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Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Community Foundations, Philanthropy, Private Independent Foundations, Private Operating Foundations

Mission:

The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation enables children with special needs in the Metropolitan NY/NJ to experience summer camp. By partnering with existing accredited camps, the Foundation affords families the ability to send children into integrated camp settings.


About the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation:

In the summer of 1970, an illogical and tragic summer camp bus accident in Pennsylvania caused the death of several New York children. Among those children was a beautiful 11 year old young lady named Lisa Beth Gerstman. At the time, our family and so many others were negatively impacted in ways that cannot be described. Today, with a loving spirit, together we make a difference for deserving children along with their families.


For over a decade, the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has been making the dream of summer day camp a reality for children with special needs. We have helped thousands of children with multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, autism, deaf or hearing impaired, blind or visually impaired, and other disabilities/special needs soak up the joy of summer camp in integrated environments with their peers. Through our programs, we have seen self-confidence bolstered, pride established, and tomorrow’s leaders molded. And through our summer camp programs, we have seen many young lives changed for the better.


The agencies that we partner with are excellent institutions, including the YMCA, JCC, and Children's Aid Society; leading the way with inclusive camps that deliver on our mission of integration for all children.



Target demographics: Children with special needs (we have helped thousands of children with multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, autism, deaf or hearing impaired, blind or visually impaired, and other disabilities/special needs)

Direct beneficiaries per year: 20 partner camps and over 300 children

Geographic areas served: Metropolitan NY/NJ

Programs: Integrated summer day camps for children with special needs who previously had very little options.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Lisa621

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Over 600 children and adults with special needs have had the opportunity to experience the joy of horses during the summer thanks to the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation. They have graciously donated over $80,000 over 10 years to Pal-O-Mine Equestrian to give individuals a sense of freedom, help them overcome their fears and live out their dreams!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Strategic partnerships that are built on trust, respect and compassion often are the best kind…Pal-O-Mine Equestrian is most fortunate to have a long lasting collaboration with the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation…our partnership goes way beyond the monetary value that Lisa Beth brings to Pal-O-Mine. Besides funding over $75,000 of our Summer Camp Experiences for our children and adults over many years, it is the people behind the Foundation who make this partnership work. The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation takes a vested interest in who and what they support; they have never missed an opportunity to come and visit Pal-O-Mine, they chat with the kids, they show a deep genuine interest in what goes on at the farm and they share in what they have made possible all these years.

Jennie A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation continued support of Pal-O-Mine Equestrian has provided countless opportunities for our clients and students. They are beyond wonderful!!!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the past 11 years Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has provided camp and work study experiences to our Pal-O-Mine Equestrian students, who without their support would not have the opportunity for a summer experience. They are not only generous and dedicated, but reliable and consistent in their support. Thank you!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My First Opportunity

The year was 2014 when I first began horse riding. I remember Lisa told me
“One day you will ride alone.” I made a face but now I’m actually doing it on my own and I love it. A couple of years later I began JSTEP, I started with just one day a week and now I do four days a week. Soon I plan on doing five days a week. All my life I’ve been waiting for this opportunity and I still can’t believe it. There are no words for this place and the people here.


The End,
Henry M Lozano

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past couple of years, I have been lucky enough to be a part of Pal-O-Min'es camp and work study programs, which are funded by the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation. Their wonderful support has brought about countless laughs, has facilitated growth, and has created many memories. These experiences are ones that students and staff will cherish, and these opportunities would not be possible without this wonderful organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the end of the school year approaches, parents who have children with special needs or disabilities are often faced with the difficulty of finding a summer program for their child. Most parents wish for their child to have the same quality, engaging and fun experience as other children in their community, however an inclusive summer camp program may not be readily available to whether due to the cost or just availability in the community.

For all school-age children, a full-day summer camp program has proven to have many benefits to further develop their growth and development during the summer months. For children with special needs, the benefits are much greater as campers have the opportunity to broaden their experiences with a balance of structured activities, physical activity, socialization and independence. All of which, will provide campers with a memorable summer, while also meeting the campers unique needs.

