National | New York | Boston



November - December | 2014

Give the gift of play and learning this holiday season and contribute to our annual Holiday Toy Drive. Research proves that children - especially young children - learn through play. Children develop motor skills as they learn to reach, grasp, crawl and balance. Toys and puzzles help children learn colors, numbers and shapes, enhancing memory skills as well as their attention spans. And group play encourages cooperation, sharing and following rules - important skills children carry throughout school and into adulthood. 

Children enrolled in our program receive five educational toys at every visit to guide and sustain their developmental growth. Our social workers teach parents what play looks like at various stages between birth and three and how to identify successful child engagement. Parents are encouraged to select and use toys that their children will grow into, ensuring they continue to develop new skills.

Give Room to Grow children the opportunities to imagine, learn and play today. You can help by:
• donating new or nearly new toys appropriate for infants and toddlers;
• organizing a collection drive at your child’s school, place of work or community group;
• purchasing toys at a participating retailer and a portion of the proceeds will be used to donate toys to Room to Grow.

For more information, contact  in New York and  in Boston.

October 1, 2014 - January 1, 2015
Shop B kids to support Room to Grow
Room to Grow is thrilled to partner with B kids and Blue Box Toys this holiday season. Purchase B kids toys from participating retailers from October 1, 2014 through January 1, 2015, and 5% of the sale will contribute towards a toy donation for Room to Grow in New York and Boston. Click here to find participating retailers nearby.

“We are excited to support Room to Grow and their untiring dedication in helping young children in need,” says Cliff Seto, president of Blue Box Toys. “Developing products that help improve the lives of children is of the utmost importance to us and therefore it was only natural for us to partner with Room to Grow.” B kids line of toys for infant, toddlers and preschoolers fits with our work to promote learning through play. At every visit, each child enrolled in our program receives educational, age-appropriate toys while parents receive instruction on how to engage in active play with their children. 

Shop B kids toys today and help Room to Grow children get a strong start. Toys donated by B kids through this partnership will immediately go to the children in our program to help them meet important developmental milestones in their critical first three years of life. For more information, visit

Winter | 2014
Room to Grow receives 2014 Top-Rated Award from Great Nonprofits!
We are pleased to announce that Room to Grow has been recognized with a 2014 Top-Rated Award from Great Nonprofits, a leading developer of tools that allow people to find, review and share information about great nonprofits and charities. Special thanks to our supporters who submitted first-hand reviews of our work, helping us to earn a spot on this list. To see our page, click

October | 2014
CGI Gets it Right on Early Childhood
Room to Grow New York Executive Director, Allyson Crawford writes: 

"I am excited to share that Room to Grow participated in the recent 2014 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in NYC. Founding Board member Uma Thurman and I were invited to participate in the panel discussion, "Starting from Zero: The Unrivaled Importance of Early Childhood," moderated by New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof. It was an incredibly stimulating conversation and a pleasure to engage with like-minded advocates about early childhood development and breaking the cycle of poverty."  Click here to read more. 

July 1 - September 30 | 2014
Summer Reading & Back to School Book Drive
The Summer Reading and Back to School Book Drive was a great success. Room to Grow received over 4,000 books for the families in our program. Special thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing, Candlewick Press, Charlesbridge Publishing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Orca Book Publishers, Penguin Young Readers, School Zone and Simon and Schuster for their generous contributions, to our supporters who purchased bilingual books for the Spanish-speaking families in our program and to our partners and in-kind donors for hosting collection drives and donating books for our children in New York and Boston. The need is great - studies show that the ratio of books to children in low-income communities is one book for every 300 children.  In middle-income households, the ratio is 13 books to one child.1 With your help, Room to Grow works to close that gap.

