2017 Sweet Gesture Beneficiaries
EVERY CHILD, INC. believes that family and community are essential resources for every child's growth and development and we are dedicated to developing, protecting, and binding those relationships.
Every Child, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit human services agency founded in 1997 by Pittsburgh native Susan Davis. Every Child’s initial focus was on providing support for families with medically fragile children. Since its founding, Every Child has grown to include a host of services intended to develop and strengthen the relationships among children, adults and families. We have grown to a staff of 75 and an annual budget of approximately $4 million.
We serve birth, foster and adoptive families in Allegheny and surrounding counties, and have succeeded in helping over 3,000 children achieve a loving, lasting family. All of our services are provided free of charge and are given based on the individual needs of the child or family.
JAMESON'S ARMY is a nonprofit organization (501c3) dedicated to raising awareness and funding for children and families affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) in Pittsburgh, PA and Southwestern PA. Jameson's Army was formed in honor of Jameson McKain, who was born with a heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Jameson underwent 6 Open Heart Surgeries as well as receiving a heart transplant at just 11 months old. Currently, Jameson is 6 years old and thriving!
Jameson's Army strives to help the families at The Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (CHP), The Children's Home and Lemieux Foundation, Your Child's Place and many other medical facilities and families touched by CHD in the Pittsburgh, PA and SWPA area. Jameson's Army provides therapeutic heart pillows during recovery to heart patients, quarterly holiday meals to families and staff members, toy drives, fulfilling family and hospital wish lists as well as monthly food and item drops to the heart center at CHP. Although helping families touched by CHD is extremely important to us, we are excited to spread CHD awareness anyway we can.
In four years, the Family Life volunteers helped raise over $860,000 to create programming which provides education, social activities and support for families who have a child at Children's. Ongoing Family Life programs at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh include: family movie nights, parent journaling group, family game days, parent coffee houses, seasonal parties in the atrium, family drum circles. Additionally, Family Life provides Camp Firefly for Father's Day, Holiday Express Shopping Trip and Gift Wrapping, Thanksgiving Dinner, December Holiday Dinner and Mother's Day Brunch for all families with a child staying at Children's. Family Life funds provide coffee service in the three ICU waiting rooms for parents. Funds from Family Life also helped establish a Neonatal ICU support room that provides education to parents through the March of Dimes program. Family Life helped create a bereavement center for families which offers respite to families dealing with their child's terminal cancer.
A Sweet Gesture 2016: Casino Royale raised over $95,000 to support ACHIEVA's parenting program, the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh's teen transition program and future projects of the Family Life Fund.
ACHIEVA's Parenting Education Program provides parenting instruction, assistance and independent living skills to parents with intellectual disabilities. The Parenting Education Program’s mission is to develop safe and appropriate families, with their first priority always being the health and safety of the children, while the second are the rights and responsibilities of the parent who has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. As part of the program, ACHIEVA provides these families with furniture and household goods as they move to new, safer homes for their children.
Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh's Teen Transition Program includes a transition health plan, a list of community resources, and a summary of health challenges and maintenance for young transitioning teens. Additionally, the programs hopes to connect the teens to adult medical providers, as well as developing and distributing materials (books, parent guides, etc.) and conducting 2 seminars per year on transitioning to an adult. The project seeks to enrich the lives of people with Down Syndrome, as well as supporting the families by providing new parent packets as they begin the journey through transition and providing continued education and resources throughout that journey.
Jeremiah's Place, a crisis nursery in Pittsburgh, provides safe supportive care for children to help families during times of crisis. Through our Fashionista! event on November 8, 2014, Family Life was able to donate $13,800 to support a new educational initiative that will be offered by Jeremiah's Place to families whose children have spent time at the nursery. This initiative will include dinner programs which will offer support to the families by introducing and connecting them with existing community services and by promoting education regarding trauma... how it impacts their children and how to address it in a way that provides long-term results.
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic-
Proceeds from A Sweet Gesture 2015 are funding important new family education and support initiatives of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic's early autism intervention programs:
1) The (TEAP) Theiss Early Autism Program’s Community and Family Involvement Initiative – Site based Applied Behavior Analytic (ABA) therapeutic services to families through “parenting tool kits”, family community outings, and parent support groups to transfer classroom skills to their own homes
2) The (EIBI) Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention’s Family Involvement Initiative programs – 60 family workshops over a 1 year period transferring the therapist’s skills to the parent(s) in their home environment
3) The Merck Family Support Initiative – Providing resources and educational materials to families to help them navigate the agencies and service providers with a newly diagnosed child or a transitioning child
Through our "A Sweet Gesture" event Feb 14, 2014, Family Life provided over $33,000 for: an enhanced family waiting room and educational materials for families of children enrolled in their Intensive Outpatient OCD Program at their Franklin Building. These funds also allowed WPIC to host a continuing education seminar for over 170 clinicians from the region on recognizing and helping families who have a child with OCD through their treatment.