Thanks to the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation, The Gateway Family YMCA was able to provide a summer camp experience to more special needs children and ensure our staff had additional training needed to support these children. With the experience of going on off-site field trips, special events like Color Runs, daily swim instruction, engaging with campers of similar ages and more, the campers who attended our summer camp through The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation were able to have the same summer experience as other children, while their parents had piece of mind that their child was in a safe, quality and age appropriate setting.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has allowed us to offer weeks of summer camp fun to the participants of our programs at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian. We've enjoyed many memorable experiences from pool time to pythons thanks to their generous and enthusiastic support!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Due to the generosity of the Lisa Beth Gertsman Foundation we have been able to service over 100 children in our Inclusive Day Camp!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has been supporting the Summer Day Camp Inclusion Program at the Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, Inc. for 6 years already. The camp is located in South Brooklyn, NY. The generosity of this foundation has allowed our organization to include children ages 5-12 with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities in our general summer day camp. We were able to provide more staff in each group that consisted on a majority of typically developing campers and a few campers with special needs. This program is a success story and has contributed immensely to the social skills enhancement of our special needs campers while integrated in the camp and being exposed to natural role modeling of the other campers and staff. Both campers and their families have been very satisfied with the experience, and the campers felt proud and fulfilled during their participation at our lively, fun-filled summer camp activities. We are so grateful to the Lisa Beth Gertsman Foundation for their continuous support and caring for our youth with disabilities, this foundation's work has expanded inclusion possibilities to so many children who would never be included in summer camps otherwise. We are looking forward to more future collaborations!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation is an extraordinary non-profit foundation and without the support of this foundation there are many children and families that would not receive the support that we are able to provide for them. Every summer we are able to provide summer camp for numerous families in the Bronx whom have children with special needs. These children are turned away at most camps because of the inability to support their needs. We are able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for these families with the support from the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been an honor for me to be able to help out with this wonderful foundation. It is rewarding to know any support that I can give whether it is helping prepare for the yearly golf outing or even donating when I can goes to help not just with the summer camps but other wonderful causes. The Gerstman Family has put noting less than 100% behind this foundation to make it as wonderful as it is. I appreciate that they have allowed me to participate in such a wonderful cause and look forward to doing so for many years to come.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Since 2013, The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has been a vital supporter of the summer camp at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, a national leader in pediatric post-acute care. Because of their support, our summer camp can offer programs for young people from ages 5-25 that have complex physical and developmental disabilities. The focus of our summer camp program is to help children of all ages to grow and thrive in a healthy environment while building new skills and creating new friendships. Their continued support has allowed St. Mary’s to continue our hugely popular Special Olympics Summer Session as part of our Summer Camp offerings. This program uses competitive games as a vehicle to teach sportsmanship, team building, and problem-solving skills to participants. We thank you for your commitment to building a brighter future for children with special healthcare needs. We are looking forward to another great summer.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank you to the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation for supporting Pal O Mine in their summer opportunities for our students. The support of the foundation allows Pal O Mine to provide the participants experiences in growth and learning while interacting with animals and humans. The results are seen in the smiles and enthusiasm of all who are a part of the program.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lisa Beth Foundation is a great organization filled with caring and wonderful people.
Proud to be sponsor to their annual fund raising events.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the last six years I have been honored to be a counselor for Pal-O-Mine's summer camp and work study program, which is funded through the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation. The experience each year has been extraordinarily transforming, not only for myself but for the students of Pal-O-Mine. The students are provided opportunities to grow, heal and learn in an environment where they feel safe and respected. A gift that could only be provided with the generous help and funding from the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation. We are so grateful for their continual support and inspiration. Thank you!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Children who are deaf or hearing impaired have often expressed their feelings of social isolation, of feeling that they are alone in their schools or families. Many wonder if there will be a place for them with meaningful friendships or, a place to work as they grow older. The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation provides the funding for the Samuel Field Y to provide a special 13 day summer experience where children who are deaf and hearing impaired play, learn and work with one another as well as with their hearing peers in a small, intensive community. The result - a summer camp where there is value in multiple methods of communication, a place where children learn new communication skills and where children of all ages and ability levels have fun! Thank you LBG!!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has given countless students from Pal-O-Mine Equestrian the oppertunity to participate in summer camp / summer experiences. As a result of their generosity our students learn horse care, learn to ride, and many more activities, and most of all have fun!!
Thank you for all you do for our students!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation has supported Pal-O-Mine's summer camp and work study program for many years now. The children and teens look forward to it every summer. So does the staff! Because of this foundation, our summer students have the opportunity for authentic experiences that they will remember all of their lives. Thank you!

Bill127

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation for your support of our summer camp. This camp provides outstanding experiences for the children you help to attend. They experience the beauty of the natural world, they interact with horses and other animals, they participate in fun activities and most of all they feel the unconditional love from all of us at Pal O Mine. Thank you for helping us provide this experience.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank you for your continuous generosity and consistent support to our summer programs at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian Inc. Thank you for helping strengthen our cause and purpose successfully.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would like to thank Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation personally for supporting the summer camp at Pal-o-mine. I wish to thank you for your support you provided throughout the years.

Orlando

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at the Lisa Gerstman camp was the highlight of my summer for a number of years. As a photographer, my goal was to make a video montage of the pictures I had taken of the campers throughout my visits. I also provided a few cameras for the campers to borrow and the materials needed for them to make a photo collage of their finished work.

