Making a Difference in people's lives Since 1989

ImageThe mission of Thursday's Child is to develop, to coordinate, and to provide services for People Living with and affected by HIV/AIDS on Long Island.

Founded in 1989 by Sharon "Didi" Kelly, a school teacher with a big heart. During this time many people were dying of AIDS-related complications and had no where to live due to fear and discrimination from landlords or family. Didi took them into her home in West Hampton Beach where they could live out their remaining days with dignity and the warmth of her care.

Thursday's Child began as a housing and advocacy agency, but has expanded to different services over the years while always keeping to the mission to serve People Living with HIV/AIDS. The name of our agency is based on a poem. The rejoinder of the poem reads: has far to go. We have come along way over the past several decades, but the AIDS epidemic is not over. We still have far to go.

“ Monday's child is fare of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go! ”

Image 100+ Project Completed
Image 350+ People Affected
Image 50+ Selfless Voulnteers
Image 30+ Years of Experience
Thursday’s Child provides gifts to over 300
kids a year

ImageIn addition to Beech House operating from 1992 to the present day, Thursday’s Child received Ryan White Title 1 grants to provide emergency housing assistance, utility assistance, and food voucher support beginning in 1995. Due to changes in federal legislation, Ryan White Title 1 funds no longer exist since 2007. Over the course of 12 years, Thursday’s Child had great success in monitoring the effective use of these funds, and served over 1,000 people annually.

Long Island remains one of the most expensive places to live in our nation. The cost of housing, heating fuel, electricity, and food continue to rise at an alarming rate while individuals and families are not seeing any increase in their income. Unfortunately, the need for services is often still greater than the services that are available. However, we remain committed to the mission and purpose of the agency through our current services.

In 1995, Didi opened the doors to the Thursday’s Child office in Patchogue. Since that day, thousands of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS have come through the door of the office located on Terry Street. With the warm carpeting under your feet, the beautiful artwork on the walls, there was much that made it feel like home: in fact, the office itself was a reflection of Didi’s warmth and commitment to care for the community. We enter the fourth decade of the AIDS epidemic with renewed hope for the future! In July 2012, after 17 years on Terry Street, Gregory Noone’s success in obtaining and Early Intervention Service grant allowed the agency to move to a new location on Main Street—still in the Village of Patchogue, and still feeling like “home!”

The continuity of Didi’s principles remains in our hearts. Two original founding members are still involved with the day-to-day operations of the agency—Board President, Evan Cohen, and Program Manager Gregory L. Noone. Since July of 2010, a new National HIV/AIDS Strategy brings hope of an AIDS-free generation in which we hope to have zero discrimination, zero new infections, and zero AIDS-related deaths. Until that day comes, the crisis is far from over. Thousands still become HIV positive each year. Although modern medicines have indeed been miraculous and save lives, many become sick, disabled, and are unable to work due to the effects of AIDS on their health. Your help is sought to keep our doors open for as long as services are needed. With your continued support, we will serve our neighbors in need with dignity and respect. Thank you to our donors who make this work possible.

ImageAll programs at Thursday’s Child operate under the general purpose:

The mission of Thursday’s Child is to develop, to coordinate, and to provide services to People Living with and affected by HIV and AIDS on Long Island.

The Early Intervention Service program is accountable to the general agency mission as well as the more specific mission:

It is the mission of the Early Intervention Service program to offer assistance to individuals who are newly diagnosed with HIV, assistance to those who need to re-gain access to care, and to promote healthy awareness through community outreach.

“Didi opened the door of her beautiful home... she also opened her heart. When others feared and shunned, didi welcomed and made you feel loved.” - Gregory L. Noone

ImageWelcome to Thursday’s Child—a name taken from the well-known anonymously written nursery rhyme that begins with “Monday’s child is fair of face…” and the rejoinder for Thursday’s Child is hauntingly… “has far to go.” Our founder, the late Sharon ‘Didi’ Kelly chose this name wisely in 1989 as a name that speaks to the hope and promise of a better tomorrow, not to the daily tragedy caused by the AIDS pandemic. Didi opened the doors of her beautiful Westhampton Beach home to People Living With HIV/AIDS in the late 80’s; she also opened her heart. When others were fearful, shunning, and discriminatory—Didi made you feel welcomed and loved.

In 1989, members of Long Island ACT UP combined forces with Didi and designed Thursday’s Child as an educational agency to create social change—to end the stigma and provide the hope of a better tomorrow. At this time, the disease was perceived as a death sentence—and too often it was so tragic -- it was also debilitating to live with. Many could no longer work due to the effect of AIDS on their health; others were denied housing if their status was known.

In 1992, a friend of the agency died of AIDS and willed his house to Thursday’s Child; it has since become a sanctuary for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Known as “Beech House,” it has provided low-cost and safe shelter for over 25 families and individuals. Beech House continues to provide independent housing for PLWHA.

We continue to honor our deceased founding members through our daily service for the PLWHA community—in memory of:

Louis Fiero
Ted Oneto
John Sullivan