A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The holidays are upon us and we’re already thinking about the hustle and bustle in the weeks ahead. But first, I want to stop to recognize the amazing things in which we are so thankful, and at the top of the list is YOU. Our community supporter, our integral donor, our volunteer and our cheerleaders.
Without you we wouldn’t be able to take on new families seeking guidance, provide unmatched support to critical resources and be a community partner to the very first Complex Care Clinic opening this month at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. You have helped make this happen with the many ways you contribute to our organization.
We have exciting news to share about the ways this partnership will transform the Richmond landscape for children with medically complex illnesses. Stay tuned as the best is yet to come and your involvement couldn’t be more appreciated and valued!
Better2gether’s Holiday Champion Tree
Better2gether would like to spread a little extra holiday cheer to our families through a Holiday Champion Tree. Like the well known Angel Tree concept, we would like to gift our families with a present for each child in their family. Would you like to help our Elves make this holiday warm and bright by choosing a Champion’s family or family member to support?
Use the link provided below to sign up for the family or child you are purchasing a gift for. Please plan to have your gifts delivered by December 3rd so we have time to sort and wrap.
Please deliver the unwrapped gift with the child’s name and age visibly labeled on the outside of the gift to Reveille United Methodist Church at the church office at 4200 Cary St. Richmond, VA 23221 (white brick building around back).
Link to Gift Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D45ADA928A6F4C70-better2gether
Don’t have time to shop? Gift cards can be mailed to:
12120 Ormond Dr.
Henrico, VA 23233
Christmas Under the Clocktower
December 3, 2021 – Main Street Station
Mark your calendar for December 3rd as the 2nd Annual Christmas Under the Clocktower event kicks off at Main Street Station.
20 nonprofits will each decorate a Christmas tree to be on display inside the train station.
Beginning December 3rd through December 10th, the community can vote for their favorite tree and the tree with the most votes wins $1,500, 2nd place wins $1,000 and $500 for third place.
Last year Better2gether won first place! Join us to kick off the holiday season with cheer, and keep our winning streak alive by placing your vote for Better2gether’s Christmas Tree. More information to follow about online voting beginning December 11th.
Synapse Signature Nonprofit Neighbor Golf Games
Synapse Signature Nonprofit Neighbor Golf Games took place on October 14th at Hunting Hawk Golf Course. We want to thank the sponsors and players for making this day a fun and beneficial event for all that participated and the charity beneficiaries.
Meet Sean Danowski
Back when he was a student at Washington and Lee University focusing his studies on commerce, Sean Danowski knew he wanted to build a career in finance. After graduation, he spent ten years in the Washington, DC area earning a CPA and working in accounting. Then, he and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Midlothian where Sean became a financial advisor at Edward Jones.
Sean chose this path because he “…wanted to support those in my community and solve the financial pain-points that can create family tension, stress, and worry,” he explains. “My goal is to ensure that people are doing what they need to be doing to reach their goals, whether it be financial independence, planning for their children’s educations, or protecting their family financially.”
While Sean’s professional career is dedicated to helping families achieve their financial goals, he also has a personal commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
This commitment is what led him to join the Board of Directors at Better2gether.
Sean met Stephanie Becker, the co-founder of Better2gether, at a virtual networking event during the height of the pandemic. “I was drawn to her energy and enthusiasm for the organization,” he recalls. “After volunteering to help with the golf tournament and on the Business Development Committee, I was excited to see how we could grow the organization and impact more families that could use some help when their child encounters a medical issue.”
“This organization helps families when they’re facing serious obstacles and new and difficult situations – especially last year, when COVID forced many of these families to hide away from their support groups that are outside their family units,” he says. “No one should have to face these types of situations alone, and yet that’s what they were asked to do. That’s why Better2gether’s role is so important, especially as we work through year 2 of the pandemic.”
In addition to managing his busy professional career and commitment to community service, Sean and his wife Elizabeth are the proud parents of two young children, daughter Emma (5) and son Rory (soon-to-be 3). As a father, Sean says he has experienced a heightened sense of responsibility when it comes to volunteerism.
“I think it’s important to serve as an example to the young people in the community, to show that every contribution – whether it be your money, your time, or your concern – can make an impact on someone’s life,” he shares. “I want my children to grow up wanting to serve others, and I feel I can’t ask that of them if I’m not doing it myself.”
