With the holiday season approaching, Astor Services, a nonprofit organization providing mental/behavioral health and educational services to thousands of children, adolescents, adults and their families throughout the Hudson Valley and the Bronx, is seeking monetary donations to continue its successful annual Adopt-A-Family program, which helps families in need locally.

About Astor Services

For 70 years, since 1953, Astor Services provides essential supports, tools and high quality, comprehensive behavioral health and educational services to engage, empower and strengthen children, adults and families in all communities. Astor serves more than 9,000 children and families annually in more than 70 locations in the Hudson Valley and the Bronx. Astor’s range of services include early childhood programs and community-based behavioral health and prevention services. To learn more about Astor’s programs and services, visit, www.astorservices.org.

Astor Services' Adopt-A-Family

For more than 30 years, the Adopt-A-Family program has paired children enrolled in Astor programs and their families (ages 18 and under) with donors who purchase gifts for them during the holidays. Since 2020, when safety modifications were made to the program due to the pandemic, Adopt-A-Family has sought donations to purchase gift cards, a format that was well-received by all. This year, like the last three years, instead of wrapped gifts, gift cards will be sent directly to the families of the children registered.

“During the holiday season, many of the families we serve struggle to meet their children’s needs and holiday wishes,” said Yvette Bairan, chief executive officer of Astor Services. “For these families, a gift card is truly more than just a gift. It empowers families to choose what is right for them and their children and strengthens a family’s bond. Gift cards enable families to experience joy as their children open a gift chosen personally for them.”   

Last year, through the generous donations received from individuals, local businesses, and foundations, Astor’s Adopt-A-Family program provided gift cards to more than 2,100 children in the Hudson Valley and the Bronx. Astor hopes that, with the community’s generosity, it will once again be able to provide some holiday joy to families in need. 

For more information about the program, or to sign up to donate, visit www.astorservices.org/adopt-a-family or contact Dana Valdez at dvaldez@astorservices.org. Matching corporate donations are also greatly appreciated, as they increase the impact of this program.

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Back in May of this year, I spoke with Jennifer Brody, Director of the APA-Accredited Doctoral Internship at Astor Services. Each year, May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Jennifer and I talked about the highly acclaimed internship program she runs at Astor Services, the incredible counseling programs that Astor Services offers its clients, the recent changes to their programs since their rebranding, and more. It’s a jam-packed episode, but it's filled with a lot of energy and light.

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Healthline describe cryotherapy as,

"Cryotherapy, which literally means “cold therapy,” is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes.

Cryotherapy can be delivered to just one area, or you can opt for whole-body cryotherapy. Localized cryotherapy can be administered in a number of ways, including through ice packs, ice massage, coolant sprays, ice baths, and even through probes administered into tissue."

I have heard that taking cool showers if beneficial to your health but this is stepping it up.

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WEB MD describes the benefits of cryotherapy.

Those who have tried cryotherapy claim that it assists with weight loss, reduces inflammation, pain and swelling, can improve blood circulation, boost metabolism and more.

As always, have a conversation with your doctor before trying something new to make sure its suitable for you.

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Gallery Credit: Allison Kay