Peer Pals Blog

  • Parent Advisory Committee

    So excited for the formation of our Parent Advisory Committee! Looking forward to working with the parents of our pals to make our programs stronger and to reach even more communities with our message of inclusion.
  • Oyster Festival 2017!!!

    This weekend is the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay. Once again we will have an information tent on Audrey Avenue in front of Oyster Babies. Please stop by to say hello, pick up a free tote bag and enter our free raffle to win a Cozy Coupe. You can also take a picture with the Panda! Hope to see you there!
  • Thanks Town of Oyster Bay!!!

    A big thank you to the Town of Oyster Bay for becoming our community partner for our 5K on October 22, 2017! A Run Through History begins and ends in Theodore Roosevelt Park and takes our runners through the historic downtown here in the hamlet of Oyster Bay. Even if you are not a runner, please join us to cheer on the participants and listen to addresses from President Roosevelt (Jim Foote) before the race and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino at the finish line. Looking forward to a great day raising awareness and money for and HPS Network!!!
  • Less than 6 weeks to get ready

    Just six weeks from yesterday will be the A Run Through History 5K in Oyster Bay to benefit and HPSNetwork! On October 22, 2017, President Theodore Roosevelt (Jim Foote) will be at Theodore Roosevelt Park at 8:30 am to start the race. As you run through the beautiful hamlet of Oyster Bay you will pass many historic landmarks. The folks from Raynahm Hall will be there to cheer you on as you pass by their homestead. Please join us a a runner or volunteer. Just click the EVENTS tab to find the links to sign up. Looking forward to seeing you there!
  • Office Makeover

    Shout out to H2M architects + engineers for the donation of our fabulous office makeover! Thanks, too, to Officeworx Complete Office Furniture and Belleayre Office Systems Inc for the delivery & set up. Special thanks to H2M's Phil Bianco for making it all happen!!!
  • Happy Birthday to us!

    This month we are celebrating our 9th birthday! We are celebrating nine years of families who embrace our mission of inclusion for children with disabilities and share their incredible children with us. We began hosting group play dates in 2009, with just one that year and one the following year. Between January 2011 and July 2017, we have held 136 group play dates for our 522 families. Whether you are the parent of a pal, a volunteer, a donor, or all three, please help us celebrate our nine-year milestone with a donation of $9.00. Your donation of $9 will help children with disabilities by allowing to provide more opportunities for inclusive play and to share our mission of inclusion with more communities. Just click on the events tab and become part of our Birthday Campaign! I know from countless conversations with parents that our inclusive play dates make a huge difference in the lives of the families we serve and we couldn't have done it without the support of folks like you, so thank you!
  • Sponsor a Puppet in honor of our friend, Jim

    Several years ago our program was blessed with the addition of an amazing volunteer, Liz Lassus. In fact, she was our 2014 Volunteer of the Year. In her acceptance speech she thanked her husband, Jim, for his support of her volunteer activities. Over the years Jim went from supporting Liz to becoming a volunteer in his own right. Jim passed away quite suddenly in August 2015. In lieu of flowers, donations to were suggested. This act of generosity in Jim's memory raised enough money to sponsor more than a dozen play dates. To show our appreciation and find a way to honor Jim's memory we have named the our welcome puppet Jim. Each child is welcomed into our program with a puppet. This way they have a puppet pal to play with while they wait to be matched with a real pal. Our puppet is a chef because at, we're "cooking" up friendships! Each time we pack a puppet to send to a new family, we remember Jim and the gift of his friendship. Please consider a donation of $20 to sponsor a puppet that will be sent to welcome a new child into our program. Click on EVENTS.
  • Team-Up-Tuesdays

    Make-a-Match Mondays are so much fun, we've decided to add Team-Up-Tuesdays! The goal of both alliterative days is the same, to find a new friend for every child who wants to make a friend. So please share our program with your family and friends who have children ages two, three, four or five years old. We are building communities of inclusion for preschoolers with disabilities, please join us!
  • Make-a-Match Mondays are back!

