Thank You!!!!


A huge, huge thank you to all who so kindly donated to the Woodbourne Christmas Wish List.   Together, bloggers and readers raised over $10,000.00!! 

Last year we raised over $6,000, so this year’s increase is all the more special given the poor economic climate. 

Thank you, again, for opening your hearts and wallets.




To read about Woodbourne or to donate, please go HERE


  1. Congratulations to you Joni & Ben for being the leader of the pack!

  2. such a beautiful cause ...

    happy happy new year to one of my favorite bloggers.

  3. What a wonderful gift you and Ben have bestowed to this very deserving place!

    Wishing you a very happy holiday!


  4. They really have you and Ben to thank Joni because without you we wouldn't have known about this wonderful cause.

  5. Joni: Thanks so much for using your power, influence and fame to benefit others. It is a tribute to your character and kindness!

  6. I add my deepest thank to everyone else's! Today, even in the bitter cold and wind, I saw some of the kids outside playing with the toys that you helped us to provide to them.

    A couple of the boys were racing their remote control cars around the paths on the courtyard and having all the fun in the world!

    You have been the leading force is making this such a success, Joni! Please know how very very much the boys appreciate you and Ben!


  7. Joni, what a very special lady you are!

    In a very small way, we provided a Christmas dinner and gifts for a family through our honestly made my Christmas. I can only imagine the pride within you and Ben! God Bless!

  8. A great benefit, and I wish I could have helped. My son and daughter-in-laws home was broken into two days before Christmas.

    Happiest of Holidays & All the Best in the New Year!

    Art by Karena

  9. This is a nice article, Definitely it has a good content.


  10. You made it so easy to give to Woodbourne with the direct link to Paypal. Congratulations on being an enormous blessing.

  11. Wow!!! That's simply beautiful! How wonderful it is to feel that there's so many people that still care!


    Luciane at

  12. ...NOW look at what you've done started!


  13. I've posted some images from your blog on my own... hope that's alright. I've given credit to you. :)

  14. After a bit of research I discovered that Woodbourne houses criminal offenders. Sex offenders...rapists. Now, I don't know about you but I think my money would be better spent helping the victims and NOT the criminals. Where is the link to help the girls they have raped as well as the other victims of these violent offenders?

  15. Yay!!! that is wonderful!! and THANK YOU for giving us all the opportunity to support this wonderful cause and these very special children!

    Happy New Year!!!!

  16. Happy New Year,Joni, Always enjoy your blog. Am learning from you. Richard at

  17. this is awesome, Joni....happy new year,..maureen

  18. Thank you, Joni for making us aware of this! I will go there and give a donation too. I don't know whwre "anonymous" is getting their info but they are very wrong. If you google Woodbourne, the first thing that comes up is this wonderful place. Happy new year to you and Ben. XO, Pinky

  19. Happy New Year!♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪..♥

  20. Pinky, it is YOU who are wrong. Woodbourne houses boys who have indulged in criminal behavior, including violent sexual assault. I urge you to do your homework. One highly doubts that the PR video for Woodbourne would include this information on the site! LOL! Nonetheless, if you choose to look further you will find the facts. It's your money...

  21. Anon... We do have a very small sex offender unit, only 8 boys out of a population out of 40+ kids.

    As you may know, most kids who sexually offend do so because they have been offended against. We work on all aspects of this continuum and our success rate is quite high - fewer than 10% of kids who leave our program after two years reoffend.

    If you know anything about recidivism rates, you will realize that this is extraordinary.

    What would you propose that we do with kids in that situation - lock them up, throw away the keys and leave them to rot in a prison? We choose not to do that, we choose to help these children.

    Additionally, if you'd looked a bit more closely at our site, we do take and help girls who have been the victims of sexual assualt and violence.

    I have a strong suspicion that you are the same person who was quite negative about this on my blog - comments I deleted out of respect for those involved, including you.

    I have encouraged you to get in touch with me directly - my e-mail is on my blog as well as on the Woodbourne website. I can not understand why you are so strongly opposed to an organization about which you have no direct knowledge.

    There are many organizations like ours, perhaps even one in your home town. We are certainly not the only organiation working with children like these.

    Please get in touch with me if you need clarification about what we do. You are taking on the essence of being vindictive without any basis.

  22. Pigtown you are either ignorant of the facts or being utterly disingenuous. The national recidivism rate for juvenile offenders who are placed in a "treatment program" such as yours in lieu of prison hovers around 70%. That is dismal at best.
    Please enlighten the rest of us as to why these juvenile offenders deserve birthday and Christmas gifts when the people they have assualted, robbed, beaten and sexually violated are not a concern?

  23. I also have to admit that I am just a bit befuddled as to why you chose to portray these criminals as orphans and victims? We have been duped.
    I actually cried when I read your intro but then I did some research, which as you know, is difficult due to the juvenile status of the criminal offenders. Then I did even more research into these types of alternate programs, aimed at keeping juvenile offenders out of jail. They have failed over and again nationally, with some states closing them up for good.
    My heart is not closed to these criminals but they are not the cherubic orphans you portrayed in the black and white photos from when Woodbourne was an ACTUAL orphanage.
    I know I am not the only one who was duped.

