Respecting Individuals with Care & Kindness, You matter
Respecting Individuals with Care & Kindness, You matter
On Monday Dec. 20, 2021 we delivered 14 backpacks and 14 toys to the female residents of the Behavioral Health Network facility in Dorchester, MA. This great program (formerly know as Phoenix House) reunites mothers in recovery with their children.
BHN will distribute the backpacks and the toys on Christmas morning so the mothers and their children will have presents to open. We were given the ages of the children and Bernadette made sure to provide age-appropriate toys for each child.
Pictured above with Rich are Denise Jones, Clinical Director of the BHN program and current resident Cassandra who will be reuniting with her child for Christmas
Our second delivery on Monday was to the Boston Public Health Commissions programs in Boston at AHOPE & PAATHS.
We delivered at total of 80 backpacks, 2 cases of juice boxes and 2 cases of cookies to these programs who serve all walk-in clients and provide access to valuable services for people in crisis.
Each program received 25 men's backpacks, 15 women's backpacks and a case of juice and cookies each.
Pictured above with Bernadette & Rich are Tyesha Kincade LCSW from PAATHS & Sarah Macklin of AHOPE and her staff, in front of the items that will be given out to the many persons seeking relief from homelessness and Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
Also included in these winter backpacks along with our standard winter hats, gloves, neck warmer, socks and scarfs are a fleece throw blanket and a thermal blanket in preparation for the upcoming cold temperatures.
On Wednesday December 15, 2021 three members of Ricky, Inc. delivered 24 fully loaded backpacks to the female residents of New Joelyn's Recovery Home for Women in Roxbury. We were invited by Program Director Walter Kikuchi to tour the facility and speak with the women about the mission of Ricky, Inc. and our programs. We spoke with the women for about 45 minutes, detailed Ricky's story and the importance of eliminating the stigma of addiction and identified it as an illness, Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Almost all of the women asked questions and shared the story of their journey into recovery. They were proud to partner with Ricky, Inc. and all of the residents were amazed by the contents and were very appreciative and thankful to receive their colorful backpacks.
New Joelyn's Home is a beautiful Victorian Home used as a state-of-the-art women's residential recovery program and is part of the Victory Programs.
Pictured above with the members of New Joelyn's House are Ricky, Inc's President Rich Giacoppo and Secretary Lisa Fitzgibbon, who is seen here holding a picture of Ricky. Not pictured above is Ricky, Inc. Team Member Michael Fitzgibbon who is not only a valuable asset to our nonprofit organization but he acted as photographer for the evening and helped us deliver and give out the backpacks to the women.
To learn more about this valuable program, click on the link below;
On Sunday Dec. 5, 2021 Norwood Boy Scout Troop 42 Scoutmaster Tom McClintock arrived at Ricky, Inc. in Norwood with his trailer in tow. We loaded the trailer up with materials for the backpacks and transported them to the parking lot of the First Congregational Church in Norwood for assembly.
Once in the parking lot, Scoutmaster McClintock organized several tables for the assembly line for the scouts to use to fill the backpacks
The Scouts of Troop 42 and a few adults were very conscientious and took their time to fill each backpack in the proper manner in which they were instructed.
Everyone got a special surprise when Santa Claus appeared out of nowhere and starting helping the Scouts with the filling of the backpacks.
Good ole St. Nick had some encouraging words for the kids and wished them well before he and Mrs. Claus were off to another surprise visit.
It takes a community to make a difference of this size, and all of the Scouts worked side-by-side in unison with several adults to complete the project at hand......
"building backpacks for people less fortunate, suffering from homelessness, substance use disorder and in crisis"
Many times during the day I witnessed several of the older Scouts being very patient and teaching some of the younger Scouts the proper way to pack the backpacks.
I was so very proud to see every one of the Scouts taking their time and placing each item in it's designated spot.
Troop 42 was EXCELLENT at their jobs.
The level of discipline that they exhibited was far beyond their young years.
With the open space, numerous tables and many volunteers, the assembly line worked to perfection.
After the hard work of packing backpacks was done, everyone was treated to some Domino's Pizza inside the church.
Thank you to Pastor Michelle Allen for the use of the parking lot and the church hall.
Thanks to all of the Scouts from Troop 42, Scoutmaster McClintock and the adult volunteers, we were able to fill and make ready for distribution 131 backpacks to continue our
Backpack Distribution Program.
