Respecting Individuals with Care & Kindness, You matter
Respecting Individuals with Care & Kindness, You matter
Ricky, Inc. was established in March of 2020 and has been continuously distributing backpacks filled with essential personal needs items and seasonal clothing to persons suffering from homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorder.
Thank you to everyone that helped us with our mission to provide relief to this segment of society and we hope to continue to receive your thoughtful and compassionate support.
Our beautiful boy we miss you more every day, we want to share Ricky’s passions in honor of Overdose Awareness month and to help end the stigma and share one of the beloved faces of substance use disorder.
Ricky was a beautiful baby not just because I’m his mom but because people would say he’s too pretty to be a boy.
He loved to play with his matchbox cars that his grandfather would bring each visit.
He loved his little green army men. But most of all he loved his Jammie’s robe blanket and sippy cup while watching Winnie the Pooh.
Ricky loved to read in grammar school he joined a book club. He was involved in many sports but would prefer to be reading.
In middle school he volunteered at MSPCA working mostly with the pit bulls and was asked by MSPCA to be in a video to end the stigma around pit bulls being aggressive dangerous dogs. In the video Ricky is hugging, kissing, and rolling in the grass with these beautiful dogs. No job was too menial for Ricky he did it all from cleaning the cages to walking the dogs. He later became a foster family for pets in need. Of course he adopted two of the cats
Ricky was a history buff and joined a civil war round table in middle school with his Dad they made a specific exception for his age. We still have his library on the Civil War. A family trip to Gettysburg was a dream come true for him.
Ricky made friends easily and loved many like family some friends for his lifetime
Ricky was in four school plays one being the lead part
Ricky joined a morning radio show in 6th grade calling in every morning known as Ricky The Paperboy. We had no idea.
Ricky had a quick wit like no other he could have easily done stand up.
Ricky joined PETA in 9th grade and advocated for animals and against the labs that did testing on them. He once wore a Turkey suit over a highway overpass with a sign that read “go Vegan”. He was vegan for a time.
Ricky adored his Dog Lady, he called her his therapy pet
Ricky took piano lessons; he was an acolyte at church
Ricky was working on writing his life story
Ricky gave the best hugs he would always press his cheek to yours.
Ricky was loyal to all those he loved
Ricky was a self-proclaimed Mama’s Boy
Ricky as an adult would sit for hours with his Dad watching TV laughing Loud. I mean really loud the two of them… I loved being in bed and hearing them…I’d say thank you God for having this moment
Ricky loves his brothers he was loyal and truly felt joy when his brothers excelled or as simple as spending time together laughing and hanging together
Ricky talked often about the family trip to Aruba in his twenties with his brothers and all their crazy fun antics together
Ricky was with his Mum and grandmother in Florida during Hurricane Katrina Ricky was our protector
Ricky got his dream job at Animal Rescue League as an adoption counselor
Ricky attended UMASS Boston to be a Substance Use Counselor
Ricky hoped to one day to be a paralegal
As a family we sat together at the kitchen table every night for dinner
We did homework at the dining room table
We built forts
We built bike jumps
We went to Nana and Pa’s every Sunday for family dinner for many years
Ricky and his Nana would spend hours together smoking cigarettes, talking and laughing out loud (3 of his favorite things to do)
We went to Sissy’s at the Cape for years, swimming, fishing, making crab traps out of soda bottles (catch and release of course)
We made seashell necklaces and ornaments
We had popcorn Pepsi parties
We read together every night
We went on family trips with Sissy (Grandmother) several which were Disney
Ricky would jump on our bed throughout his life right up to the day before the world changed just to talk or act silly Ricky loved to make us laugh
We had our issues like any family
We love each other each fiercely
We are a loving family that never ever imagined we would end up here.
We are like you
We are a mother
We are a Father
We are a brother
We are a family that is left to ask why?
Why our beautiful Ricky?
Please Do Your Part to End the Stigma of Substance Use Disorder and please remember our Ricky
On Tuesday August 2, 2022 Ricky, Inc. visited the Town of Norwood Veterans Affairs Director Teddy Mulvehill and made another backpack delivery.
These 13 backpacks will benefit local male and female veterans who need assistance and may be facing homelessness, mental health issues and/or substance use disorder. Teddy does great work in providing services and finding homes for veterans in crisis. He will distribute these backpacks as the need arises and we will continue to provide the Town of Norwood and its Veterans with these materials.
Thank you to the men and women who have served our country, and to Teddy (USMC) for all he does to support and provide benefits for the Veterans.
We at Ricky Inc want Veterans to know that they matter and we are here for them.
Always in the name of our beloved son Ricky
On Thursday July 21, 2022 Ricky, Inc. visited with the female residents and staff at the Shepherd House in Dorchester. This was our first of many visits to come and we were greeted by a friendly and helpful staff led by the Program Director Zanele McIntyre.