  24. Anon... I am very sorry that your thinking is so misguided. You can throw stats around about different programs, but ours is different.

    As I've requested serveral times now, please get in touch with me to discuss this personally. I do not think that a decorating/design blog is the right venue for this.

    Also, if we were doing such a poor job with our kids, would we be in business after 212 years and would the state continue to fund us? I think not.

    If you would be woman enough to give me your e-mail, I'd be happy to share our stats with you. I doubt you will since you choose the cowardice of hiding behind the veil of anonymity.

  25. Actually Woodbourne declared bankrupcy several years ago and laid off almost 70 employees. They have been funded by the state to deter juveniles from entering correctionl facilities of a "different nature".
    Maryland is not known for its sound fiscal policies.
    Further, I have read the stats that were available regarding Woodbourne, but, again, due to thejuvenile status of the incarcerated individuals it is difficult to find. I read several documents presented to the State of Maryland regarding your facility.
    The reason I am presenting my findings here is that I believe people have a RIGHT to know that they are donating their hard earned money to give gifts to criminal offenders, whom the State of Maryland has allowed to duck incarceration and NOT the sweet faced little orphans you posted in the photos.
    I remain anonymous because I understand that people may disagree with my stance and I have seen the nastiness they have posted on your blog. I am not willing to divulge my identity to these individuals.
    Again, I am merely giving people the facts. They deserve it.

  26. Anon... you are right. Woodbourne did declare bankruptcy in 2000, but was released only a year or so later. It's totally irrelevant to this discussion. Maryland is a very fiscally stable state, if you bothered to check, one of the weathiest in the nation, with a triple A bond-rating.

    I am so saddened that you think that children, under the age of 18, can not be given a chance to change their lives, which is what Woodbourne has done for 212 years.

    The sweet-faced orphans in my picture, are CLEARLY not the children in residence today. They are the children who were there in the 1930's.

    And many, if not most of the children in our care are basically orphans, they are wards of the state. We care for them.

    Again, I am saddened that you've chosen to make such an issue of all of this, when clearly, it's nothing that Woodbourne chooses to hide. It seems that you have nothing better to do with your time than to tear people down and make them feel bad about doing something good. That, my dear Anon, is pathetic.

  27. Congratulations and Happy New Year!

  28. Well, Pigtown, you claimed that your State subsidized corrections facility was doing extremely well after all these years, I assumed you did not know how long they operated in the Red before bankrupcy proceedings, so it is completely relevant.
    Again due to the high recidivism rate among criminal youths placed in correctional facilities such as the one you represent, I would feel better if these violent criminals were in prison, which, by the way, has a lower rate of return.
    You intentionally misrepresented these criminals in order to make money for the correctional facility that you are employed by.
    Personally, I would just have been honest. People would still be willing to attempt to help. They don't appreciate being lied to. There are myriad charities out there worthy of our hard earned money and it makes sense to do research.

  29. The organization puts money in YOUR pocket. You were hired to make these criminals look like cherubs.
    Further, there are thousands of people who were abused, who became wards of the state who did NOT commit violent crimes "because" of their trauma. I choose to give my money to them.
    Facts are stubborn things, my friend. The correctional facility that you represent is not doing anything for these criminals except allowing them to bide their time until they commit crimes on an unsuspecting public upon their release as adults.

  30. Joni, That is awesome! Thanks for bringing Woodbourne to my attention.

  31. It sounds like Anonymous has been (or knows someone who has been) the victim of a youth-oriented crime and, as a result, has decided that no youth deserves a second chance. Thankfully, most of us are more open-minded.

  32. Yes, Squeak, because violent rapists DESERVE toy trucks for Christmas while their victims (true victims) live their life in fear and shame. Open minded indeed!

  33. I was violently raped when I was 19. I am now 56. But I still think that some (not all) youth deserve a second chance.

  34. Anon@11:23... When you say "The organization puts money in YOUR pocket. You were hired to make these criminals look like cherubs." I find that to be a truly offensive and shocking remark.

    I was not hired for that reason, and it's horrid of you to say that. I have worked at organizations that work with at-risk children, children with mental health and behavioural health issues, children who are in foster care, etc. for more than 20 years.

    I certainly an not in it for the money. I don't even make my age in salary, and if you're such a clever girl, you can find out how old I am!

    I work for these children because it is the one way I can help improve their lives. Plain and simple.

    You can spew all of the negativity you want and all of the lies you can make up about me and the organization I work for. But I am done with your negativity and your constant attacks on me and my morals and values. You do not know me. You know very litle about Woodbourne.

    If you're going to attack me, please do so on MY blog, not here. It's totally inappropriate, as is most everything you've said.

    I am sure you have much better things to do than keep this up. I know that I do. I've written all I can to defend the place where I work, something I certainly didn't think I had to do.

    You'll think what you think, and nothing I write or say will change your mind.

  35. Looking in and wishing good continuation of the new year / Mary

  36. Happy new year! Wishing you a great year full with love, joy and magic moments.

  37. Anonymous, I donated last year and this year and I certainly don't regret it. Keep up the good work Woodbourne.

  38. Lovely blog and lovely pictures!!!
    Greetings from a snowy Sweden and T

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