    It's Monday and that means we are making matches! There is nothing better than finding a match for one of our pals. The feedback from our matches has been overwhelmingly positive. Some pals are matched the very first week they sign up, however some pals will age out of our program never having been matched. You can help make sure everyone can meet a new friend by sharing our program with all of your friends and family. It's a bonus if they have children ages 2,3,4 or 5!
  • Thank you Oyster Bay Main Street Association!

    Thanks to the OBMA for the grant to help purchase the sign for outside our office! We absolutely love it.
  • Thanks Nassau County Girl Scout Troop 211!

    Last Friday night the girls from Troop 211 stopped by with a check for $275.00 to be used toward the purchase of toys for our Play Dates in a Box! The girls donated a portion of the profits from their cookie sales this year. Thanks to their hard work and generosity, we will be able to provide a Play Date in a Box to eleven of our pals. These boxes are sent to families when they have been matched and contain everything the new friends will need for an individual play date. Thank you, Troop 211!
  • A new place to play!

    Super excited to announce our newest group play date partner, The Little Gym of Roslyn! We will be having our first event there on May 21st. It's always exciting when we add new places for our pals to play. Thank you The Little Gym of Roslyn for welcoming us and suporting our mission of inclusion!
  • Welcome Harborfields!

    Sending a huge welcome to all the families in the Harborfields School District! It was a pleasure meeting so many of you at kindergarten orientation. Thank you PTA and SEPTA for making me feel so welcome!
  • Today’s the day!

    Today is the 7th Annual Planting Seeds of Community Dinner and we are proud to be honoring the Ipiotis Family as our Community Champions for their commitment to volunteering and support of our mission of inclusion! The nasty weather will not dampen our spirits as we celebrate at the Fox Hollow tonight! I want to take a moment to thank the dinner committee for all the work that went into getting the raffles and silent auction ready. Special thanks to our dinner chairperson, Kate, for another fabulous year! Looking forward to a wonderful evening!!!!
  • 1st Teen Volunteer Night

    Thanks so much to our newest high school volunteers from Oyster Bay High School, St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay and Our Lady of Mercy in Syosset! We are excited to be able to offer 1:1 play dates, facilitated by our new volunteers, in our new sensory friendly play space. Schedules and sign ups will be coming soon...stay tuned!
  • Once Upon A Treetop

    A few months ago we held our first group play date at Once Upon A Treetop in Plainview. It has quickly become one of our most popular play date venues! It's an interactive city designed for imaginative play and has a giant climbing playground that's perfect for our pals. We are looking forward to many, many more play dates at Once Upon A Treetop!
  • Happy 2017!

    Happy New Year! I can't believe I haven't posted since early November...especially since there's so much to share! First, a HUGE thank you to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program for the generous donation of a sensory play area in our office! With the addition of all the sensory friendly toys we will now be able to host individual play dates for our pals in our new play space. A special thank you to SSgt. Quinton and Major Kilbride for all the time and attention spent on our project. I also want to thank Girl Scout Troop 211 from Oyster Bay for coming into the office to help pack and send welcome packages to our newest families. The girls did an amazing job and I was so happy to have them here. The troop is also donating a portion of their cookie sales to our program. We are so grateful that they have chosen to support our mission of inclusion for children with disabilities. We have 31 group play dates on our 2017 calendar and that number is growing! Be sure to check out our EVENTS tab for upcoming play dates.
  • Our volunteers from FREE

    Thanks so much to our volunteers from FREE (Family Residences and Essential Enterprises), for their help in our office last Thursday! They helped to pack puppets to welcome our newest pals into our program and pack Play Dates in a Box for our latest matches. Lauren, Joe, Brian and Michael did a fantastic job and we look forward to their help again.
  • Feedback makes me happy!

    As part of our matching program for inclusive play dates, we enclose a feedback postcard when a match is made. The last couple of postcards we received have had such positive feedback and the families really seem to have hit it off. It makes me so happy when the match and subsequent play date are successful. So happy that I want everyone waiting for a match to have a pal as soon as possible! With that goal in mind, I'm asking all of you to share with your friends, families, PTAs, SEPTAs, school principals, EI providers, and anyone else you know that may have a child ages 2-5. Please help us find a friend for all of our waiting pals!
  • Lots of Pals

    While October 2016 is not quite over, it is already one for the record books! This month we have welcome 26 new pals into our program. I love when we meet new families!