Help Us Make the 3rd Family Trip of 2018 to Disney Special

Rebecca’s Gift is honored to arrange a trip for the Jackson-Stageman family of Janesville, Wisconsin. Mom, Marie Jackson, shares that their son Maxx died in May 2016 at the age of 9, after a lifetime of surgeries and hospitalizations around hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and stroke.  “Maxx didn’t let his disabilities define him,” says Marie, “He taught us what life was truly about. He was always happy-go-lucky, full of smiles.” She describes his laugh as contagious.

Maxx’s family is now on a difficult path that we, at Rebecca’s Gift, know too well. We know the importance of opportunities for bereaved families to bond—for bereaved children to reconnect with their parents after such a profound loss. This holiday season, we want to give this gift to Marie, Ericka, (13)  and Braelyn (9). Will you help us?

Your participation in our November Not-A-Thon Dec (1-15) will make this trip amazing. Donate here .  Because of our ability to network and collaborate with venues, one family trip to Disney for 5-7 days costs Rebecca’s Gift only $3000. We thank our supporters for giving Rebecca’s Gift enough money to cover the base cost of the Jackson-Stageman family vacation and Lisa Segal Green for donating airfare.  There are a lot of extras at Disney around Christmas time (the family reads the page so I’m not going to list them — Shhhhh)

If you can not donate directly but still want to help please make Rebecca’s Gift your Amazon smile account.   Every little bit helps It would be great if this years fundraiser raised $500 more to make the trip really amazing and $3,000 to pay for a trip for next year.  

Thank you in advance

Kat Meyer

Rebecca’s Gift Sends Second Family of 2018 to Disney

“Once we got there, everything was taken care of. It was wonderful to be there and do so many things,” says Sara Scaparotti, reflecting on the trip her family received from Rebecca’s Gift.

After losing their 3-year-old son Joey to GM-1, a rare neurological disorder, Sara and her husband Sam channeled their grief into helping others. They founded the B Brave Foundation to  support families “like ours” — families who face similar challenges in the face of a pediatric terminal neurological disorder.

Supporting others and focusing on their surviving son, David (age 6), Sara and Sam did not anticipate being on the receiving-end of similar generosity. “I was on a local Cleveland networking page and learned about Rebecca’s Gift. Someone had referred us.” It was a beautiful and meaningful surprise.

Soon after, there was an email from Kat. Sara and Sam were touched by the idea, but didn’t have immediate thoughts about a vacation destination. With plans to attend the National Tay Sachs and Allied Diseases Conference in Jacksonville, they realized they could add a few days and go to Disney. Disney was extra-meaningful because the family had gone in December 2015 as Joey’s wish trip. “We knew it would be special to go back.”

In traditional Rebecca’s Gift style, Kat spent a lot of time learning about David’s interests and tailored the trip to fit the Scaparotti family. A dessert party. A pirate boat ride. A backpack of goodies hand-delivered to David. Gift cards to cover incidentals. “It was extremely thoughtful and very well-organized,” says Sara. “From a mom perspective, not having to do the travel details was so nice. Kat makes it so easy.” The planning by Rebecca’s Gift allowed the family to take the bittersweet step of a first vacation without Joey, as a family of three.

David’s favorite memories were the Star Wars ride and the dessert party at Hollywood Studios. The family also spent a whole day at the Magic Kingdom. Rebecca’s Gift had provided David with his own spending money in the form of gift cards. It was special for him to be able to shop for souvenirs — and for his parents to not have to say no to his wishes. Sara adds, “Even the meal plan! I didn’t have to say no to myself!”

“The trip was so meaningful for us,” shares Sara, “because we got to do a lot of things that we didn’t do with Joey. It was special that way, but also bittersweet.”

Building new memories without Joey is essential and it is also hard. “The three of us share the memories of the trip with Joey. We have to live-on, even though he is not here. I feel like our bonds grew with that experience. It was emotional, but good.”  

“We have to live-on, even though he is not here. I feel like our bonds grew with that experience. It was emotional, but good.”  — Sara Scaparotti

Rebecca’s Gift Sends First Out Of State Family on Trip

“I learned about Rebecca’s Gift through a mutual friend who was at the hospital with Olivia,” says Karla Ramirez. Olivia had received treatment at the Lomolinda, California, hospital — and also at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) — over the course of her struggle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Olivia was diagnosed in May 2014 at 6 months of age — when her older sister, Areli, was 6 years-old. In the nineteen months that followed, Areli managed the difficult path familiar to siblings of terminally ill children. Because of the distance to the hospital, Areli stayed home with her grandparents, who lovingly ensured all of her needs were met and routines were kept. Ultimately, after over a year of treatments, recovery, and a devastating relapse, Areli participated in Olivia’s care, donating her own bone marrow. “She was amazing,” says Karla. Taking only one Motrin for pain relief, Areli was able to walk to Olivia’s room post-procedure. “I was in awe of her strength,” says Karla, “I don’t know if I could do that at her age.”