Walking into the camp to be greeted with laughter and smiles was such an amazing feeling. Experiencing the joy and love around me is something I will never forget. These kids were in a great camp and they were having so much fun!!!!!!!! I never left there without a huge smile on my face.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Lisa Beth Gertsman Foundation has provided support to individuals attending our Summer Camp inclusion program for many years! With funding provided by the foundation, individuals that would normally not be able to attend summer camp at all, due to the financial burden, are able to do so. Camp is a crucial part of independence and growth, especially for individuals with disabilities. Not only has the Foundation provided the opportunity to attend camp; In doing so, they have enhanced the lives of many campers by contributing to lifelong friendships. Thank you to the Lisa Beth Gertsman Foundation!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I assist each year with prepping the annual golf outing fund raiser for the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation and each year I meet other volunteers with a common devotion and energy to the cause. Everyone is united by the good that this group does for so many disabled children, which in turn makes everyone excellent to work with!

My mother has also been a long time donor to the foundation and we're proud to support such a positive undertaking.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Outstanding charity to be a part of. The Gerstman family are extraordinary people who ensure that children who would otherwise never have a chance to go to summer camp enjoy the great experience. Every year I have seen them touch the lives of so many kids and bring joy to their life. It is truly uplifting!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so grateful to the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation for supporting the West Essex YMCA Pioneer Trails Summer Day Camp. For the past two years this foundation enabled my Y to impact a sadly undeserved population in my community. It was wonderful to have enough and qualified staff so that we could mainstream special needs children in our day camp. kids at camp need to be safe and happy and the donation from the Gerstman Foundation allowed us to accomplish both goals. Many thanks for your generosity, looking forward to next summer and more happy faces. Helen

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have donated my time to this foundation for many years and just wanted to say what a wonderful foundation this is, without them there are so many disabled kids that would not have summer camp and we all know that children need socialization even in the summer. It is also great that all of the donations go directly to the programs that help these children

Bill126

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gerstman Foundation has an extraordinary and impactful relationship with the NJ Alliance of YMCAs involving a number of YMCAs across the state. The commitment of the Gerstman family to children is just terrific.
Bill Lovett
Executive Director
NJ Alliance of YMCAs

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have donated every year since the beginning. It's great to see to the money going directly where it's intended to support these kids in need. The Gerstman Family is very involved and "hands on" with their emotional and financial support, and I'm proud to help in a small way.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first encountered the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation in my capacity as a fundraiser for an area children's hospital. The folks at Gerstman were incredibly engaged and knowledgeable--and willing to think outside the box by providing funding for our non-traditional summer camp activities, which were tailored to the needs of New York's most medically complex children. The kids continue to benefit tremendously from the support and engagement of the Gerstman Foundation. Each summer is that much brighter and more joyful thanks to this amazing Foundation.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been supporters of the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation and strongly believe in their work and mission.

The Gerstman Family are leaders in the community and business world and have made such an impact on these childrens lives..............we applaud them.

This Foundation makes the world we live in a better place.

Joanne62

Client Served

Rating: 5

The funding provided by the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation to Pioneer Trails Day Camp for the past two years has allowed us to serve more children with special needs. From the initial conversation with a parent, we can be more confident about the level of support we can provide to make their child's experience at camp successful, such as providing an aide. Having children with special needs at camp benefits everyone. Every child needs the opportunity to try new things, learn new skills and make friends. When we provide an inclusive environment where all children are welcome, we promote empathy and tolerance, values which our world needs more than ever!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Being able to help such a well deserved foundation is nothing short of an honor for me. The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation was founded by a deep love for the child lost too soon. Anyone who has children in their lives, whether they are theirs or not, knows the importance of providing this amazing experience to them. I cannot express in words the necessity of it's strength and continuation long into the future. It is said, a picture is worth 1,000 words; in this case, the smiles belonging to those children, who have the wonderful opportunity to participate, is immeasurable. THANK YOU Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation for allowing me the opportunity. By sharing your story and allowing me to participate, you've made my life richer.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My favorite days of the year are the days we visit our Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation camps each summer. We get to watch the kids in action, talk to them about their favorite activities, and soak in their smiles. My sister loved camp and to see these kids enjoying camp in her memory warms my heart.
Our Lisa Beth Gerstman camps are inclusive so our campers with special needs and the typically developing kids are laughing, playing and swimming side by side. I truly believe that goes a long way in promoting acceptance and tolerance and helping to prevent bullying.
Thanks to our generous donors and awesome volunteers (100% of funds raised go to the kids), we've been adding new camps every summer. Our family's goal is to keep expanding to more camps and help kids with special needs have the summers they deserve!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work for the people who founded the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation and help each with getting ready for the outing. It is a wonderful cause sending children with disabilities to summer camp. I love seeing the photos and thank you cards that come into the office after the wonderful summer they had.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at the Lisa Beth Gerstman Outing for the past few years and love every minute of it. I love being a part of such a wonderful cause to help raise money to send such special children to camp giving them something to look forward to every summer. Without this foundation, majority of these children would not have the opportunity to do anything during their summer due to their disabilities. The thank you cards and crafts that we receive with photos and special notes says it all and is worth the world!