In our early literacy program, children take home 40 books every year, while parents receive support and instruction on how to nurture language development. Our social work team emphasizes the importance of daily book sharing and models ways to relate words to images and ideas. By providing low-income families with a library of more than 130 books and the support they need to instill a love of learning, Room to Grow increases the probability that children will start school on a level playing field with their middle-income peers and improve their chances of breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

To learn more about making a book donation or organizing a collection drive, please ontact in New York and in Boston. You can also purchase bilingual baby books year round for Room to Grow in New York and Boston. 

1. Susan B. Neuman and David K. Dickinson, eds. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2 (New York, 2006) p. 3

June | 2014
Why I Care: Uma Thurman's Personal Story

Founding Board Member Uma Thurman shares how she began her close relationship with Room to Grow in the June 30th issue of People Magazine. Click here to read her story. 


Spring| 2014
Four Stars for Room to Grow!
Room to Grow is excited to receive a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. With so many nonprofits seeking support, Charity Navigator works to 'guide intelligent giving' by highlighting charities for their accountability, transparency and financial performance - and thereby providing donors with vital information to give them greater confidence in the giving choices they make. According to Ken Berger, President and CEO of Charity Navigator, the designation of four out of a possible four stars "...differentiates Room to Grow from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust." With an overall score of 62.69 out of 70, we are pleased to find ourselves in the company of exceptional nonprofits across the country working hard to mitigate the effects of childhood poverty. To see our rating page, click here

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New York

Fall | 2014
Celebrating Milestones at Room to Grow
Click  to read our fall newsletter; celebrate a year of milestones, give the gift of play and learn more about Room to Grow's 2014 Power Breakfast Inspiration Award Recipient.

October 29 | 2014
Power Breakfast: Balancing Happiness
Room to Grow's annual fundraising breakfast, held at City Winery on October 29th, was an outstanding success. The lively discussion between Brooke Shields and Gretchen Rubin on the topic of happiness generated spirited conversation amongst our 175 attendees. Than you to everyone who attended, with special thanks to Event Co-Chairs Jen and Rob Dowd, Maggie and Amor Towles, Patty and Steve Valentino, Megan and Jon Wolff; Event Committee Members Jennifer Anikst, Irene Anschlowar, Maggie Borner, Victoria Feliton, Diana Gardere, Jackie & Chris Keber, Maxine Lee & David Vincent, Wendie Lopez, Elizabeth & J.B. Lowe, Gina & Kenneth Marinelli, Heather McAuliffe, Christi & Nick Wood; Lead Sponsor Duane Reade Charitable Foundation; Principal Sponsor Harbinger Group Inc.; Patron Sponsors Pearhead and Tervis; and Contributing Sponsor United Talent Agency, for their dedication and support.

To see photos from the event, click here.

 Summer | 2014
Reading, Movies and Happiness!
Click here to read our summer newsletter; see us in People!; share a love of summer reading and hear Lucas' story.

June | 2014
Friends Report 
Room to Grow is thrilled to celebrate another year of milestones in New York. Read our report to learn how your support directly impact the lives of the families and children we serve.

May | 2014
Clementine Consigns for Room to Grow
Room to Grow is excited to join Clementine Consignment's "Consign for a Cause" program! By consigning your new or gently-worn maternity clothes on behalf of Room to Grow, a portion of the proceeds from the sales will be donated directly to our parenting support program. To participate, please visit Clementine's website for information on acceptable brands and clothing items, or call 212.228.9333. No appointments necessary for drop off; please indicate that you are consigning on behalf of Room to Grow. 


Share Your Love of Shoes with Room to Grow
Online children's accessories retailer Friendly Rooster and shoe brand Tip Toey Joey are working to gether to help infants in need. As part of their charity campaign, "Share Your Love of Shoes," for every Tip Toey Joey shoe sold, a pair of infant shoes will be donated to Room to Grow. Tip Toey Joey infant and toddler shoes are soft and nonrestrictive, allowing babies' feet, balance and posture to develop properly. Help give our early walkers the appropriate footwear to take their first steps safely and with confidence. To learn more about this cause and purchase shoes, click here.