Recounting the surgery, Karla remembers the rollercoaster, which included the joy of being “all four together” for Thanksgiving 2015 and another prolonged separation when two-year-old Olivia relapsed again. As the family came to terms with the absence of further treatment options, the child life team at CHLA worked kindly with Areli — age 7 at the time — explaining what would happen. “Areli got to see Olivia. She wasn’t scared. She held her hand and loved up on her,” says Karla.

Like many young families who lose a child to terminal illness, the Ramirezes realized they had “so much love to still give.” Not wanting Areli to grow up alone, they decided to grow their family. Natalie was born 15 months after Olivia died. Having Natalie does not undo the sorrow, of course. But she does bring a lot of happiness as her own person.

“When our friend nominated us for Rebecca’s Gift, I didn’t think we would be chosen,” says Karla. When Kat reached out to the family, it felt very special. But it was hard to fill out the paperwork — because it was re-opening Olivia’s story. “Kat was wonderful,” says Karla. Through months of contact and mindfulness to keep the paperwork from being a trigger, Kat supported Karla through the application process.

When it came time to plan the trip, Kat asked about Areli’s favorite places. Rebecca’s Gift also arranged to include Karla’s mom — who had helped raise Areli during Olivia’s illness.

Wanting it to be a surprise, Karla did not tell Areli the destination in advance. Areli was “over the moon” just to be chosen. She told Karla, “They’re so nice, Mama. I can’t believe there are people who do this.” Emails with Kat helped build momentum. Then a huge package with Disney themed items for Areli and Natalie arrived as a way to announce the trip. The itinerary arrived via email. Tickets and gift cards arrived, as did a “super cute” backpack with our name, hats, Barbies, and a warm personal note.

Leading up to the trip was an emotional rollercoaster. “I was excited for Areli and Natalie,” says Karla. But she also felt torn about creating beautiful memories that Olivia would never know. “My husband was such a supportive help, keeping the focus on all of us enjoying ourselves.” Karla mentions that “siblings become overshadowed when someone is sick. That’s not what I wanted.” The trip was something that Areli deserved after all she had gone through.

And it was a magical trip. “Seeing Disney through my child’s eyes was amazing and emotional.” Having her mother on the trip also allowed Karla to have some quality one-on-one time with Areli. Rebecca’s Gift had arranged a princess makeover. “Areli was so happy. Seeing her so happy, I just started crying,” says Karla. Watching that joy brought feelings of pride and awe. “The journey she’s been on,” reflects Karla, “She had to grow up so much over the years.”

Looking back on the process, Karla says she was glad she did not let her hesitations get in the way. “I put my kids first,” she affirms.
“I wouldn’t have these memories if not for Rebecca’s Gift.
I will cherish this trip for the rest of my life.”

— Karla Ramirez, California

Help us win big and buy your package between October 20-22 to get 1 Extra Golden Ticket.

What’s a golden ticket?  Golden Tickets are for candied popcorn, special high-value raffles, and other surprises.  Regular tickets are for food and games.  Don’t miss out on your extra Golden Ticket!

REBECCA’S BOARDWALK NOVEMBER 5th 2-5 PM FAIRMOUNT TEMPLE!

Ticket Packages on Sale Now at Rebecca’s Gift!!  

Help us win big and buy your package between October 20-22 to get 1 Extra Golden Ticket.  We need to sell at least 30 advance packages to make Rebecca’s Boardwalk a success. Thanks for buying 10 packages.  Tickets are good for games, bounce house, mini golf, basket raffles and food!! Don’t miss out on your extra Golden Ticket!  Have you checked out the tickets packages yet?   HERE is another chancel!

Help us cook up something good by donating food based prizes like new kitchen utensils, gourmet food or wine, or restaurant gift cards for our Wooden Spoon raffle.  Or how about some sparkles you never wear?  Consider donating it to the Rebecca’s Gift Candy Jewelry Raffle.

Extra! Extra! Extra tickets this weekend!

REBECCA’S BOARDWALK NOVEMBER 5th 2-5 PM FAIRMOUNT TEMPLE

Help us win big and buy your package between October 13-15 today to get 1 extra golden and 5 extra tickets. Buy your Tickets HERE! 

We must sell 30 advance packages to make Rebecca’s Boardwalk a success.  Thanks to everyone’s who bought we’ve only got 20 more ticket packages to go.  Don’t get left out, buy your ticket package this weekend and get an extra golden ticket.  You could win dinner for two, a Sabika crystal neckless or an enormous stuffed animal.

What’s a golden ticket?  Golden Tickets are for candied popcorn, special high-value raffles, and other surprises.  Regular tickets are for food and games.

Learn more about our ticket packages on our Here

Rebecca’s Gift Approves Trips Nationwide

We have a BIG announcement!!  

