In the News....
April 2020
Vanderheyden is an essential 24/7 business serving more than 500 youth, families and adults in New York state in education, residential and the community.  

Vanderheyden's Team Members have been working tirelessly to keep our community healthy and safe.


Vanderheyden individuals and Team Members made messages of hope during the Covid-19 crisis.  
We are #VanderheydenStrong!

   #518 RAINBOW HUNT      

Rainbows:  The sign of hope.
Rainbows were found at every Vanderheyden location in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
TAG US AT #VanderheydenStrong!  

      THANK YOU DONORS!      

We asked, and you supplied!  

Thank you to all of Vanderheyden's wonderful donors during the Covid-19 response!  

We always appreciate severely-needed donations during this crisis.

The easiest way to make a monetary donation is by  using this link.  


Thank you  Stewart's Shops for your recent donations to Vanderheyen!

Our President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo is holding up 50 gift cards which are going to Vanderheyden's front line Team Members! 

Vanderheyden also received a $5,000 Stewart's Holiday Match grant!

Stewart's Shops received more than 1,800 applications for support where almost $4-million was requested. The company had $1.8-million to disperse.

The Stewart's Holiday Match program ran from Thanksgiving to Christmas 2019, and half of the funding came from customers like you! Thank you so much, too!!

Thank you to Vanderheyden's amazing partner Alliance for Better Health for donating Kinsa Thermometers for our Team Members.
Thank you also to  MVP Health Care for their donation of thermometers! The donation was coordinated by the United Way of the Greater Capital Region
Your generosity at this time is greatly appreciated!

Thank you  Alexis Diner in North Greenbush for the 40 lunches given to Vanderheyden's essential front line Team Members!!

The lunches were paid for by the diner's loyal customers.

Thank you so much!!!

Vanderheyden provides services to families through the New York State Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS) program.  Services provided include therapy, rehabilitation and family peer support.
Meet a family of five from Schenectady who receives services through Vanderheyden for the past six months:
Dylan - 15 years
Aiden - 14 years
Caleb - 13 years
Bridget - 12 years
Faith - 8 years  
Kaitlyn Curtin is a Clinician for Vanderheyden in the CFTSS program.  The family agrees that Kaitlyn is "the best and super nice."  
What do you like doing with your worker Kaitlyn?
Aiden:  "Talk about my feelings."
Dylan:  "Drawing, playing outside, playing Minecraft and going to McDonald's."
Faith:  "Coloring."
Bridget:  "Playing games and coloring/drawing."
Caleb:  "Drawing."
What hobbies or sports do you like to do and play?
Caleb:  "Soccer."
Dylan:  "Soccer, basketball, video games and drawing."
Aiden:  "Baseball and running."
Faith:  "Soccer and volleyball."
Bridget:  "Volleyball and cheer."
What do you want everyone to know about you?
Dylan:  "I have a big family, I'm very good at video games and I'm good at drawing."
Aiden:  "I love baseball."
Faith:  "I have a big family."
Bridget:  "I am a hard worker."
Do you have any advice for new individuals in the program?
Bridget:  "It's the best (program) and people there are funny."
Faith:  "Keep an open mind."
Dylan:  "Cherish the time you have with them.  The worker I have (Kaitlyn) has changed our life for the better." 
Bonus Question:  Any thoughts about the Coronavirus situation?
Dylan:  "I hate having to stay home and away from my friends, and school gives us so much work.  It's like impossible to catch up!"
Bridget:  "I like being able to see my worker (Kaitlyn) during this time since it's hard doing telehealth.  I miss my friends, though.  On the bright side, this brought us together and made us more of a family."
Caleb:  "I wish more places were open.  It's even exciting going to the store, now!"
Aiden:  "Baseball season was just starting, but at least I can practice at home.  I still miss it and my school, though."
Faith:  "I hate being stuck at home.  We can play outside, but it gets so boring!" 

10 Questions with Vanderheyden Board Member Elaine Phelan ....
Elaine Phelan grew up in Albany and currently lives in Loudonville, New York.  Elaine graduated from Siena College with a BBA in Accounting, and a Master's in Accounting from SUNY Albany.  She has two children - Jane who lives in Maine and Neil who resides in Massachusetts.  Currently, Elaine is serving her second 10-year term after the required two year break. 
What is your role at Vanderheyden?  How long have you been on the Board?
"As a Board Member, I'm currently the co-chair of the Development Committee, and previously chaired the Finance Committee.  I also have served on many committees including Audit and Board Member Expansion."     
"One of the most memorable roles I served was Committee for the Construction of our school.  Also, I was on the committee to offer a position to Karen Carpenter Palumbo. I decided the moment Karen entered the room, that she should have the position of President and CEO."   
What do you do or what did you do before Vanderheyden?
"Currently, I am a professor of federal taxation at Siena College, and a Certified Public Accountant with a practice specializing in small business and individual taxation."
Why did you choose to be on the Board of Directors at Vanderheyden?  What appealed to you?
"I was introduced to the mission many years ago by one of my academic colleagues.  Being immediately impressed with the mission, I was on board right away."
"I wanted to be part of an organization that serves so many individuals who have a wide variety of needs and challenges.  At the age of eight, I lost my Father.  I was fortunate to have a strong Mother and an older sister who guided me through challenging times of my life.  Most members of the Vanderheyden family are not so lucky."
What do you bring to your position as a Board Member?
"With my experience in business and accounting, I attempt to analyze and always ask, 'Can we afford this.'  I always want to make sure we balance expansion of programs with long term financial sustainability."
What do you like about being on the Board?
"I like working with other Board members who are so talented and so mission focused.  Most importantly, I LOVE all the interaction I have with the therapy, Thanksgiving dinners, fun runs, trail walks, proms, plant sales and many more."
Share a story or unique experience from here.
"One of the most special experiences that I have is the annual Girls Night Out.  This night gives my friends and me a chance to eat, have a fun activity, and most importantly talk and interact on a personal level.  I have learned how strong female residents are and how determined they are to succeed."
Share a story or unique experience from your life.
"I never jumped from an airplane or climbed Mount Everest.  However, I met Bill (Elaine's husband) on my first day of college.  We will celebrate our 40-year anniversary this July."
What can you say to someone thinking about joining our Vanderheyden Team?
"As a Board member, I have gained much more than I contributed.  The satisfaction gained working for such a mission-focused organization is immeasurable.  As a member of the Team, you can help give so many individuals who have not had a fair break in life a chance to have a decent life."
Why is it important for someone to join our Team?
"We all know how these times pose challenges never before faced.  As a member of a Team, I would love to speak to anyone wanting to contribute any amount of time and talent to Vanderheyden.  We have so many opportunities.

10 Questions with Kaitlyn Curtin....
Kaitlyn Curtin, is a Clinician for the CFTSS program (Children and Family Treatment and Support Services) at Vanderheyden.  Curtin, from Troy, New York, received both a Bachelors in Psychology and her Master's in Mental Health Counseling from the University at Albany.  
She also interned at both Northern Rivers (Parsons) and Living Resources, and
received additional training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), group work with children, and working with individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI).
What is your role at Vanderheyden?

"My current role at Vanderheyden is a Clinician for the CFTSS program, and I do PSR (psychosocial rehabilitation) work with five families including nine individuals. However, I am also working on my license in order to do OLP (other licensed practitioner) work with individuals."

What did you do before Vanderheyden?

"I was primarily focused on my education, but I did work as a residential counselor at Parson's and a one on one aid with a preschool program."

Why did you choose Vanderheyden? What appealed to you?

"I chose Vanderheyden due to the population of focus being one I was hoping to work with
(children and teens), the general atmosphere I felt when first coming to campus to interview, and knowing that I would be making a difference in the lives of families around me."

What do you bring to your job?

"I have an open, childlike, and interested demeanor that makes it easy to build rapport with kids as well as the passion needed to work with them. I also am willing and invested when it comes to the work that pushes me to do right by both them and my colleagues."

What do you like about your job?

"I feel valued and appreciated by my colleagues, supervisor, and those I work with. It also makes my day to see how happy my clients are to see me for their sessions."

Share a story or unique experience from Vanderheyden.

"I am a worker for the majority of kids in one family (five out of their seven kids). It gives me a unique perception on their situation since I'm there so often. It also means that I can meaningfully affect how they all interact with each other and include siblings in sessions to help them work on their goals."

Share a story or unique experience from your life.

"A unique experience in my life would be a 'soap opera' moment I had while working as a
residential counselor. A client was trying to leave campus during her crisis after the police were contacted and I was following while trying to talk her into staying on campus. At one point she turned around and slapped me, but as soon as I told her "I know you're scared" she burst into tears and hugged onto me. It was a stark reminder of just how meaningful something as small as an acknowledgment or show of understanding can be to another person."

What can you say to someone thinking about joining our Vanderheyden Team?

"The work can be emotionally draining, so you need to know how to practice self care so that you don't become overwhelmed or burnt out. However, if you can do this I would consider the work here some of the most rewarding and meaningful that you could ever do."

What accomplishments/hobbies/likes, etc. do you want to share?

"To practice what I preach--to relax and take care of myself after a long day I love to play video games, create things out of perler beads, draw, organize, watch something with my partner, and/or spend some time with my cat."

Bonus question:  What are you doing during the COVID-19 crisis that is done differently than before? 

"The whole situation has been very anxiety inducing, especially since I tend to meet individuals at their homes. It's been stressful adjusting to the necessary precautions as well and trying to keep myself, my clients, and my own family safe. However, I feel as if what work I am doing is even more vital since due to shutdowns there can be increased stress, conflict, and general difficulty for the families I serve."
EARTH DAY 2020  

Vanderheyden's Group Homes in Troy participated in Earth Day 2020.

Thank you to our individuals and Team Members from our Rubin Group Home for the lovely art work.
The Bessey Group Home beautified the over 110-year-old home on Spring Avenue by planting flowers and vegetable seeds in a bed.

Local author and historian Don Rittner has written a book about the history of Vanderheyden, beginning with the organization's roots as the Troy Orphan Asylum in 1833!
We will be announcing a book signing in downtown Troy in the future.

Vanderheyden is committed to moving the focus of care from our residential facilities into homes and the community. The Family Engagement Committee seeks to involve individuals and their families in shaping Vanderheyden's commitment to serve the entire family, not just individuals.
Please contact us at     to ask questions, share information, give feedback, and request resources from our Vanderheyden Team.


Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary Legacy Book is coming soon! 

A book signing event by author Don Rittner will be held at Clement Frame Shop & Art Gallery in the future at an upcoming Troy Night Out!


Vanderheyden is excited to be participating in the 2020 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: and look for shelf tags in the store.


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!                         
   To make a donation on our website, donate_now_blue4_btn.gif
    click on the "Donate Now" button.
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