Rich spoke with the women for over 30 minutes, detailing Ricky's story, the effects on loved ones, staying strong in recovery and the importance of ending the stigma of addiction. The women were impressed when Rich took the items out of a backpack to show them the contents they were about to receive. They were so gracious and appreciative for each and every item and let him know how much it really meant to them.
Many of them were also giving condolences and saying how proud Ricky would be of his parents for doing this work for people in need and showing them kindness and compassion, both of which they stated that they are not used to receiving especially from strangers. The atmosphere was so very friendly and comfortable even though we were in the middle of an incredible heat wave.
After the question and answer session, the women each received their backpacks and every one of them came up to and personally thanked Rich. Several of them stayed and spoke about their stories and stated that our visit was inspirational to them.
We were able to distribute 23 backpacks to all of the clients in the program, several Grief Packets and each woman also received one of our purple Ricky, Inc. bracelets with our web site and motto; Respecting Individuals with Care & Kindness You matter.
Helping people in need, 1 step, 1 day & 1 person at a time
We CAN make a difference
Always in the name of our beloved Ricky
On Wednesday June 22, 2022 Ricky, inc. visited the New Victory program for men in Dorchester. This was our 2nd visit and we were warmly accepted again by all of the house.
Rich & Bernadette spoke with the men for about 30 minutes and did a show & tell with the contents of the backpacks that the men were receiving. Every resident received a filled backpack and showed their overwhelming thanks and gratitude. We were able to distribute 35 backpacks to all of the clients in the program.
The men were so receptive and compassionate that one man asked that we hold a moment of silence in honor of Ricky. It was a wonderful moment and something that we were very grateful for, especially since the man did not know Ricky.
Program Director Laura Holt was gracious and supportive, and her staff was very helpful to us during our stay. It was obvious how much Laura and her staff truly care about the men.
Pictured above is Bernadette & Rich, Laura Holt and her staff and several clients residing in this house. In the forefront is Richard, who is holding a photo of Ricky. Richard knew Ricky many years ago and was sad to hear about his passing.
Thank you to every single man in that house for making this move in your lives and we hope and pray that we have helped you in some small way to regain your strength, self-esteem and dignity
On Wednesday June 15, 2022 Ricky, Inc. visited the "new" location for Andrew House CSS (formerly in Stoughton).
Andrew House CSS provides clinical stabilization/step-down services for male clients leaving detox or in need of acute
(non medical) treatment.
Above Christopher Giacoppo who is a Ricky, Inc. Street Outreach Coordinator and his mother Bernadette spoke with the men at length and conducted a positive question and answer session before personally handing out 20 backpacks to the men.
As always, we were greeted with a warm and grateful reception by the staff at Andrew House. They make us feel very welcome and make sure to show us how much they appreciate the backpacks that we provide for their clients and the books that we donated to their residents' library.
Pictured L-R; Christopher Giacoppo, Bernadette & Rich Giacoppo, Patty Sylvester Lead Counselor, Ozzy Ruiz Operations Director and Robert Hall Counselor.
On Thursday June 9, 2022 Ricky, Inc. delivered 35 backpacks to the staff of Youth On Fire in Harvard Square.
YOF is a program of the Aids Action Committee and is a drop-in center for homeless and street involved youth. Young people in need can receive on-site behavioral health and medical care along with hot meals, shower, laundry and many more valuable resources that we all take for granted every day.
We have been to YOF many times and are always greeted by the friendly and appreciative staff that distribute the Ricky, Inc backpacks as well as the Trevor Project booklets that we provided them with.
Pictured L-R; Katherine Sloss-Hartman YOF Site Coordinator, Summer Interns Giovanni & Ed next to Bernadette.
Also on Thursday June 9, 2022, Ricky, Inc. delivered 35 backpacks to the Access Drug User Health Program in Central Square.
Access is part of Fenway Health Systems and the Aids Action Committee and provides numerous resources for its clients, including harm reduction, overdose prevention, medical attention by an on-site doctor and HIV/HCV/STI testing and much more.
We were given a tour of the facility by Brian who is an Outreach Coordinator and Overdose Aftercare Specialist. We were extremely impressed with the amount of services that they provide, the medical care space and the incredible staff.
Pictured above L-R; Mars, Bryan, Rich, Bernadette, Brian, Sonya and Jive (holding the stuffed Teddy Bear).
On Thursday June 2, 2022 Ricky, Inc. distributed 80 filled backpacks to the staff members of the Boston Public Health Commissions outreach programs AHOPE & PAATHS on Albany Street in Boston.
Thank you to the extremely hard working members of both organizations,
AHOPE; Tina, Sarah, Danny & Kenny
PAATHS; Eugenia, Leroy & Edgardo
On Thursday May 26, 2022 we revisited New Joelyn's Recovery Home for Women. We delivered 24 filled backpacks, key chains, underwear, grief packets and provided the women with cookies and juice boxes. We spoke for about 45 minutes and had a very nice question and answer session with the residents and staff.
