About Us

Founded in 1997, Giving Friends is managed by dedicated long-time volunteers and is funded solely through our generous donors. We deliver gifts and necessities to vulnerable families who live in underserved communities in the metropolitan New York City area. We will be a friend to struggling parents working hard to break the cycle of addiction, homelessness, and poverty.

Meet Our Team

Lynne Corry, Founder

Lynne is the founder and CEO of Giving Friends. She took her Annual Holiday Toy Drive to the next level by creating an official nonprofit organization to give back to the community that helped save her life. Lynne has been delivering smiles for over 20 years. Her reach is growing every year, with a little help from her friends! Her commitment to helping mothers and children living in residential treatment centers and beginning their journey in recovery has been praised by many social service agencies as well as the local media. Together with the Giving Friends team, Lynne is excited to develop more ways of giving to families in need.

Tyler Smyth

Tyler is the inspiration for Giving Friends. He is Lynne’s motivation to become a sober mother. Tyler was raised in sobriety and has been an integral part of the annual toy drive since elementary school. He has organized class and grade toy collection and fundraising events. Tyler has recruited his high school to participate, and both the school and his friends continue to participate every year. Tyler was amazed on how much his high school was able to contribute for our  2019 challenge. Tyler is working and attending college and will continue to fund raise for Giving Friends on a part-time basis. Education is the priority and we want him to stay on track! We know we can count on him and his friends whenever we need them!

Bernadette Massa

Bernadette has been supporting Giving Friends for over 15 years, helping with donations, wrapping and deliveries. She has introduced us to new communities where our services are much needed. In 2021 she was the driving force to deliver over 500 coats, hats and gloves to underserved children in Peekskill NY. Bern is an award winning local Real Estate agent, lives in the Bronx, she is the proud mother of two success stories and the grandmother of four, so far! She is highly regarded in our community making her an asset to the Giving Friends mission, always willing to help someone in need.

Kate Ray

Kate has been working with Giving Friends’ operations for over five years,  and is our chief wrapper for our holiday toy drive, arriving every weekend to the party with rolls and rolls of wrapping paper! Kate is a retired New York City paralegal and her relationships have benefitted Giving Friends to obtain one of the world’s leading law firms to represent us! When she’s not wrapping she is reviewing grants and contracts for us. We know we count on Kate to always give back and help deliver smiles!

Patricia Cavanaugh

Patty has been an integral part of Giving Friends for over 10 years and a dedicated and committed volunteer to the mission of our organization. Her ability to walk into a room of thousands of toys and items and create order out of chaos is a gift we cherish! We rely on her throughout the year for her sensibility and organizational skills. Patty has multiple advanced degrees, but her heart has led her to the profession she enjoys the most: teaching.  She is mother to 7, (yes, 7 children!), and grandmother to 9 grandchildren. With such a large and always growing brood, we are grateful that she still finds time to support the families of Giving Friends

Jim Siegel

Jim has been a supporter of Giving Friends’ annual holiday toy drive for 20 years from when he and founder, Lynne Corry, were Board members at the family-focused substance abuse agency, Veritas, the original home of the Young Mothers Program. He brings 40+ years’ wide-ranging experience as a marketing communications professional in the business and nonprofit social services sectors. As program director at the Partnership for a Drug-free America, Jim and the team developed online communications programs to help parents reduce teen drug abuse. Jim recruited Lynne to the Partnership’s Parents Advisory Board that assisted families to have the conversation about addiction, and Lynne and son Tyler were highlighted in a fundraising video for their annual gala.

Margaret Walker Hurst, LCSW​

Social Worker, Polymath, Humanist

Margaret Hurst is the current Director at Bronx Addiction Treatment Center, she received her MSW from Fordham University and is a doctoral candidate in Human and Organizational Psychology at Touro University. She brings a passion to helping others to all her charitable endeavors, from serving as Co-Chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Red Ball to Founder of Upper West Siders Against Puppy-Mills. Ms. Hurst met Lynne while serving as Director of Samaritan Daytop Village’s Young Mother’s Program where Lynne brings her Annual Christmas Giving Extravaganza to benefit the mothers residing at the facility.

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