On Monday Nov. 15, 2021 Rich Giacoppo & Jimmy Maroney delivered 64 backpacks to the clients at the Andrew House detox facilities in Jamaica Plain & Stoughton. They were able to meet and speak with the men regarding Ricky, Inc's programs and personally distributed individual backpacks to the men at the Jamaica Plain program. Each of the program's received 32 backpacks for their clients.
Rich & Jimmy also delivered 11 books and 2 jigsaw puzzles and placed them on the bookshelves in the Ricky Memorial Reading Room in Jamaica Plain pictured above.
During our interaction with the men in both programs, several were able to share fond memories of Ricky including one man who shared that he was on the verge of suicide and Ricky stayed with him and actually talked him out of it. Another man stated that he was with Ricky and his bag was torn to shreds, so Ricky emptied his own backpack out and gave him his and told him that he would just get another one. We thank those men for sharing their stories and wish all of the clients at both Andrew House facilities the best of luck in their recovery.
We would like to extend our thanks for making this distribution possible to Shawna Smith, Cherelle Ball & Stefanie from Jamaica Plain and Maritza Castillo, Tori, Patty, Yleis & Robert from Stoughton.
Also, a very special thanks goes out to Jimmy Maroney for working so hard on his day off from his full time job and unselfishly assisting in Ricky Inc's backpack distribution.
On Tuesday Oct. 26, 2021, Team Ricky came together to fill 160 backpacks for our Annual Winter Distribution.
(L-R) Jim & Joanne Hurst, Mike Fitzgibbon, Mary & Beverly Rukauskas,
Bernadette Giacoppo, Lisa Fitzgibbon,
Jimmy Maroney & Sue Barron.
Team members not in photo are
Chrissy Winslow & Rich Giacoppo
The Team proudly displays the Ricky acronym across the back of each tee shirt, Respecting Individuals with Care & Kindness You matter. Our team proves that all people matter regardless of their difficult life crisis situation.
It takes the caring and love of people like our team to make a real difference in this world.
1 step, 1 day and 1 person at a time.
We do make a difference
Team members systematically fill the personal hygiene packages prior to placing them into the backpacks
The assembly line manned by Mary, Bev, Sue & Joanne with Mike Fitzgibbon and Jimmy Hurst in the foreground
Packing Supervisors Jimmy Maroney and Bernadette Giacoppo maintain quality control of the entire operation
Bev, Mary & Sue doing the tedious work of putting together the women's hygiene packages
During the long hard night of working on backpacks, close friends Bernadette and Sue Barron took a quick break to pose for a photo. They became very close friends while working together as Social Workers at the Massachusetts Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children MSPCC
Mary & Bev Rukauskas were two of Ricky's very best friends.
He spent so much time together with the two sisters that he often referred to them as his second family.
They stated that they would love to do anything to honor Ricky and have pledged to continue supporting Ricky, Inc.
Chrissy Winslow was also one of Ricky's very best friends and was considered by him as a family member. It's been a long time since Bernadette has seen Chrissy and the two shared a warm embrace.
Chrissy said that she was privileged to help keep Ricky's memory alive in any way that she can and wants to continue working to help Ricky, Inc. grow.
Jimmy Maroney and Bernadette Giacoppo share a private moment to discuss the need for the backpacks.
Jim is scheduled to accompany us on a one-day, two program backpack distribution in November at the Andrew House Detox facilities in Jamaica Plain and Stoughton, MA., where we estimate that we will deliver over 60 backpacks to men in recovery treatment.
Joanne Hurst and Lisa Fitzgibbon patiently wait their turn in the staging line as Jimmy and Bev hustle through the packing stations.
Due to the dedication and tireless work of all of the members of Team Ricky, we were able to pack a new one-night packing record of 160 fulled loaded backpacks for our Winter 2021 distribution.
On Saturday October 16, 2021, Bernadette mans the Ricky, Inc. resource table on a windy day during the Family Restored 5k Memorial Walk/Run fund raising event. We distributed resource information booklets and 2 backpacks to a Boston area woman's sober house.
Substance Use Disorder is a disease that doesn't discriminate.
Names will continue to be added to this list year after year until we start treating SUD like the disease and illness that it is.
It's NOT A CHOICE - It's an illness
Let's start treating it like it is!
