Hello Kitty.
Thank you Jennifer, Dan and John for choosing Vanderheyden's Health Home program, and thank you to Samantha for your guidance in making our program a success!  
For more information about the Health Home program, please click here

Brittany Piccolo, Health Home program Coordinator  
with the Tri-City ValleyCats' SouthPaw! 
Vanderheyden's Health Home program participated in the Community Bash at School 2 in Troy.  
What a wonderful turn-out!   
Families had a chance to hear about our program, and to find out how we can make a lasting difference in their family, too.
A special thank you to all who were a part of this event!


The Vanderheyden Royals took to the paths of Washington Park in Albany for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.
Our individuals and Team Members were part of 18,000 walkers.  Great job, Team Vanderheyden!


Vanderheyden's Performing Arts Club made its debut at the sold out "Living History: Oakwood by Lantern Light" tour at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy on Saturday, October 13, 2018!
Our performers were directed by our English teacher Jennifer Fiori and Teacher's Aide Sarah Tulchinskiy played the role of the Troy Orphan Asylum's legendary Matron and Superintendent for 36 years, Miss Sophia Eastman.
Members of our Performing Arts Club joined Miss Eastman as our Victorian children.
Miss Eastman is buried at our beautiful Obelisk near the Victorian fountain and the Earl Chapel.  
Thank you Oakwood Cemetery for inviting us to be a part of your most popular tour of the year! And, thank you Vanderheyden performers for making this happen!
From the Troy Orphan Asylum to Vanderheyden 
Thank you to our individuals and Team Members for their creativity in making our annual scarecrow contest a success!
Vanderheyden's cottages at our main campus in Wynantskill added to the Halloween spirit.   
Thank you to our individuals and Team Members for giving their cottages an extra "Boo-tacular" touch!
Another edition of Vanderheyden's Family Fall Festival was held on October 13, 2018.
The community was invited to our 10th annual event which featured games, pumpkin and face painting, music, animals, pony rides, Rhonda's Reptiles and a whole lot more!
 Here's some of Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary History Facts that we have been sharing with our Team Members each week:

In the 1914, the TOA had the latest gadget called the Stereopticon, which was used for lectures for the school children. The Stereopticon, or Magic Lantern, projected a dual image on the big screen with two lenses, and was popular before the movie (moving picture) age.

In the 1908 sewing room, 1,024 garments were made for the boys, while 1,439 were made for the girls. 561 garments were made by the community, while Robert Cluett, president of Cluett, Peabody & Co. had 256 shirts made for the boys. Two new Singer sewing machines were added for classes.
On July 1, 1913, Herbert J. Hunn became Supervisor of the TOA. Hunn believed in supervised activities, so he immediately had the boys "out in the lot with baseball and bats, and had them playing baseball." He also took the boys swimming at Smart's Pond, who earned the privilege by good behavior. Hunn was responsible for getting individuals interested in sports.
In 1913, Supervisor Herbert J. Hunn was also responsible for interesting other institutions to take up the game of baseball, which led to the organization of inter-institutional baseball games. The games "created rivalry, healthful rivalry, and put a premium on good behavior at the Troy Orphan Asylum."

In 1935, the TOA was the only institution between New York City and Utica to admit children from birth to 16 years old. Even though the children were not to be cared for after the age of sixteen, the TOA concerned itself with the supervision and direction of the children until other satisfactory provisions were made for their welfare.


In 1935, Superintendent Hunn said the youngest child the TOA ever received was three hours old, and arrived in a market basket. Hunn said another baby traveled 100 miles to the TOA on the day of the baby's birth.


The Spring Avenue complex in Troy consisted of the main building, the Baby House (Bessey House), Tillinghast Memorial Chapel, Peterson Memorial Building, the infirmary, Hart Hospital, the reception building, the laundry, an ice house and the power house.

The children's playrooms at the TOA in the 1930s consisted of glass on one side to let the sunshine in, and concrete floors for roller skating, mechanical games and toys, marble games and sports of all kinds. Outdoor games played included using the slide, skiing, and playing ball.
In 1929, the TOA and the Fairview Home for Friendless Children were two of many relief organizations in the Capital Region who attended a picnic at Crystal Lake. The 1,529 attendees went through 3,500 hot dogs, 1,500 ears of corn, 25 pounds of butter, 3,000 ham, cheese and bologna sandwiches, 400 quarts of ice cream, 4,000 cones, 75 watermelons, 150 pounds of cookies, 3,000 of peanuts, 2,500 sticks of gum, 2,500 lollypops, 4,000 bottles of soda and 200 quarts of milk.


Vanderheyden's school year kicked off with our President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo and Team Members handing out "goodies" to bus drivers and Team Members on the first day of school at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center at our Wynantskill campus.    

Vanderheyden's milestone 185th Annual Meeting is now in the books! The meeting of the Board, the Executive Team, Team Members and members of the community was held on September 20, 2018 at the Troy Country Club.


Inspiring stories and great music and singing at our milestone meeting!

The 185th Anniversary theme was displayed throughout the Troy Country Club with photos, facts and highlights.


A big part of the success of Vanderheyden is because of our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week was an opportunity to honor and thank all our DSPs for their extraordinary dedication to the individuals they serve every day.

In their honor, Vanderheyden's Administrators and Managers wrote a little something about the great work they do for us.


Our Team Members did a great job with the Indian Cuisine menu!  
Thank you so much for the awesome Taste of India!
A special thank you to all who participated and planned the event!

As part of our Sanctuary commitment, Team Members and individuals got together for a 
pizza and a movie night at Vanderheyden!
The Sanctuary movie night featuring "Coco" on the big screen!  
This tied-in to our Sanctuary training on SELF - safety, emotion, loss and future.
A special thank you to all who participated and planned the event!

Make a wish come true for an individual or one of our many families we support in our Vanderheyden community.
To find out how you can help make a monetary or an item donation for an individual, family or our Wish Room, please click here.


Vanderheyden is excited to be participating in the 2018 Hannaford Helps Schools program! Our participating location is at 40 Main Avenue, Wynantskill.

Help earn money for our school by shopping for participating products. For every 4 qualifying products you buy, our school earns $3! Choose from over 1,500 participating products, ranging from breakfast and lunch items to household supplies.

Get the full list here: look for shelf tags in the store.


 December 2018 - Holiday Program 2018
  More details to come.... Keep following us on Facebook!

                                             As always, thank you for your support!


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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