On Friday Dec. 4, 2020 Nick Giacoppo of Ricky,Inc. went down to Deering Oaks Park in Portland where a lot of displaced homeless individuals camp out. He Distributed a dozen packs full of practical gear for life on the street.
Nick was able to connect with many wonderful people. All of which were incredibly grateful. He explained that the bags were from Ricky,Inc, in memory of my amazing brother Ricky who passed away. A lot of people had also lost a family member to substance abuse and were able to talk about it with him.
Nick also stopped by Freedom House Sober Living and gave out a few care packages to the men who live there and are early in recovery and trying to reestablish their lives.
This awesome photo shows Nick holding a couple of the draw string style backpacks while his brother Ricky shoots a burst of sunlight from heaven that stretches across Nick's heart, showing him that his brother is smiling down on him with love.
Nick stated “I'm so happy to be able to be a part of such an awesome nonprofit spreading my Brother Ricky's memory with love. Rickyinc.org”
On Friday Dec. 4, 2020 Ricky Inc. visited Andrew House Detox at the Shattuck Hospital. We donated 28 backpacks, books for the bookshelf, and other necessities for the men.
This is our fourth visit to Andrew house since we began our mission last November and we donated a total of 124 filled backpacks for the men in treatment within one year. We have developed a close relationship with the staff and always considered it a privilege to be able to meet with the men on our other visits, but because of COVID-19 we weren’t able to do that today.
The staff has asked us to do a virtual meeting next week with the gentleman to talk about our mission and to hear their stories if they would like to share and get feedback on what else we could be doing to help. We are looking forward to seeing and speaking with the men during our zoom virtual meeting.
Andrew House is a place that Ricky felt respected and cared for over the years and for that we are extremely grateful.
We sincerely appreciate the important support, dedication and hard work of the men and women of the Andrew House facility
On Monday, November 30th Ricky Inc. visited Youth On Fire a program of Aids Action committee in Massachusetts, is a drop in center for homeless and street involved youth ages 14 through 24, located in Harvard Square, Cambridge.
Some of the primary goals include connecting homeless and street involved youth to age appropriate services including on site behavioral health and medical care through strength based case management. Annually, Youth On Fire serves over 200 young adults who make over 3000 visits to the center, and connects members to: 4,000 meals and snacks check-in‘s HIV and STI test, 123 housing support referrals, and 50 Narcan/overdose prevention enrollments.
It was a privilege meeting Katherine, a Prevention Case Manager. Backpacks were provided with much needed supplies for the winter, toiletries, resources and much more.
Ricky,Inc is excited about our new partnership with “Youth on Fire”.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Youth on Fire is doing street outreach.
On Monday, November 30th Ricky Inc. visited Phoenix House, a Dorchester residential program that provides long-term residential family substance use disorder treatment for women and their children of all ages, from newborns to teens.
In a warm and safe environment that feels like home, the program provides drug and alcohol use disorder treatment that is women-centered and trauma-informed, with a goal of successful family reunification. Phoenix house also provides referrals to social service agencies throughout the Boston area to assist clients with childcare, after school programs, and treatment for co-occurring mental health needs.
Ricky Inc. provided backpacks for the mothers including hygiene products and much-needed winter gear and many other things including a resource folder. Each child received an age-appropriate toy and a toothbrush.
We Met with Desiree Rivera, Director of Operations and Administration and her associate Latesha Watkins. We are honored to partner with this very important program and look forward to further collaboration in the future.
The children in the recovery homes with their mothers receive children's toothbrushes, toothpaste and a new toy.
Women in the Phoenix House recovery homes receive filled backpacks which include winter hat, gloves, scarf, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, face mask, tissues, soap, chap stick, hand warmers, band aids, condoms, a calendar for appointments and an extensive resource booklet on where and how to get help.
On Monday Nov. 23, 2020 Rickyinc. delivered 5 filled backpacks (3 men's & 2 women's) to Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks . Chief Brooks accepted Rickyinc's offer to provide the NPD with backpacks to give to homeless persons that officers encounter or seek out to provide assistance.
This is currently a pilot program that if proves successful, will lead to Rickyinc. providing a backpack for every Norwood cruiser and we will refresh their supply as needed.
Rickyinc. is delighted to be able to give back to it's home community which has supported us since our inception in March of 2020.
Saturday Nov. 21, 2020 Nick and Chris, Ricky’s brothers joined Joanne Arnold in Portland Maine to distribute backpacks from Ricky Inc. to those in need, many of whom are homeless.￼ Chris & Nick will also be delivering more backpacks and care packages in the next week or two in the Portland area.
Ricky Inc. would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Joanne Arnold for all she does for those in need. Joanne also thanked Nick and Chris by saying;
“Thank you Nick, Chris and Ricky Inc.
Ricky, your spirit is shared with a whole lot of love”
It’s been 18 months this month that we lost our beloved Ricky. It was a year this month that we made our first three backpack distributions to Andrews House detox, AHOPE and PAATHS. How we did it I don’t know, only six months after having the worst thing that could happen to us happen. It hasn’t gotten any easier and the silence of Ricky‘s voice is deafening. Nothing will ever look, or feel the same in our world.
What we do know is that we can in love and kindness give back to those in need as Ricky would want us to and do it graciously and bravely and continue to go forward honoring Ricky. As we pack the backpacks in the coming weeks for the above programs we will now include a Veteran’s substance use disorder residential program and methadone clinic out of the Veterans hospital.
