“Thank you so much for your generous donation… It means so much to us that there are special people like the IWL”
“Words cannot express how grateful we are…Your generosity is overwhelming
“We cannot thank the IWL enough for your generosity. Paying for Brianna’s visit to the Kennedy Krieger Institute allowed us to obtain the best medical care for her.”




Giving = Smiles


Celebrating Lidia’s Memoir

The Italian Welfare League is pleased to partner with Lidia Bastianich, former honoree and long-time Honorary Committee member of its “Annual Autumn in New York Luncheon”, on the publication of her new memoir, “My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family and Food” (Knopf).

The passionate chef, accomplished restaurateur, avid cookbook author and TV host grew up behind the Iron Curtain in post-World War II Istria.  There she enjoyed an idyllic childhood in her grandmother’s backyard, vineyards and orchards.  When she was just ten-years-old her family of four was forced to flee Yugoslavia’s communist regime leaving their home, belongings and other family members behind.  Sneaking across the border to Italy, they spent two years in a refugee camp in Trieste waiting to obtain visas to the United States.   When they finally arrived in New York in 1958, Catholic Charities was instrumental in settling them first in New Jersey and then in Queens, New York.

The memoir of Lidia’s journey is now available on Amazon for a discounted price of $20.99. The IWL is offering one year’s $100 membership free for all new members who purchase Lidia’s book. 

Simply make your purchase through Amazon or any bookstore and email your receipt to: info@italianwelfareleague.org or send  your receipt to: Italian Welfare League, 8 East 69th Street, New York, New York 10021.  A brochure on the history of the Italian Welfare League and its beautiful “Autumn in New York” journal will be included with this new membership offering.

Thank you for your interest in purchasing this inspiring story of achieving the American Dream, and at the same time, joining one of the oldest charities in New York City.

Buona Pasqua!

Dear Friend,

As we spring forward and anticipate warmer weather, we renew the ongoing efforts of the Italian Welfare League as it expands its giving program to recipients who are suffering from physical disabilities or emotional trauma. Since 2001, this effort has enabled the League to donate more than $1,850,000 to 1,470 recipients for medical bills, special needs equipment, therapeutic services, transportation and rehabilitation.

Following our annual luncheon, the League has given $171,400 in grants to individuals, families and several organizations; including Dancing Dreams, Cooley’s Anemia, Developmental Disabilities Institute, Jewels Institute, Angela’s House, Rocking Horse Rehab, Speech Language Pathology in Motion and others.

We have also made donations for specialty items and follow-up medical care for a 20-year-old who is legally blind and required replacement of her surgically implanted hearing aids. Through our “Adopt a Family at Christmas Program” the IWL gave gift cards to a Westchester mother and her 10-year-old daughter whose husband/dad passed away from ALS. Most recently, a 4-year-old autistic boy from New Rochelle received partial payment for a special fence to prevent him from eloping, and 10 hippotherapy sessions were approved for a 3-year-old non-verbal Brooklyn boy. For the “Adopt a Family at Christmas Program”, the League board also purchased many gifts and gift cards from a wishlist for a 15-year-old Long Island girl who has undergone multiple surgeries for neurofibromatosis since she was an infant.

As the Easter holiday approaches, we hope you will be thinking of these children and consider supporting the League’s mission to make their lives more comfortable. Our dedicated group of caring volunteers continues to embrace these families during their times of need, and your generous contribution will allow us to bring them much deserved hope and joy. Please click on the Support IWL button above to make a donation.

The IWL Board and I extend heartfelt thanks for your generosity. From la nostra famiglia to yours, auguri di Buona Pasqua!

Joan Prezioso
President, Italian Welfare League

The Italian Welfare League is a 501(c)3 charity and donations are tax deductible. To donate online, please use the link below or the button in the menu bar.
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If you are honoring someone, please use the button below.

Please email us the name and address of the person you are honoring so that we can send an acknowledgement to the family. Thank you. info@italianwelfareleague.org

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Italian Welfare League Board of Directors

Chairwoman Emerita

Bea Tusiani


Linda Carlozzi


Joan Prezioso

Vice Presidents

Kristin Knowles

Geri Caggiano


Geri DiCostanzo


Louisa Greco

Board of Directors:

Olga Casarella
Lucrezia Gallelli
Fran Gallinari
Ivana Giuntoli-McCotter
Celeste Marchione-Maltzman
Rose Pannini
Giovanna Stellari

Affiliated Organizations

Calandra Italian American Institute
Center for Migration Studies
Columbus Citizens Foundation and Ladies Auxilliary
Italian Heritage & Culture Committee of New York
Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations
NIAF – The National Italian American Foundation
NOIAW – National Organization of Italian American Women
OSIA - Order Sons of Italy in America