On Saturday Sept. 25, 2021 Ricky, Inc. participated in the National Drug Epidemic Awareness Walk Across America in Portland Maine. This was sponsored by the Northeast Chapter of Mother's Against Drugs (M.A.D.)
"A Story Told is a Life Saved"
Participants walked together holding their banners, showing the unity of the organization and supporting the message of "You Never Walk Alone"
MGME news reporter Megan Willgoos featured a lead story on the drug overdose epidemic. To view the Channel 13 news video footage of the event click on the below link, then click on the arrow prompt and also read the attached article below the video
DEAWAA's message is about seeing the good in us all and show's the faces of those lost to the opiate crisis.
There were several banners with hundreds of faces of lost loved one's with the title of "Can You See Me Now". A reference to societies stigma about substance use disorder and it's lack of recognition that it is an illness and not a choice.
Legislative support is badly needed across the country to combat this epidemic.
Ricky, Inc. was well represented in Portland by Virginia, Nicholas, Rich, Bernadette & Roxy Giacoppo seen above displaying the banner used at all events.
This local event was organized by
Susan Lamoureux of the Learn from Lexi Foundation & was held at Ft. Allen Park on the Eastern Prom
Ricky, Inc.'s Board of Director Bernadette Giacoppo works the resource table providing information about treatment, recovery and grief help. Pictured in the foreground is Nick and his big brother Ricky on a beach in Aruba.
Pictured above (L-R)
Lost Sept. 21, 2017
Lost May 11, 2019
These photos were two of the many photos displayed on the Portland Lost Loved One's Blanket that was custom made for this event by Susan Lamoureux and other local Maine families that still endure the pain of losing a loved one to this insidious disease.
On Thursday August 26, 2021 Ricky, Inc. visited AHOPE & PAATHS in Boston. They were distributed 10 draw-string backpacks, snacks and juice boxes each. The staff at both of these Boston Public Health Organizations are so very dedicated to the wonderful work that they do. We thank them for dedication to not only their jobs but to the less fortune souls that they provide services too. They are truly working in the trenches......... great job !
We then went to Andrew House - Boston and delivered some care packages of a couple of dozen pairs of socks, boxes of snacks and boxes of juice boxes for the men in Detox. We also delivered more books to be placed in the Ricky Giacoppo Memorial Reading Room.
On Thursday Sept. 2, 2021 we visited Andrew House in Stoughton and made a delivery of two dozen pairs of socks, boxes of snacks and boxes of juice boxes. We were able to meet with the male clients in detox and speak with them about our organization. A few of them knew Ricky and shared some memories of him with us. It was very emotional but also very helpful as we love to meet people who knew him and have them share their stories with us.
On Sunday Sept. 5, 2021 we brought back some more supplies to Stoughton like books and calendars that some of the residents had requested.
It took a group effort to plant over 9,000 memorial flags on the Foxboro Town Common on Saturday August 21, 2021. This was a somber and much needed awareness event organized by Kris Long
Bernadette Giacoppo planting a neon green 2019 flag in memory of our son Ricky whom we lost on May 11, 2019
Too high a cost !
1,952 beautiful young lives were lost in 2019 due to accidental overdose.
The different colors of the flags represent the different years in which loved ones were lost to overdose. The past several years in Massachusetts we have averaged over 2,000 lives per year.
Rich & Bernadette Giacoppo of Ricky, Inc manned a resource information table on Sunday August 29th. They distributed numerous materials about overdose awareness, where and how to get help if your in crisis.
McKenzie & Kelsey of Manet Community Health Center accepted our invitation to accompany us during this event. They distributed life-saving Narcan to the many people that visited their table
On Friday August 13, 2021 Nicholas & Virginia Giacoppo distributed 11 fully loaded Summer backpacks to the Milestone Recovery Home Team Mobile Outreach in Portland Maine.
Christopher Giacoppo, who is also a Maine Outreach Coordinator, delivered the backpacks to the couple for distribution.
