The Felix Organization was founded in 2006 by Rock ’n Roll Hall of Famer, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and Emmy Award winning casting director, Sheila Jaffe. Both adopted and grateful to have been “taken home”, they were compelled to use their resources and experience to enrich the lives of children growing up in the foster care system. They had no idea the impact this partnership would have on the lives of so many disadvantaged children. Last summer, Felix sent our 1,000th child to Camp Felix, an overnight camp in Putnam Valley, NY designed to meet the unique needs of youth in foster care. Felix also sponsors Camp Felix West, a camp serving Los Angeles based foster youth and offers programs to help foster children in New York City reach their dreams throughout the year.
For more than 25 years, Felix co-founder Darryl “DMC” McDaniels has had an influence on popular culture. The first rap group to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine and the first to appear on MTV, Run DMC changed music and made history. Thirty million record sales later, DMC continues to create, inspire and motivate.
DMC was born in Harlem, put up for adoption and grew up in Hollis, Queens. After discovering, as an adult, this part of his history, DMC began his journey down another life path in search of his birth mother. While his struggle was captured in the 2007 Emmy-winning VH-1 documentary, “DMC: My Adoption Journey”, the process gave DMC tremendous insight and purpose, prompting him to become an advocate for adoption and children in foster care.
He was invited to the White House by President Obama to address various youth groups on responsibility during a 2009 Father’s Day Celebration and has appeared before Congress and State Legislatures in support of this cause. In between his work as a musician, published author and speaker, DMC has been the recipient of various awards including Hard Rock’s Love All Serve All Award for his numerous philanthropic endeavors. DMC also sits on the board of directors of Children’s Rights.
Felix co-founder, Sheila Jaffe was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx. At eleven years of age, she found out she was adopted. Today, she is an Emmy Award winning casting director whose body of work includes the HBO hit series, The Sopranosand Entourage. Her feature film resume includes: The Fighter, Rocky Balboa, and Ted. Although casting is her profession, Sheila’s true passion is helping children. She started out with a simple idea to sponsor inner city boys and girls to experience their first Broadway play. As co-founder of The Felix Organization, Sheila is starring in her most rewarding and vital role.
As she sees it: “Felix is like my child and watching Felix grow in its reach to help these children has been an indescribable blessing.” Sheila currently sits on the board of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and the Advisory Board of the Savannah Film Festival. In 2013, she was honored at The Children’s Rights Gala for her work with children in foster care.