Effective August 1 Rebecca’s Gift is available to every U.S. family in need.  

We started with our own corner of Northeast Ohio, but today we’re pleased to widen our reach to families all across the continental United States.  Qualifying families may request trips anywhere within one tank of gas of their homes.  

Who is a qualifying family?  See our criteria here including information on how to apply or to nominate a family in need.

 

You can help Rebecca’s Gift make magic happen for our families!

Start by saving the date to attend the 2017 Rebecca’s Boardwalk Fundraiser: November 5th, Fairmount Temple.

Go put it in your phone, write it on your calendar, plaster it on your Facebook page (we’ll wait right here), and then get geared up to join us for an afternoon of fun, games, food, and prizes for your entire family.

More info to follow in September.  In the meanwhile if you would like to make a donation to support the raffles at the event please email info@rebeccasgift.org

Rebecca’s Favorite Things Fundraiser — Ice Cream, Raffles and Tattoos

The 2nd Annual Ice Cream Party!

Come get ice cream and join us for an ice cream fundraiser in honor and memory of Rebecca.

Sunday June 11th

 5-8 PM

Ben and Jerry’s

20650 N Park BlVD, University Heights

 

Ben and Jerry’s will give Rebecca’s Gift 20% of all sales during this time,  no flyer needed.

There will be ice cream, raffles, music and temporary tattoos by the amazing Tattly

The UNEVENT is HERE

What is an Unevent you ask?

 

We are glad you asked for 2016 we invite you to stay home in your PJs, in front of your own tv, eating your own popcorn instead walking, soliciting donations, organizing, volunteering and attending our brick and mortar event.  Instead,  send us a check while wearing your fuzzy bunny slippers.

Here is a list of the things you won’t and don’t have to do to support Rebecca’s Gift.

$10 

Just because I love what you do and want to support Rebecca’s Gift

 

$20 

So I don’t have to help spread the word with flyers and invites

 

$30 

For the time and energy I would have put into trying to schedule to come to the event

 

$50 

For my Sunday afternoon off to read the paper…who am I kidding, to play Candy Crush and troll facebook.

 

$75

For time off from beating the pavement, making phone calls and sending emails to solicit donations for the silent auction. (Thank you so much to everyone who did, don’t worry we know who you are and will totally ask again for help.)

 

$100 

For leaving my fancy grown up clothes and uncomfortable shoes in the closet, avoiding rubber chicken and keeping my dancing to myself.

 

$250 

For all the stuff I would have won in the silent auction that I still haven’t used/found a place in my house for from the last silent auction I attended.

 

$500 

For keeping me from buying silent auctions items I don’t need.

 

$1000 

For not guilting my friends into sitting at the table I sponsored.

 

$5000 

Forget my name!

 

$______

Just take my money already.

 

Get Ice Cream! The Rebecca’s Gift Fundraising Ice Cream Party

Ben and Jerry’s University Circle, Cleveland Heights, OH

June 5th —  2-5PM.

Come get Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Tattly temporary tattoos, and color changing cups.

Plus buy some raffle tickets at the event or on-line to win some awesome prizes.  Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5.

Raffle tickets available now.  Make a donation here and leave a comment with your name, phone number and raffle basket number or name ($10 minimum please).  Not local?  No problem, if you’ll pay shipping we’ll ship your prize.

#5 Adult Night In

Adult night in

#6 American Girl Doll Set

American Girl cropped

#7 Build It

Build It

#8 Minions

Minions

#9 Monster High Set

Monster's High Doll and Jewlery

#10 Summer Fun

Summer Fun

#11 Teen Dreams

Teen Dreams

#12 Mom’s Treat Your Self

Treat Your Self

 

Get Fit! – Fairmount ECC Walk-a-Thon

2nd Annual Spirit Walkathon sponsored by Fairmount Temple Early Childhood Center!

Sunday May 22nd at 9:00 am at Beachwood City Park West

50% of the proceeds will go to Rebecca’s Gift

Plus buy some raffle tickets at the event or on-line to win some awesome prizes.  Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5.

Raffle tickets available now.  Make a donation here and leave a comment with your name, phone number and raffle basket number or name ($10 minimum please).  Not local?  No problem, if you’ll pay shipping we’ll ship your prize.

#1 Fairy Gardening

Gardening

#2 Get up and Move

Get Up and Move

#3 Mommy and Me Jewelry

Mother & Daughter Jewlery

#4 Star Wars

Star Wars

 

P.S.  Now for a sneak peak at a few of the raffles that will be at Get Ice Cream!, The Rebecca’s Gift Ice Cream Party at Ben and Jerry’s on June 5 from 2-5.  More to post over the weekend!

#7 Build it

Build It

#11 Teen Dream

Teen Dreams

#12 Mom’s Treat Your Self

Treat Your Self