FAMILIES IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE
69 Brookline Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
|Family in Troy that was burn out in a fire. Families In Need of Assistance provided clothing bedding, furniture for them for thier new home.
Families In Need of Assistance, Inc.
In the Spring of 1989, I was asked to attend a ribbon cutting of a newly built homeless shelter. While I was there a young boy came up to me and told me that he was very worried that the Easter Bunny would not be able to find him there.
I said “I bet he will find you.” assuring him that the Easter Bunny would know where he was. When I asked the director how many children were living at her shelter. , she told me thirteen. I then proceeded to find thirteen baskets and fill them with candy and returned the day before Easter with the baskets to be hidden…and each year the Easter project grew. I solicited public elementary schools where I was substitute teaching and the children helped me make the baskets... as the project expanded we added food drives; mitten, hat and glove drives; and tutoring programs.
A local attorney met me for lunch and suggested that his firm incorporate the program and a local accounting firm prepare a 501 (C) (3), He offered to put two of his associates on our beginning Board of Directors. That first Board consisted of an Executive from a local grocery chain, two lawyers, a banker, a former travel agent and a CPA. We became a 501 (C) (3) in January 1993.
In December of that same year when an old high school friend was murdered by her husband, we researched and found that there was not an active Community Partnership against Domestic Violence in Albany. As a result, we developed one and were instrumental in developing the first Zero Tolerance Policy for the Albany Police Department. We continued being a referral and resource for homeless and Domestic Violence victims, and were also instrumental in developing Domestic Violence training of Judges for the New York State Office of Court Administration.
We instituted tutoring programs in schools with student volunteers from both public and private school as well, and some of our student volunteers now serve on our board of directors.
In the ensuing years, FINA has expanded into extensive case management and advocacy for cancer victims, drug addicts, and recently discharged hospital patients. We coordinate with other not-for-profits and a variety of groups and businesses to provide a cadre of services. We offer many services and are a 24 hour referral service for homeless. Through our volunteers, we are able to provide Spanish-English translation assistance. So, what began with an innocent comment from a homeless child grew into a multi-faceted, responsive program that continues to address an ongoing need in our larger community. FINA is an intricate part of the community. We are there for our clients when special attention and/or a caring hand is needed, or when families are unsure where to turn for help. It matters not whether the client is a young adult in need of counseling, assistance to get off drugs, or other help; a woman who is being beaten and has no shelter; a person who has just been diagnosed with cancer and needs advice on dealing with insurance companies, obtaining a wig, getting a second opinion, or meeting new and myriad needs.
FINA is there for anyone who needs such assistance.
Cynthia Urbach Executive Director
- "My husband punched my front teeth out and threatened to kill me" he was arrested and laughed in Court. I was referred to Families In Need of Assistance, Inc. Not only did FINA help and explain the court process...they counseled me to go back to school and get a degree as a Para legal.They then counseled me to get my Bachelor Degree as well. They helped me get help for my children, winter coats, food, dietary counseling, other clothing, dental work all for free. I was able to get my self esteem back and my children now live in violent free home...Thank you FINA..... Dolores age 39
- " had been sick for months and months. I was hospitalized for five days...no one could help me. I went from Specialist to specialist. Families In Need of Assistance, Inc stepped in and advocated for me...They also helped organize my medical history and records...what a wonderful service...I will be seeing a specialist at Albany Medical Center, but most importantly I don't feel alone trying to figure out what is wrong with me." Hilda age 64
- I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in the UK seven years ago and was given months to live
I called Families In Need of Assistance, Inc and told them I was visiting in the United States around Christmas. I asked if they could possibly get me a second opinion. They did with a Dr. Hochster who at the time was at New York University. FINA made the appointment right away and I was given advice on how to fight my cancer. Dr Hochster worked with my doctors in the UK and I have been able to see my son grow into a young man. I have been able to travel. When I have had reassurances they have been treated with Dr Hochster and my doctors in the UK. It has been six years and I am so grateful to Families In Need of Assistance, Inc. They have been available by phone whenever I have needed them. My road has not been easy, but with the help of FINA…with laughter and guidance we have led a relatively good life. - Claire ….. from the United Kingdom 2011
- I want to take this opportunity to thank Families In Need of Assistance for helping our sister, especially in the last few months of her life. Families In Need of Assistance was there for her during her final illness with food companionship and real caring. She told us about the wonderful services you provide for so many sick people. On behalf of our family and my sister we wish to thank you - Howard a family member 2012
- I want to thank Families In Need of Assistance for always being available when I have needed them. I have been fighting ovarian cancer for almost a year. FINA has helped in so many ways. They have helped with alternative medicine. They have advocated for me with the insurance companies. They have helped me see the places I have on my “Bucket list”. They have gotten me appointments for second opinions. They have helped us with co pays. How can I thank them? They have been our angels. Thank you FINA.- Susan 2011
- Thank you FINA for making me smiles. Families In Need of Assistance, Inc. has helped me face a devastating cancer. I am in so much pain. FINA’s volunteer’s visit me make me soup. Cookies and always is available with advice and an ability to make me laugh. - Mary Louise 2012
- On behalf of our family I wish to thank Families In Need of Assistance, Inc. My brother was diagnosed with a horrible Glio Blastoma. Our family was out of town and FINA helped in so many ways. They obtained second opinions. They retained nurses when we needed them. They took our sister to appointments and brought her food. They were our eyes and ears for our sister. At the very end they did not leave her side. They brought doctors to her bedside and helped with Hospice. How can we thank FINA? - Ralph 2011
