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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

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!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so happy to be an active participant in the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation reaching their goals year after year. I'm so glad to know that 100% of my donations go directly to the programs for special needs children. It really is rewarding to see all of the photos and videos from the camps knowing the children are having the most amazing summer. The Gerstman Family's dedication to the Foundation is truly inspirational. What an amazing tribute to a beautiful young lady's memory.

Matilde T.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor for the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation since the beginning of the foundation. It's a pleasure for me to donate year after year and knowing that I'm helping children with physical disabilities go to camp each summer. These kids would be at home due to the cost of summer camp without the foundation's help. I've seen pictures and videos of the yearly outcome and the smiles of the children are worth every dime. Continue your vision in helping so many children.