Courtney & Adam are members of the Milestone Recovery Home Team Mobile Outreach program and accepted the backpacks. They then went out the distribute them to the community on behalf of Ricky, Inc. and Milestone
On Monday August 2, 2021 Ricky, Inc delivered 20 backpacks to the Youth On Fire drop-in center in Cambridge. This program is a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for homeless and street-involved youth. The center offers many important resources for high-risk youth including medical care, mental health counseling and many other great programs. Pictured above are Deedi, Bernadette Giacoppo, Catherine and Rich Giacoppo
On Wednesday August 4, 2021 Ricky, Inc. delivered 40 backpacks to the VA Hospital in Jamaica Plain. Most of the backpacks were for the drop-in clinic and others were to be issued to the residential clients in recovery treatment. Picture above are Mary and Evan from Volunteer Services and Rich Giacoppo
We issued our 1,000th backpack at the Waltham House after one and half years of distributing them to many persons suffering from homelessness, substance use disorder, mental illness, Veterans and many support organizations in need.
The past two years have been very difficult times for us and providing some degree of relief and assistance to persons suffering, helps us with our never-ending heartache and pain from the loss of our beautiful, intelligent son Ricky.
We hope and pray that with everyone's continued support that we may be able to someday post our 2,000th backpack.
Bea & Rich Giacoppo
Mum & Dad
On Friday July 23, 2021 Ricky, Inc delivered 12 backpacks to the Waltham House which is the first residential group home specifically designed for LGBTQ youth in New England, and one of only three of its kind in the nation. We were privileged to provide them with our backpacks once again this year, bringing our current total backpack distribution to 1,007.
Pictured on the right standing with the backpacks on the Waltham House Walk Of Pride stairs are Director Latoya Brown, Ricky,Inc Board of Director's Catherine Mahar & Bernadette Giacoppo and President Rich Giacoppo
On Thursday July 15, 2021 Ricky,Inc visited the Phoenix House in Dorchester and delivered 12 backpacks for the mothers in their program, along with 12 bags filled with age-appropriate toys for their children. This is a great mother and child residential facility that reunites families. Pictured above with the backpacks are Program Director Desiree Rivera, Ricky, Inc Director Bernadette Giacoppo and Assistant Program Director Latesha Watkins.
On Monday July 19, 2021 Ricky, Inc delivered 35 loaded backpacks to the Access Program in Cambridge which provides valuable harm reduction and health services to anyone in need. They distribute Narcan and provide other life-saving support.
On Monday May 17, 2021 Ricky, Inc. started off the Second Annual Spring Backpack Distribution and visited Andrew House in Boston & Stoughton and distributed 34 backpacks to the men's detox programs. We were able to meet with and speak to the clients in both facilities and personally hand deliver the backpacks to them. Pictured above in the Ricky Giacoppo Memorial Reading Room in the Boston facility are Kayla Cardoza, Bernadette Giacoppo of Ricky, Inc. and Cherelle Ball.
On Tuesday May 18, 2021 Ricky, Inc. visited AHOPE & PAATHS Boston during their Second Annual Spring Backpack Distribution. PAATHS was issued 35 backpacks for their clients and we had the privilege to go into the newly renovated AHOPE Drop In Center and distribute another 35 backpacks directly to the clients. We were able to speak with them one on one and some were able to share stories about Ricky. All were very gracious and grateful to be receiving the Spring backpacks at such a difficult time. Pictured above with Rich & Bernadette is the wonderful staff at AHOPE.
Wednesday May 12, 2021 Ricky, Inc.s President Rich Giacoppo and Treasurer Dan Hovey proudly participated in the peaceful walk from Mass & Cass to the State House. This walk was to bring awareness to the horrible conditions that exist in this part of Boston and hope that state and local officials will address the deplorable living conditions and the wide-spread drug use that continues to take lives.
Ricky,Inc. was one of many organizations that participated in this walk and each representative got a chance to address the crowd. Above, Rich Giacoppo explains what Ricky, Inc does for homeless people and those suffering from substance use disorder, including veterans. He also noted that he wasn't sure that he could make it today as this walk comes two years & one day after he lost his son.
The past 2 years and especially the last few days have left him and his wife heartbroken and grieving terribly.
Organizers graciously requested and held a moment of silence in remembrance of Ricky.
Justin Downey of the Mass Ave Project made a powerful speech that had the crowd cheering. It was also a somber speech when he detailed the public health crisis that is currently happening. This very peaceful walk hopes to provide attention to a very serious and dire problem that is spiraling out of control.