New York Cares about Room to Grow

New York Cares, New York City's premiere volunteer organization, brings vital volunteer support Room to Grow three times a month. Through their flexible, team-based model, more than 48,000 people volunteer with New York Cares year after year, with hundreds helping to prepare baby items for our families on site at our office. To participate in New York Cares Volunteer Sessions at Room to Grow, sign up for an orientation today.

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October | 2014
Fall Gala in Boston – Ready, Set, Grow!
Join us for Room to Grow’s annual Fall Gala which will be held at the Cruiseport Boston on November 14th, 2014 beginning at 6:30pm. We will celebrate Room to Grow’s inspirational parents, friends, and supporters with an evening of spectacular entertainment, cuisine and opportunities to support babies born into poverty. We are thrilled to have honorary co-chairs Julie and Ken Burns and Uma Thurman and special guest hockey legend Ray Bourque. Click here for more information.

September | 2014
Bright Horizons – Boston Collection Site for September and October
Bright Horizons, a leading provider of early education and preschools, is now collecting new and nearly new clothes, toys, books, supplies and gear for Room to Grow during the months of September and October at their Brighton and Fan Pier centers. Items collected will immediately benefit babies and toddlers being raised in poverty during their critical first 3 years. For more information about Bright Horizons, visit their website at

June | 2014
Learning Express Toys in Needham and Sudbury are now Permanent Collection Sites
Learning Express Toys in Needham and Sudbury are now permanent collection sites for Room to Grow in Boston. Customers of Learning Express Toys, the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores, can now bring new and nearly new clothes, toys, books, feeding supplies and baby gear appropriate for children birth to age 3 to the Needham and Sudbury stores.

Donations collected at LE Toys will be provided to families in Room to Grow’s program to help ensure a brighter future for their children. Room to Grow is grateful for the generosity of Learning Express Toys, its customers and the greater Boston community who make it possible for the organization to serve close to 400 families in Boston. For more information about Learning Express Toys, visit their website at

May 8 | 2014
Room to Grow Celebrating Mothers Breakfast
Langham, Boston
Room to Grow's Celebrating Mothers Breakfast was a wonderful morning filled with joy, hope and promise. Supporters of Room to Grow came together to honor two remarkable women: Susan Lynch, a mother enrolled in Room to Grow's program who is overcoming the challenges of raising a baby in poverty and Saskia Epstein, outgoing CEO of Room to Grow who has for the past six years made an incredible difference to the organization and the community.  The funds raised will enable Room to Grow to continue providing close to 400 families in Boston with the support and resources they need to give their children the best possible start in life.

Thank you to all the guests and donors, with special thanks to co-chairs Bithiah Carter and Brooke Thurston, Life Enrichment Sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Magazine Sponsor, The Improper Bostonian. 

To view photos of the event, click here.


May | 2014
MyGym Boston Now a Permanent Collection Site
We are pleased to announce that MyGym Boston will be a permanent collection site for Room to Grow in their Boston and Newton locations. MyGym Boston offers safe, age-appropriate, fun and self-esteem building gym classes, camp and birthday parties for kids ages 6 weeks to 12 years. MyGym also continues to support Room to Grow with their Birthday Party Donation Option where MyGym helps turns gifts and goody bags into good deeds.

MyGym Boston will collect much needed new and nearly-new clothes (sizes infant to 5T), shoes (sizes newborn - 13), books, bibs, bedding, feeding and safety supplies, towels, and toys for Room to Grow. These collected items will immediately benefit babies and toddlers in our program being raised in poverty during their critical first three years. In addition, four times a year, MyGym Boston will hold a baby gear collection drive for the larger items Room to Grow needs including bassinets, bathtubs, booster seats, bouncy seats, exersaucers, high chairs, play mats, strollers and large toys For more information about MyGym Boston, visit their website at


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