Saturday, May 16, 2015

Helping is Healing!

Michelle Rigano who ran as part of Marc Fucarile's RE*MARC*ABLE 2015 Boston Marathon Team, posted on Facebook that she was looking for donations to put together care packages to send to our heroes at Walter Reed. Marc is a member of Achilles International and ran the Disney Half Marathon last December as part of their team. He is undergoing surgeries and rehab for the next 6 months to a year to continue his healing in the wake of 4/15/13.

Jeremy Fucile coordinates the Boston Marathon weekend for Achilles International which is how Michelle and Jeremy met through Marc. Jeremy initiated putting together care packages for veterans who are amputees undergoing surgeries and have extended stays at Walter Reed. Like Marc, they are spending months at a time away from the comfort of home and loved ones. Jeremy had these backpacks from Boston Marathon weekend left over that are going to be used to put together the care packages:

Yesterday I met with Michelle to learn more about the care packages and brought her our donations of 3 iTune gift cards and 3 pairs of ear buds.

Erin Vasselian whose husband Danny was killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom on 12/23/13, was able to get 100 Power Bars and ear buds donated for the care packages:

She also gives back through the Sgt. Daniel Vasselian Memorial Fund:

The foundation will honor his sacrifice by assisting Veterans, active duty service members, and military families of Massachusetts who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of unavoidable circumstances. The foundation also awards annual scholarships to graduating Seniors of Abington High School.

Christie Coombs, whose husband Jeff died on Flight 11 on 9/11, established the Jeffrey Coombs Memorial Foundation:
Welcome to the Jeffrey Coombs Memorial Foundation website. The Jeff Coombs Foundation was formed to assist families who are in financial need because of a death, illness or other situation that challenges the family budget. It also provides emotional support to families by funding special outings and fun events. Committed to education, the foundation helps fund enrichment programs in the Abington Schools, and awards scholarships to graduating college-bound seniors and students in private high schools.

The foundation was created in response to the incredible outpouring of support Jeff’s family received after he was killed on Flight 11 in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. Christie, Jeff’s wife, and their kids, Matthew, Meaghan, and Julia, wanted a way to “pay it forward.” They began raising money to help others in November, 2001. Since then, the Foundation has raised and distributed about $50,000 a year in Jeff’s memory.

Christie took care of iTune gift cards and snacks to add to the care packages.

Small thoughtful items that say we care for our nation's heroes are welcome to add to the care packages. Gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panda Express, Target, Giant or Safeway (stores that are on the base or nearby) are welcome.

Chris Nance from Team Re*MARC*ABLE will be delivering the care packages some time in late May. Along with the items in the care packages, he will deliver cards made by children with the help of their teachers to say thank you and bring smiles.

It's our way of showing how grateful we are to those who served - to those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy our freedom.

Often times in the wake of loss and trauma, we feel helpless, overwhelmed, angry, numb and exhausted. When we focus on others who can greatly benefit from an act of kindness, our hearts open and we discover that helping is healing.

If you'd like to make a donation to be included in the care packages, please message Michelle Rigano at

Be blessed! Journey well! To all good things...

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.

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