This past holiday season, enthusiastic teens from Teen Project and Charlie’s Champions Foundation joined together to raise $23,000 for teenage patients receiving care at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island and NYU Langone Cancer Center for Kids–Mineola.
Teen Project, which first began in 2014, was founded by teens Steven and Matthew Spirakis, who wanted to empower local teens to give back. The Spirakis brothers have long volunteered and supported the hospital’s annual Swim-a-thon, a Child Life Program fundraiser founded by their pediatrician, Dr. Ron Marino.
We learned the hospital often receives toy donations for young patients, but seldom receives appropriate gifts for teen patients. We decided to help by collecting gift cards teens our age preferred to receive and donating them to the hospital. —Spirakis
The annual fundraiser has raised $80,000 in donations since its inception seven years ago. The success of the campaign is largely due to the early expansion of the Holiday Project.