Thank you to the Program Director Walter Kikuchi, Christine, Carol and the rest of the wonderful staff that do such a great job.
On Wednesday May 24, 2022 we visited the Butterfly Garden on the beautiful grounds of Our Lady of the Fatima in Holliston, MA.
Bricks are laid out here with the names of lost loved ones inscribed on them.
The inscribed brick in memory of Ricky was purchased & donated by loving friends Betty & Bob Marsh of Norwood.
Ricky's memorial brick with one of his key chains and Forever Loved bracelet
A quiet and peaceful setting in this beautiful location
Love you Rick
On Wednesday May 11, 2022, Ricky's Mom & Dad delivered 25 backpacks to the residential clients of Andrew House Boston,
We also delivered men's underwear, juice boxes, snacks and books for the Ricky Reading Room.
Today was the third year of Ricky's passing and we were graciously allowed to post a picture frame reminding all who use this room that it was dedicated in Ricky's name on Dec. 9, 2020 by Maritza Castillo.
Upon that dedication day, we donated a 6' bookshelf, numerous books and a couple of puzzles. Upon every return visit we always donate more books, puzzles and some framed blank artist canvasses for the clients to draw/paint on.
Thank you very much to the dedicated staff at Andrew House (both past & present) for the amazing work that you do to help these men in their recovery.
On Saturday April 30, 2022 the next stage of the backpack assembly began with the all-female team spending hours doing the tedious work of packaging the hygiene products inside a sealed 1-gallon plastic bag. The male products are pictured on the left side of the table and the female products on the right. This photo was taken at the halfway point in the packing process and at the end of the day there were over 300 packages made by this incredible team of Ricky, Inc. volunteers.
Pictured from L-R: Bernadette, Cathy, Bev & Sue.
At the beginning of the process, with an unopened bag to the left is Sue Barron, as she prepares to deposit the first item in her bag.
To the right foreground is one of Ricky's BFF's, Bev Rukauskas who is collecting additional items to fill her hygiene bag.
Working tirelessly in the background is Cathy Mahar who is also a dedicated Ricky, Inc. Board member.
On Sunday May 1, 2022, nine very close friends joined us to assemble and pack 268 backpacks for our Annual Spring/Summer Backpack Distribution.
Seen here in the foreground, packing male backpacks, on the left is Dave Kuphal, a Ricky, Inc. volunteer and a longtime donor and contributor. Across from him is Jimmy Hurst seen placing the summer sunglasses into his backpack. Jim is also a Ricky, Inc. volunteer, donor & contributor.
Making it a family event and packaging the female backpacks seen in the background on the left is Sue Kuphal and on the right is Joanne Hurst.
Thank you to Lisa Fitzgibbon (Director) Joanne Hurst, Chrissy Winslow, Deb McAuliffe, Sue Kuphal, David Kuphal, Michael Fitzgibbon, Jimmy Hurst, and Joe McAuliffe who filled the 268 male & female backpacks.
We appreciate their kindness and friendship deeply and are grateful for all their help. This team of selfless volunteers worked for over 4 hours filling these bags for our cause. These backpacks will be distributed this Spring and early Summer to those facing homelessness, substance use disorder and mental health disorders.
So much thoughtfulness and so much love is being shown to us during these events from our & Ricky's friends.
Always in the name of our beautiful boy Ricky whom we miss and love every second of every day.
On Thursday April 21, 2022 Ricky, Inc visited the Behavioral Health Network Family Center in Dorchester. We delivered 9 laundry baskets filled with the same materials that are inside of our backpacks and more. Each basket was personalized to the female recipients and their children. The baskets contained an age appropriate toy for the age of the child we were given, towel, laundry detergent, a small stuffed animal and more.
The BHN program aims to successfully reunify mothers with their children and hope for a long-term family stabilization.
Great work is being done at BHN
The very appreciative BHN staff was on hand and posed with Bernadette in front of one of the laundry baskets.
Denise Jones Clinical Supervisor
Vernice Johnson Family Specialist
Crystal Sanborn Counselor
Bernadette Giacoppo Ricky, Inc.
Desiree Rivera-Decoo Director of Clinical & Operations
Elizabeth James Program Director
It is always gratifying when we visit these programs and donate these great, very much needed products. We have been to BHN a few times to make deliveries and also came many times before when it was the Phoenix House.
We look forward to returning to BHN and seeing our friendly staff during our next visit.
On Monday April 18, 2022 Ricky Inc. visited the Dollar Tree store in Walpole, MA. where Rich met the Store Manager Steven Francis and presented him with a Ricky, Inc. Certificate Of Appreciation.
