Better2gether October News

Here’s this month’s newsletter filled with ways you – our community! – are making a difference in the lives of children with serious illnesses. We also have some upcoming needs and events where we’d greatly appreciate your support.

Thank you for taking the time to read!

Stephanie's Signature

Stephanie Becker
Executive Director



Give a Snack, Create a Smile!

Snack Pantry Drive

The Complex Care Clinic’s snack pantry is in dire need of your support, and we’re reaching out to our incredible community for help!

Your snack donation nourishes patients and provides much-needed comfort to kids spending long hours at the clinic during appointments.

Lending a helping hand is easy! Check out our wish list to see which snacks our patients enjoy most, and shop online. When you make your purchase, please kindly ship the snacks directly to Better2gether, 12120 Ormond Dr Henrico, VA 23233.

Thank you for being a part of our mission to make a tangible difference for children with serious illnesses. Your kindness means the world to us!



End of Summer Family Fun

We want to express our sincere appreciation to Call Federal Credit Union for their fantastic and ongoing support. They recently threw an epic end-of-summer bash that brought our kids, siblings, and families together for an unforgettable experience.

At Park365, families had a blast with swings, slides, rock painting, and enjoyed mouthwatering BBQ from Deep Run Roadhouse. This event wasn’t just fun; it created the perfect opportunity for our families to connect in person, forging new friendships and rekindling old ones.

Call Federal’s commitment to our community is simply amazing, and we can’t thank them enough for their continued partnership. But that’s not all – they’re taking the excitement up a notch by sponsoring the Race Festival at this year’s Better2gether Halloween Hustle 5K. Get ready for a costume contest, games, and allergy-friendly trick-or-treating. Call Federal, you’re spooktacular, and we’re thrilled to have you by our side!



Hurry, Halloween Hustle 5K Registration Closing!

Prepare for a spellbinding adventure at the Halloween Hustle 5K & Hocus Pocus Kids Run presented by AT&T on Saturday, October 28, at Performance Food Group in West Creek. 

Whether you’re a runner, walker, or stroller enthusiast, this event promises a scary good time along the scenic West Creek Parkway. For kids 12 & under, the Hocus Pocus Kids Run offers a magical, half-mile journey. Little witches, wizards, and goblins can put on their spookiest costumes and join in on the enchanting fun.

So, gather your “boo” crew for a fantastic cause while celebrating Halloween like never before!  Don’t miss out—online registration closes on October 27 at 12pm!



Get Hairy for the Kids: Join our M4K Growing Team!

Get ready for a hair-raising adventure that’s equal parts fun and charity! This November, we’re once again embracing the “for the kids” spirit by growing out mustaches to raise funds and awareness for Better2gether’s impactful initiatives.

Better2gether is proud to be a beneficiary of M4K Richmond (Mustaches 4 Kids), and it’s time to join the action! Last year, our mustache-growing crew hustled to raise $21,000, and M4K Richmond donated an additional $14,000 for a grand total of $35,000! Who knew a little mustache could make such a B-I-G impact?!

We can’t do it alone – we need you! Whether you’re a mustache-growing pro or just getting started, your participation will make a real difference. It’s a huge opportunity for our mission, and with exciting plans ahead in 2024, these funds will make an even more significant impact.


p.s. Feel your mustache follicles tingling with curiosity? Join us at Hardywood West Creek next Wednesday, Oct 25, for some happy hour fun and to meet a few of our growers. Have a beer and let us talk you into signing up! 🙂


Volunteer Spotlight

Hurry, Halloween Hustle 5K Meet Michelle Marshall-Haren: B2g’s Newest Board Member!

Michelle Marshall-Haren, Better2gether’s newest board member, brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to making a difference. With over 18 years at Allianz Partners in various leadership roles, she currently serves as the Director of Client Delivery.

Two years ago, Allianz Partners in Richmond established the Financial Giving Committee and Michelle was selected to serve. On this committee, Michelle and her colleagues evaluate requests from local non-profit organizations to support community needs. “I am proud to be part of this committee and am dedicated to understanding our community’s needs while aligning requests with our values as a company.”

In addition to Michelle’s meaningful career and her commitment to philanthropy, there’s another passion that has been a big part of her life: music.

“I used to be a professional musician,” Michelle explains, having played for the Richmond Symphony and as a freelance musician. However, an obstacle hindered Michelle’s dream of working as a full-time professional musician.

Since childhood, Michelle has struggled with unexplained health challenges, which included difficulty in exercising, light-headedness, fatigue and unexpected fainting. After consulting multiple medical specialists without a diagnosis, she eventually found a physician who recognized and helps manage her symptoms of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a blood circulation disorder.

It was Michelle’s unique medical journey – along with her passion for giving back to others – that led her to Better2gether. “I first learned about Better2gether through its board member, Jimmy Comer,” shares Michelle. “I know he’s been very involved in non-profit work, and I’ve wanted to get involved. I’ve been given a lot in my life, and it’s time to give back. As you get older, these things become more meaningful to you.”

Michelle shares a genuine empathy and connection with Better2gether families and children. Between seeing multiple specialists as a child, not always knowing why symptoms were occurring, managing a chronic illness, and experiencing hospitalizations, Michelle says she understands.

“Of course, I haven’t experienced the same extent of medical challenges as others,” Michelle explains, “But I’ve experienced a piece of it, and I have a heart for our kids and families.”

Better2gether is thrilled to welcome Michelle Marshall-Haren to the board, where her expertise, compassion, and personal experiences promise to make a positive impact.


You can provide resources to a family caring for their child with a serious illness. Here’s how your gift will help: