As the summer season unfolds, we want to express our gratitude for your unwavering commitment. Your generosity makes a profound impact, especially as we find ourselves receiving more requests for support from families in need.
Summertime for many means relaxation and vacations but for our families, it can often bring additional stress and challenges without the support offered through school systems. Facing these additional burdens means the care and support we provide becomes even more crucial.
The onboarding process for new families, though sometimes tedious, remains a top priority. We dedicate ourselves to every phone call, email, and text, ensuring that families receive the specialized attention, and specific resources they require to navigate the summer months and beyond.
Your support serves as a beacon of hope for these families. It enables us to be their lifeline during this season, offering a sense of comfort and strength. Thank you for being here and for your continued support!
With deepest appreciation,
p.s. This month’s newsletter includes stories highlighting recent moments of care, connection, and community that your generosity has made possible. Thank you!
Nature Hike Bonding
Thanks to your generous contributions, we successfully organized a memorable Nature Hike at Deep Run Park with our friends at Beyond Boundaries RVA. This event brought families together on a journey of connection and provided them with a fun chance to bond and create lasting friendships.
During the nature hike, families enjoyed a scenic walk, engaged in a thrilling scavenger hunt, and took turns walking dogs, finding insects, and pushing wheelchairs. It was a fun event for the entire family!
Your support has enabled us to create opportunities for families to connect with others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of unity and support. Together, we are providing families with a community that understands which makes all the difference when caring for a child with a serious illness.
Meet Alethia Watford, Complex Care Clinical Social Worker
Families with children facing rare or chronic illnesses often struggle with coordinating resources, which can significantly impact their well-being. Alethia Watford, a Pediatric Complex Care Clinical Social Worker at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, understands the importance of providing support to minimize barriers and improve access for these families.
“Kids with medical complexities require the coordination of multiple providers, systems, and services to adequately meet their needs and the needs of their primary support system. They have several appointments monthly, sometimes weekly, that can be particularly burdensome for families,” Watford says.
“This in essence can often be challenging and overwhelming for some families, especially for families who are navigating this independently who might also have other children they are caring for. One major challenge is fragmented care that can impact timeliness in receiving care, access to services, communication, and advocacy,” Watford explains.
The Complex Care Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond offers a team-based approach that greatly benefits families. By providing comprehensive care in one location, the clinic allows access to necessary specialists and enables real-time communication and shared decision-making. And the impact of this care is showing favorable results.
A recent success, Watford shares, was when she helped a child obtain a Medicaid Waiver after he was initially denied. “These waivers open up so many services, resources and supports for families who qualify,” she explains. “They can be beneficial for the overall well-being of the family and the child. I’m here to help families navigate the process.”
Thank you Alethia for all that you do for our kids and families!
Better2gether Golf Classic was a Hole-In-One!
We loved seeing our friends return this year and meeting those new to the tournament. Whether swinging a club, buying a mulligan or purchasing a raffle ticket to win a cool prize, everyone’s participation raised over $52,000 to help bring a smile to a child in RVA battling rare illnesses.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to presenting sponsor and partner, Call Federal Credit Union! We’re incredibly grateful for their dedicated support in making this event a success for enabling our BIG plans for going the distance with resources and support for children with serious illnesses.
A special thank you to B2g kid Patton and his parents Erica and Brad for sharing their family’s story, which we’d like to share a part of here with you:
“My life was forever changed just two short weeks after my son, Patton, was born. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after a failed newborn screen. Cystic fibrosis is a life shortening genetic lung diseases. One in which I didn’t know much about until that day,” shared Erica.
“Our first visit with his care team at the Children’ s Hospital of Richmond was an overwhelming four hours long. This appointment was long, tiring and packed with information, learning new treatments and everything that I would need to start preparing us for our ‘new normal.’
Lucky for me, I was introduced to Better2gether when Patton was just around a year old. As a military spouse and working with military families during the height of multiple wars, I knew how important it was to build the tools in my tool box. Much like the clubs that golfers carry in their golf bag when they play a round. The tools that caregivers collect builds the knowledge, skills and resources that we need to help with our medically complex children and their siblings. Better2gether helps us build those tools that we can keep in our toolbox.
Through support groups, caregivers form relationships for that listening ear. Patton would probably tell you that his biggest takeaway from B2G would be his tablet. The one he uses each day during his multiple breathing therapies or his hours long clinic visits. For my girls it’s the art projects and family parties. But for me it will always be the tools for my toolbox. The one I use just about everyday!”
Committed Partners Bring Joy (and BIG checks)
We’re incredibly grateful to have Junkluggers of Central VA and ReMix Market of Central VA as committed community partners. They wrapped up May by sharing their love and support with a $2,000 generous donation.
Andy Taylor (center) with Stephanie Becker (left) and Nicole Blondin, B2g Development Assistant (right) donates a portion of store proceeds every quarter to help children with medically complex illnesses. Andy understands the vital role community partners play in Better2gether RVA, and his immense compassion for kids in RVA is an unbeatable match. A special shoutout to Stephanie Pawlick Gordon for her exceptional work on the sales floor, which results in impactful donations each quarter.
We couldn’t do what we do without their commitment to B2g kids and families!