We have been shopping at Dollar Tree since we started our program and feel that they have many of the personal hygiene products that we need and carry them at a great price and in bulk. Each time we enter the store, Steve greets us with a friendly smile and makes sure that we get all of the products that we are looking for that day. Steve has contacted other stores and directed us to them whenever his products on his shelves are running low.
Steve also makes sure to personally tend to our checkout as most often we will purchase hundreds of items and he makes sure that they are securely boxed and then he helps us put them in our car.
Steve who is welcoming and supportive of our organization and our needs, is also a donor. Last winter when supplies were running low, Steve purchased a case of men's winter socks (money from his own pocket) and donated them to Ricky, Inc.
We are proud to have Steve as a friend of Ricky, Inc. and hope that this Certificate Of Appreciation will show his kindness and compassion for those in need.
Great job Steve !
As we prepare for our 2022 Spring/Summer Backpack distribution program, it seems like we're running out of storage room. The garage is filled with numerous items that need to be separated, accounted for, and placed into the appropriate bins to be added to our assembly line.
"If" you have been thinking of making a donation to a worthwhile nonprofit, right now Ricky, Inc. has purchased materials for well over 200 backpacks and our current funding is getting low with more materials to purchase for this season.
Any amount is appreciated and is tax deductible.
With deliveries coming every day, we are still short on the projected amount of backpacks and materials needed to be distributed this Spring/Summer season to those persons in crisis.
On Tuesday February 22, 2022 Ricky, Inc delivered 17 loaded backpacks to AHOPE in Boston for immediate distribution to their walk-in clients. We were pleased to be met by the "always helpful and gracious" AHOPE staff members. This Boston Public Health Commission Program is an invaluable asset to all persons in crisis in this area. They provide many helpful services including our donated backpacks which greatly help the homeless, mentally ill and persons suffering from substance use disorder.
We also donated several dozen sets of handmade woolen winter hats, gloves, mittens and scarfs all personally made by Catholic Nun, Sister Katherine.
We were also honored to meet Christina (Teena) Hallett who will be another important contact for Ricky, Inc. with AHOPE.
Pictured above is Bernadette and the AHOPE Staff with the backpacks; Rich is holding some of the woolen hats and a scarf and Teena is pictured in the lower right of the photo kneeling behind the backpacks.
This puts Ricky, Inc.'s total backpack distribution since its inception in March of 2020 at 1,512 backpacks.
On Thursday February 24, 2022 we visited the Boston Engagement Center 112 R Southampton Street. We were able to meet with Joe Phoenix who is the Program Manager for Outreach Recovery Services for the Engagement Center. Joe provided us with a tour of the new facility, which is a beautiful new building and opened in December 2021.
We donated 1 case of hand warmers, 1 case of cookies, 1 case of juice boxes and 25 winter packets to the center which included a winter hat, gloves, scarf, hand warmers and a letter from Ricky, Inc. referring them to further helpful resources and contacts.
While we were on our tour, we were able to distribute some the packets to the men & women inside the center, all of whom were very grateful to receive these items during this current cold weather season.
On Tuesday February 15, 2022, Maine Street Outreach Coordinator Chris Giacoppo was out in the cold delivering Ricky, Inc. Winter backpacks.
Pictured above; Chris sought out this man at an intersection in Portland and offered him a backpack. The man was very appreciative and said that these winter items were just what he needed right now.
Chris then went into Monument Square and met with several different homeless person's and distributed backpacks to those in need.
Pictured above is Chris describing the contents of the winter backpacks to a homeless woman. He emphasized the woolen winter hats, gloves, scarf, neck warmer and Fleece & thermal blankets.
The woman repeatedly stated to Chris "God Bless you for this"
Also on Feb. 15th, Maine Street Outreach Coordinator Nick Giacoppo received backpacks at his office and distributed them after work to homeless persons he encountered on Congress Street.
On Wednesday February 9, 2022 Ricky, Inc. was fortunate enough to receive a $200.00 gift card and a "Close to Our Heart" certificate from the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation.
Ricky, Inc. is proud to have been chosen by the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation as a recipient of this donation and to be recognized in our community with the wonderful certificate.
In the coming weeks we will be back at OSJL with our gift card and we will be shopping for materials to be placed inside of our backpacks for our Spring 2022 Backpack Distribution.
We are extremely thankful for this recognition and the donation that will help many persons in need of assistance.
The name of this certificate is exactly what everyone involved with Ricky, Inc feels about our mission and Ricky himself.
We always keep him Close to Our Hearts.
The presentation was made in the Norwood, Ma. store under the supervision of Store Manager Hilario Galvao.
Pictured above are Ocean State Job Lot's Roxi & Becky with Ricky, Inc.'s President Rich Giacoppo accepting the gift card, certificate and holding a photo of Ricky.