Here at Shobha® Salons, we value both our clients & team members who do great things for our community! That’s why we took a moment to talk to our long term client, Erika Antin, who has helped raise significant funds for the Midtown West School, also known as MTW / PS 212 NYC. Erika talks to us about her experience below. Also look out for Erika’s write up on our salon community walls.
How did you get involved with the Midtown West School?
My son drew attends MTW. When drew was in preschool & we started to look at both private & public schools, we toured MTW. I walked out of there with tears in my eyes, called my husband & said, “I will do whatever I can to get into this school.” MTW shares our family’s philosophies, morals & teachings. I often refer to MTW as the little red school house that you would see in Kansas, except for it was positioned smack in the middle of times square. It is a small “application” school. The idea behind the application is not necessarily about your child but more about your family. The school looks for the family unit to be willing to participate in both your child’s education as well as in the school. When we got our acceptance letter I told friends & family that I would dedicate the next 6 years to the school.
What have you enjoyed most about raising money for MTW?
There are so many facets to what makes me love fundraising for MTW. First are the children. Knowing that we are really able to make a difference with the money we raise in the lives of our children, as well as actually witnessing the smiles on the children’s face as they participate in programs that are funded by the money raised. NYC board of education has made several severe budget cuts over the past few years. Due to a solid fundraising committee, our kids continue to receive arts & music programs, school supplies (that our PTA provides for all children), summer reading books, a recess aid, air conditioners & the list goes on. There are so many families that work so hard & rely on the city to provide their children with a proper education. The PTA/fundraising committee at MTW provides for everybody!
As a co-chair of the fundraising committee, I was fortunate enough to work with fabulous other parents who became more than just “the parent of a child in drew’s class” – but truly good friends. We meet for dinners, chat on the phone & have created our own support system.
I also feel it is important for my son to see how to give back to your community. Drew’s most immediate community outside of his home is school. On many occasions drew has pointed out how proud he is that his mommy helps out & is so visible in school. There is probably nothing that makes me more proud in my current life than to see my son proud of me.
Lastly, it didn’t hurt that we were able to raise almost $50k above our goal (goal:$150k – raised: $200k). We took a lot of risks this year that paid off. At the end of the day, the numbers tell the tale.
Are there any other organizations you are involved with?
I am involved with Columbia Presbyterian babies hospital. Unfortunately, it has taken a back seat to my current fundraising at MTW but it will always be in our lives. Columbia Presbyterian hospital & it’s incredible doctors saved both mine & drew’s life during my pregnancy in 2002. Unfortunately, I had a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is 24/7 of vomiting, nausea & dehydration. In my first 12 weeks of pregnancy I lost 30 pounds & my doctor at the time told me “not to worry – it would eventually go away.” well, it didn’t & I got sicker & sicker. Through some type of miracle I received the name of a midwife at Columbia Presbyterian who told me to come in immediately for an evaluation. With a lot of medications (12 medications around the clock & intravenous medications throughout the whole pregnancy) & a lot of hand-holding & incredible care, I had a healthy baby boy – drew! I vowed that I would always do whatever I could to help out the hospital which gave me my most precious gift.
Most recently, our family has become a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We feel it is important to support our local farmers. Not only are we helping the farmers but they are providing us with ultra fresh food, with all of the flavor & vitamin benefits. We also receive veggies & fruits that we may not have eaten before, exposing us to variations & a bit of excitement in our diets.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while working for these organizations?
Simple: I want to make a difference, however I can.