The Crisis Center for Life Threatening Illness

How You Can Become a “Friend”

It’s simple. Anyone who is interested in our services, or feels moved to contribute his or her own resources of time, kindness, or financial support, is welcome.

Volunteering is the cornerstone of Friends In Deed. We’re able to do all the work we do because of our incredible volunteers. And we’re always looking for more help. Our volunteers work at the reception desk, answer phones, accompany people to doctor visits, speak at schools, help with fundraising, make lunches, work with the computers, provide massage and body work services, visit those who are homebound or hospitalized… and on and on. Without the help of these incredible men and women, Friends’ staff would be unable to accomplish all we do.

If you’re interested in volunteering, the first step is to attend one of our six weekly Big Groups and come to the front desk after the meeting. For more information, contact our Director of Volunteers, Cynthia Burke at 212-925-2009 or

When Friends In Deed was founded at the height of the AIDS crisis, thousands of young people were suddenly facing their mortality. Our culture does not deal well with life-threatening illness, dying, and death. So we created a place where people could talk about what was happening, a place to get emotional support.

That conversation continues today… with people newly diagnosed with HIV and cancer… with teens coming of age sexually during the HIV epidemic… with long-term cancer and HIV survivors… with all those mourning the death of friends and family members.

Every day, we save lives. Not in the literal sense like doctors. But doctors are among our strongest supporters. They continue to refer their patients to Friends In Deed because they have witnessed the profound impact our work has on their patient’s lives and health.

Often there are circumstances in our lives that we cannot change. Our work at Friends In Deed is to support people in learning how to perceive their circumstances in a new way, so that their lives become richer and more peaceful. That’s what Friends In Deed is all about — making what seems unmanageable, manageable.

Your gift will help us continue this work.

To make a donation now, click here.

Make a Monthly Pledge
Pledging a monthly contribution is an easy way to support Friends throughout the year. Just tell us what you would like to contribute monthly, and Friends will charge this amount to your credit card. It’s an easy way to budget your donation and improve our cash flow.

Donate Stocks, Bonds & Securities
Donating stocks, bonds, equities, or other securities, can help Friends by building future equity into our portfolio. Your tax-deductible amount is the market value at the time of donation. Please contact our portfolio manager, Steve Sheresky, at Bear Stearns Securities Corp. (212) 272-6989. They will assist you in your donation and answer any questions you might have.
Check for Matching Grants
Many corporations have Employee Matching Grant programs. For every dollar you donate to Friends, your company may match it or even double it. Ask your Human Resource Administrator for the matching gift form you can include with every donation you make to Friends.

Create Personal Fundraisers
Including Friends In Deed in a personal celebration can be a wonderful way to support our work. You could hold a small dinner party at home or a restaurant where a donation to Friends could be asked. One of our long-time supporters, Avalon Salon & Day Spa, holds a bake sale for Friends once a year. Others have donated the proceeds from club or theatre performances. And every year, many of our supporters ask for donations to Friends in lieu of birthday gifts. Now THAT’S giving. If you need help with an idea, just give us a call! The ideas andyour imagination are limitless.

Name Friends as a Beneficiary
A residual effect of walking through our doors is the feeling of becoming part of an extended family. Leaving a legacy for the future will help future Friends who gather here for support. Confer with your lawyer on the types of charitable trusts, gifts of real estate and life insurance, and the many different types of bequest options available to you when considering making Friends In Deed a beneficiary.

When you give to Friends, you can make a difference in someone’s life because your money is used to support the hands-on work we do every day.

5 Principle to Remember If You’re Diagnosed with a Life Threatening Illness

When one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, it’s not uncommon to experience a period of “groundlessness.” It may feel as if your legs are literally knocked out from underneath you. Quite often, the diagnosis can send you into a state of confusion, shock and even terror. This is a normal response to very upsetting information. Friends In Deed is here to help you through these difficult times, to give you some perspective. Here are 5 principles to remember when you or someone you love is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness:

1) You are not your illness
In the period following a diagnosis, it’s easy to think of yourself and the illness as the same. You are not your illness. You may feel numb, unable to think of anything else, but it’s important to know that you’re the same person you were the day before the diagnosis. The cancer or the HIV or some other illness does not define you. You are a living, breathing person with an illness. After the initial shock and pain of the diagnosis subsides, it’s time to remember the rest of you.

2) You can handle this moment
No matter how challenging our circumstances – even in the midst of a diagnosis of a serious illness — most of us can handle life moment to moment. The anxiety we feel is about the future. It’s the result of all of the negative predictions that flood our mind. Take a deep breath. How do you feel right now? You can handle this moment. The only thing we really have is the present.

3) You can make choices
When you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, you may be faced with a range of treatment options. Your doctor may strongly recommend a course of action. You may get second opinions and friends and family members may also weigh in with suggestions. Gather all the information you need, but remember there is nothing you have to do. You’re the only one person who truly knows your body. You have the power to make choices, to say “yes” or “no” to treatments.

4) You can have a life of quality regardless of the circumstances
All of us know people who appear to have been blessed by life. They have it all… and they’re miserable. Every day at Friends In Deed we talk to people who are facing a variety of challenges because of their illness, and so many of them are joyful and alive. Why is that? It’s all about perception. Having a life of quality is not about the circumstances, but how we view them. When faced with illness, many people realize how precious life is and they become determined to enjoy every moment of it.

5) You are not alone
It’s easy to feel frightened, powerless and alone when you’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. That’s why Friends In Deed is here. We’re a crisis center where you can find the emotional and spiritual support to help you through this challenging time. Come to a Big Group and discover that others are going through the same or similar experiences. We provide an open, nonjudgmental space where you can get in touch with your feelings. You’ll begin to see your circumstances from a much broader perspective. We can help you deepen your connection to the world and to yourself, while making you aware of your capacity to contain the seemingly uncontainable. You are not alone.