- MY mother was diagnosed with stage III Ovarian cancer. Families In Need of Assistance helped her with her co pays. They got her a second opinion with the former head of the Gynecolic Oncology Group, Caroline Runowicz. Families In Need of Assistance, Inc. invited my mom to a day of beauty at a beauty shop and then a lovely luncheon. They helped her talk to her insurance company and receive benefits for her treatment. They encouraged her and made sure she was not alone - Christine 2010
- Our family wants to thank FINA for all the help they gave our family in time of need. My sister was on drugs and FINA helped get her into treatment. First they found her and helped get her home and then in treatment. FINA then helped my father get surgery to fix a botched surgery he had had and was left in a nursing home. They got us an appointment at Hospital for Special Surgery. My dad is home and walking again. FINA helped get us nurses. Cooked and baked for us. How can we ever thank them for everything they have done? They are our angels’ right here - A very graceful family 2010
- My son was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma. Families In Need of Assistance, Inc. recommended and got us an appointment at MD Anderson in Houston Texas. Thank you so much. My son has been cancer free for three years. - A very happy family
- I want to thank you so very much for obtaining an appointment for me at Hospital for Special Surgery. The doctor was wonderful and very helpful - Cathy 2012
- I want to thank you for recommending and obtaining a wonderful orthopedic doctor for my family in Albany...The doctor was wonderful. Thank you again. FINA helped with our insurance company as well - An Albany family 2011
- My daughter was diagnosed with Lyme's disease. FINA recommended her to a wonderful doctor and then a program which helped my child so much. thank you so very much - Kelley 2010
Families In Need of Assistance
AN ORGANIZATION WITH A LOT OF HEART
When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2003 with only a slim 25% chance of making it to the 5-year marker, I knew nothing about Families In Need of Assistance (Families In Need of Assistance) or Cindy Urbach, the Executive Directory of Families In Need of Assistance. When I met Cindy in 2006, I assumed that Families In Need of Assistance was an organization dedicated to helping individuals in need of financial assistance. However, I soon discovered how wrong I was! When Cindy learned that I was battling a cancer recurrence, she encouraged me to obtain a 2nd opinion – she gave me the name and phone number of a well-respected GYN Oncologist whom I should consult with – she worked with my insurance company to fast-track the approval of my 2nd opinion(s) – and she encouraged and cheered me along the way! Wow – I was very impressed and very grateful – Cindy was a complete stranger to me, and yet she showered me with such caring concern and kindness!
In March 2007, Cindy’s unbelievable kindness and caring concern were extended to the members of Caring Together -- a local ovarian cancer support group – when Families In Need of Assistance organized a day of “feel better” activities for our members who were facing/undergoing chemotherapy treatments. What a wonderful surprise and treat it was to receive free wigs/wig fittings/make-up applications so graciously donated by the Jean Paul Salon at Stuyvesant Plaza, followed by a delicious lunch graciously prepared for us by the Provence Restaurant! Earlier that same day, 40 white baseball caps (donated by Families In Need of Assistance and Walmart) were beautifully adorned by 7th graders at the Albany Academy for Girls with teal decorations and ribbons. These special baseball caps were then presented to the survivors of Caring Together as symbols of hope and courage – a gift which really warmed and touched all of our hearts!
I have since learned that Families In Need of Assistance helps ALL kinds of families and individuals in need – whether the need is finding the best possible medical/surgical care, finding the best doctors, financial assistance, insurance-related issues, drug/child/spousal abuse or domestic violence issues, parenting issues, home care issues, hospice, etc. All I can say with deepest gratitude and sincerest thanks is that when you find yourself in a difficult situation in your life’s journey which throws you for a loop – and in my case it is cancer – it is heartwarming and reassuring to know that there are organizations/individuals with a compassionate and caring “heart” like Families In Need of Assistance and Cindy Urbach who help you through the difficult times. Whether it is a simple phone call expressing concern or offering help, an unexpected hospital visit, funny cards delivered through the mail to help cheer you up, or a slice of meatloaf and bread pudding delivered to your door – sometimes it truly is the “little things” in life that mean the most.
On behalf of myself and the other ovarian cancer survivors who have been the recipients of Families In Need of Assistance’s and Cindy Urbach’s kindness and help, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
- "Thank you for helping my children and me with Family Court and other issues and thank
you for advocating to make our future brighter. It was a very difficult time when we had to
flee from our home and my husband was arrested and put in jail for committing the crime
of assault after he punched my teeth out." - Victim of Domestic Violence
- If it had not been for Families In Need of Assistance inc., I dread to think what our
granddaughter would have faced. It was our good fortune to have the assistance of Cynthia
Urbach who dealt with the lawyer, the judges and the jail. She was instrumental in my
granddaughter's transfer to a fine rehab facility. - Grandmother
- " Families In Need of Assistance helps people from all walks of life..after 15 years of failed treatment my luck changed
and I met Families In Need of Assistance. I was finally referred to a doctor who could help me and I was
able to fly to my granddaughter graduation and walk without a brace and cane. Because of Families In Need of Assistance I extend my gratitude their kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness which has given
me a quality of life back". - Woman 70 years old
- "If it hadn't been for the quick action of Families In Need of Assistance, Inc, I don't know
what would have happened...everyone said there was nothing wrong with me, but Families In Need of Assistance
stepped in took me to Albany Medical Centers emergency room ,called the neurologist
beforehand and when we got there asked for the stroke team. I was having a stroke and
everyone else turned away. Families In Need of Assistance was there and I am okay today." - Elderly Woman
- My experience with Cindy Urbach, Families In Need of Assistance's Executive Director, in a particular case or two;
has provided me with a comfort in a most troubling time. Because of her extensive
knowledge of the courts and the system and their various procedure that deal with
problems in a family, she had shown an expertise given to very few, and successfully
traversed the path to a solution that is dearly sought" - Father
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