Two years ago today (May 11, 2019) we lost our precious son Ricky. Pictured above as a young boy on a rock jetty on Cape Cod. he enjoyed fishing and swimming with his brothers Christopher and Nicholas here in Hyannis, MA. We spent many years on this jetty and it's beach during his youth and it was a spot that brought us all comfort and joy. The boys would catch fish, collect shells, swim all day and then go home and make sea shell necklaces with Mom & Dad.
Ricky is missed every minute of every day by all of us and God has truly robbed us of his incredible personality, unwavering loyalty and heart warming presence.
We love you and miss you every second of our lives,
Mom, Dad, Chris & Nick
We are starting our Spring backpack distribution in the next few weeks. Our plan is to provide over 200 backpacks to recovery homes, Detox programs, Department of Public Health programs that serve those with substance use disorder, and street outreach in the Mass Ave Boston area. Since we started this program in March 2020, we have been able to distribute over 850 filled backpacks to persons in need due to the kindness, compassion and generosity of people like you.
We are in the process of developing a partnership with a recovery home in which we will sponsor one person who has been accepted at the recovery home and provide their first month rent, a food store card, and backpack.
Once someone is released from detox, the next step is to enter a recovery home. Most people in this position cannot afford the first months’ rent in order to get accepted into the house in the first place. With our assistance they can have a place to call home for a month while they pursue employment so that they can pay their own rent and rebuild their lives.
This is our first step in expanding our service to those with SUD seeking recovery. At this time our plan is to sponsor one male and one female per year. With enough support, we will be able to offer more persons seeking recovery opportunities each year.
We would greatly appreciate donations towards our current goals of helping as many persons in need as possible.
Please visit the Help Our Cause link on this website Rickyinc.org.
Donations can be made from there either through PayPal, visiting our Amazon wish list, or sending a monetary donation to our PO Box. Please make out checks to Ricky, Inc.
"Make a difference is someones life."
Thank you in the name of our beloved son Ricky
On Feb. 24, 2021 Bernadette & Rich Giacoppo delivered 18 draw-string style backpacks to PAATHS - Boston and their staff. Each of these stylish backpacks contained the exact same contents as the regular backpacks that we distribute. We look forward to returning to PAATHS for our now "Annual Spring Backpack Distribution".
On Feb. 26, 2021 and March 4, 2021 Nick Giacoppo and his fiance' Virgina Norton were at it again and made backpack deliveries to Milestone Recovery. During 2 separate distribution efforts, they were able to deliver 26 loaded backpacks and Maine Resource Booklets to the Milestone Outreach Team.
On March 5, 2021 Bernadette and Rich returned to AHOPE - Boston and delivered 19 draw-string style backpacks filled with the usual personal needs items and resource booklets. Sarah and her staff were delighted to accept these donated backpacks and were thrilled to meet Ricky, Inc's mascot / dog Roxy during our outdoor delivery per Covid-19 precautions procedures.
We also look forward to returning to AHOPE for our "Annual Spring Backpack Distribution" with the hopes that we may be able to go inside and actually once again meet the recipients of the backpacks.
Since it's inception, Ricky, Inc. has distributed 839 filled backpacks to people in need in memory of our son, Ricky Giacoppo.
On Saturday February 20, 2021, Ricky, Inc. partnered with the BPD Street Outreach Unit to provide personal needs items to persons visiting the BPHC Engagement Center.
Ricky, Inc. distributed 64 filled backpacks (38 men & 26 women).
Thank you to all of the officers in the Boston Police Department Street Outreach Unit for their hard work and generosity towards Ricky, Inc.
With their help we were able to provide some valuable materials and relief to a vulnerable segment of our society.
Along with Ricky, Inc.s backpacks, the Street Outreach Unit provided jackets, socks, hygiene products, snacks and water to the many people in line from the Engagement Center.
Once all of the backpacks and other materials were stacked and the recipients were lined up: all of the materials were distributed in a very coordinated fashion.
All recipients were very appreciative and happy to receive their items, especially during such a cold winter month. One man, after inspecting the contents of his new backpack stated "Perfect timing, all of these will come in handy right now".
Thank you to Deputy Superintendent Michael Stratton and Sgt. Peter Messina for their leadership in coordinating and organizing this event in partnership with Ricky, Inc. and the Engagement Center.
We look forward to our next event working together again with the BPD.
Pictured above left to right is D.S. Stratton, Rich Giacoppo and Sgt. Peter Messina.