Sean is especially excited about contributing his time and expertise to Better2gether in order to help support the families it serves. “I think it’s an exciting time for Better2gether and the Richmond community at large, with the services that the organization provides to those who desperately need them but have nowhere else to find them,” he explains. “I hope to help bring opportunities for growth to the organization, to motivate and inspire others to join the effort, and to support those among us who could use it. Hopefully, the effort we’re all putting in now – whether we’re looking at Board members, volunteers, or other members of our community – creates more awareness in Richmond and builds a sustainable organization that can do some serious good for countless families in Richmond.”
Better2gether in the News
Better2getherRVA Selected as the Winner of Radio Station K-95 Country’s “K it Forward” Contest
Radio station K-95 Country held a contest to recognize a local non-profit organization that is making a meaningful difference in the Richmond community. Better2gether is honored to be the winning recipient!
The party rental items will be used for an upcoming Better2gether community-wide event in late spring.
Stay tuned for more details!
The Shed, a product rental marketplace in Richmond, provided a range of Grand Prizes for Better2getherRVA including:
- Pop-Up Tents
- Tables and Folding Chairs
- Tiki Bar
- Cotton Candy Machine
- Theatre Popcorn Machine
- Crossnet Volleyball
The total prize value is $4200.00
Meet Donna Faett
For Better2gether’s new Resource Coordinator, Donna Faett, enhancing the lives of others isn’t just what she does. It’s who she is.
After earning a Master’s degree in Educational Counseling, Donna’s remarkable career path has allowed her to work as an outpatient mental health therapist, crisis intervention specialist, program coordinator for a children’s literacy program, and a community outreach specialist. While her professional roles have been diverse, they share a common theme of making a positive difference.
While Donna’s empathy and dedication clearly come from a lifetime of caring about children and families, she shares that, “I was born deaf in my right ear, but have been told by many that I have the gift of being a ‘good listener.’ I guess having only one ‘good ear” has made me focused and attentive to others!”
Originally from Pennsylvania, Donna has lived in Virginia for the past 21 years. Along with her husband (whom she calls her “best friend”) of 33 years, Fred, the Faetts have raised a daughter and two sons here. A voracious reader who participates in two book clubs, Donna also enjoys quiet activities like daily morning walks with her neighbor and sipping a nice cup of tea. That said, she’s no stranger to adventure. “When my son turned 18 and asked me to go skydiving with him, I accepted the challenge,” she shares. “It was fun, but not something I need to ever do again!” The Faett family also enjoys traveling, playing board games and having meals together.
Donna first learned about Better2gether at a Synapse meeting, a networking organization that facilitates connections between businesses and non-profit groups to foster community and economic development. She says, “I enjoyed the passion and commitment shown by Liz and Stephanie (B2G’s co-founders), and when I saw the opening for the Resource Coordinator position, I knew I had to apply!”
“I hope to be able to ‘onboard’ new families who would love to be part of B2G, and I look forward to helping families on their journey to navigate the health care system while providing community resources,” Donna says. “I am very excited to get to know the children and their families at Better2gether.”
RBI Services Give Back Program
Better2gether is proud to be supported by RBI Services and values their commitment of support through their Give Back Program.
RBI will donate:
– $10 for every home or auto quote and
– $25 when they provide both a home & auto quote
“RBI Services LLC wants to ensure you have the best insurance coverage possible, and we are proud to support a very important organization while doing so.”
Visit https://rbisvcs.com for more information. Call (804) 677-9516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Integrity Home Mortgage – Katie Zacherle
A Special Thank You to Katie Zacherle with Integrity Home Mortgage for donating a portion of her proceeds from home closings in the month of August to Better2gether. We are grateful to you Katie for your support and financial contribution to our organization!
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TODAY!
What does your donation mean to Better2gether families?
“There were so many thoughts I had during this time and how I just wanted to take this disease away from (my daughter) if I could. No parent wants a sick child and I was unsure of how it would impact our family and her life going forward. Better2gether understood all of the myriad of emotions that I was going through, and provided insight on what to expect and ways they could help. I appreciate all they have done for our family and look forward to attending more events in the future!” – Mom to Brooklyn
Because we understand the journey faced by medically complex children and their families, Better2gether is able to meet the unique needs of parents, the diagnosed child and their siblings. Your gift enables Better2gether to be the support system families need and deserve while caring for their child. Whether it’s music therapy or specially designed events made safe and accessible to all families, your contribution directly impacts the resources and programming only Better2gether provides to medically complex families.
Does your company have a matching donation program?
Double your impact by asking your employer to match your gift to Better2gether today! Thank you for your consideration of making an important and impactful gift to Better2gether.