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Bethpage Embroiderer Embodies Giving Spirit

For many, getting into the holiday spirit simply means waiting in long lines for a last minute sale, putting up lavish decorations in and around the house, watching a marathon of holiday classics, singing carols around the fireplace, or just enjoying a tall glass of eggnog that you managed to sneak away with, without your Great Aunt noticing.


But, Christmas is really a season of giving… and perhaps nobody knows how to get into the giving spirit better than Karen Feinberg of Bethpage.


Each year, Feinberg creates and donates homemade holiday gifts for about 30 children with the Family and Children’s Association—a non-for-profit agency that helps protect and strengthen vulnerable children, seniors, families and communities on Long Island. 


“A number of years ago I was looking to donate some clothes to an organization in my community and to get involved,” said Feinberg, 64. “I found Family and Children’s Association, where I met a wonderful group of women who work there… and I told them I wanted to do something more.”


With a shared passion for sewing, Feinberg, along with her mother, Eleanor Werner, started out by stitching together pillowcases for the children. And, as time went on, they started to include fleece blankets and quilts. 


During the year leading up to the Christmas holiday, Feinberg and her mother would work on their own creations and eventually they started to include stuffed animals and children’s books to match their quilts. Feinberg’s granddaughter, Hayley, also joined in to help them make pillowcases, purchase stuffed animals and when the holidays arrived, help pack and deliver everything. 


“It feels good to be able to make a difference and use a talent for a good purpose and to do it with those you love,” Feinberg said. 


Although Werner passed away last year, Feinberg said she intends to continue doing what they started together because it makes her feel closer to her mother. In addition, she said she plans to carry forward the tradition, as it is a joy for her to be able to share her designs with the kids of the Family and Children’s Association in Mineola.   


“Karen Feinberg is a long-time supporter of the Family and Children’s Association and a shining example of how one can use her or his gifts and passions for the benefit of those in need,” said Joyce Mullen, the director of marketing and communications for the Family and Children’s Association. “We are extremely grateful to Ms. Feinberg for her generosity and for the love she sews into each gift she makes; she and others like her who support our mission are the cornerstones of charity on Long Island.”


This year, Feinberg—with help from her granddaughter—donated her homemade quilts and stuffed animals for about 30 kids with the Family and Children’s Association.


“Everyone I have met at Family and Children’s Association has been wonderful and it is great to hear the stories of the children who have received our creations,” Feinberg said. “I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to do this.”