We will include a program called “Youth on Fire” a program serving adolescents and young adults part of the LGBTQ community who are homeless and many of whom have substance use disorder.
We will provide backpacks to two women’s recovery homes, one in which they reside with their children. Each child will receive a gift along with their mother’s backpack.
We have started a pilot program with the Norwood Police Department providing 5 backpacks which would be distributed when an officer comes in contact with someone suffering from substance use disorder and or homelessness possibly entering treatment. If the Norwood Police find there is a need for this, we will increase the number of backpacks provided.
We would like to thank our board members Cathy, Lisa, and Danny, also good friend Eoin and cousin Terry for graciously offering to help us with packing of the backpacks. But, because of COVID-19 we don’t feel comfortable putting anyone at risk of getting sick. It may take a little bit longer but Richie and I, Ricky‘s parents, will do the assembling.
Ricky’s brothers Chris and Nick have recently distributed backpacks to the homeless in Portland Maine and we want to say we love them and know that Ricky is looking down on them very proudly.
We will produce further posts as we make our deliveries in Boston and Chris & Nick continue our “Street Outreach Program” in Portland Maine.
The first of many winter backpack deliveries is scheduled for Monday Nov. 30, 2020 at Youth On Fire and the Phoenix House for women and children.
Also scheduled for Friday Dec. 4, 2020 we will be delivering 28 men's backpacks to the Andrew House Detox Facility at the Shattuck Hospital in Boston.
Contents of Women's backpacks
Bernadette and Rich Giacoppo of Ricky Inc. visited the Comfort Station on Atkinson Street in Boston on Saturday October 10, 2020. We brought socks for men and women and various sizes of underwear for men and women along with masks to be distributed to those in need of one. Many of whom are facing homelessness, substance use disorder and mental health diagnosis.
There is so much help that is needed. When and if they're ready to enter detox, these beds need to be available and the heartbreaking truth is there are not enough beds or homeless shelter beds to help those that need them.
One young man asked for a pair of underwear as he was going to detox that day. If we can help one person accomplish something that may seem so small to another than to us, that is what we need to do.
We witnessed several people pull up with their trunks filled with clothes, snacks, water and other items for those that were in need. For those kind, nonjudgmental people we are very grateful. Our son Ricky would tell us "Mum and Dad don't judge". In memory of our beloved son Ricky whom we lost 17 months ago, we will do all we can to honor his kind heart. We will return to the Comfort Station in two weeks with gloves and hats.
Thank you to all those that are doing what they can to help improve this overwhelming and heartbreaking situation.
On Thursday Oct. 8, 2020 Rickyinc and the Disabled & Limbless Veterans teamed up to donate materials to be distributed to homeless veterans who come to the VA Hospital for services. Items that were donated by Rickyinc were backpacks filled with personal needs items like toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, body wash, shaving materials, face mask, socks, hats gloves, tissues and a veterans resource booklet. The Disabled & Limbless Veterans donated numerous pairs of socks, blankets, diapers, 6" battery operated fan's, wipes and other personal care items.
Veterans are sometimes overlooked as a population that is homeless or addicted to substances like alcohol or drugs. Many veterans suffer not only from homelessness but also from the disease of substance use disorder (SUD). It is our mission at Rickyinc to reach out to any person that is homeless and/or suffering from SUD and to try to make a difference in their lives. We do this in memory of Ricky who was an extremely compassionate man and very much appreciated the small things in life, like a new pair of socks or a winter hat.
Pictured from left to right are; Michael McNulty (CEO Disabled & Limbless Veterans),
M. Michael Giacoppo (1st Vice President and Founding member Disabled & Limbless Veterans), Rich Giacoppo (President Rickyinc.) and Dominic Marcellino (President Disabled & Limbless Veterans).
Please visit the Disabled & Limbless Veterans web site to learn more about them and their activities at: www.dlvets.org
Wear a purple ribbon on August 31st to remember those lost to overdose, and give hope to those still struggling
On Tuesday August 25, 2020 we delivered materials to AHOPE & PAATHS that were requested for their clients. We delivered water, underwear, socks and snacks to both agencies. We thank you for your continued great work especially during this dangerous time of the Covid-19 crisis. Pictured above is just a small portion of the materials delivered with two dedicated AHOPE staffers.
On Tuesday August 18, 2020 we successfully delivered 22 fully-loaded backpacks to Sullivan House Manager Rich Draper. These will be distributed to the residential clients as needed upon entry, during their stay or upon exit.
Congratulations to the Sullivan House staff for your great work
On Monday August 17, 2020 Ricky Inc's President Rich Giacoppo presented Norwood Town Manager Tony Mazzucco with a framed Certificate Of Appreciation for his generosity and support of our backpack distribution programs and for continually assisting our mission of helping those in need. Congratulations Tony !
On June 12th we successfully delivered 35 backpacks to AHOPE in Boston.
Thank you to the AHOPE staff for continuing to serve those in need during these difficult times.
On June 12th we successfully delivered 35 backpacks to PAATHS in Boston.
Thank you to the PAATHS staff for continuing to serve those in need during these difficult times.
AHOPE provides numerous important public services as well as distributes Ricky,Inc backpacks.
Ricky was a fierce advocate encouraging all to carry Narcan
Backpack delivery to the staff members of PAATHS & AHOPE
Andrew House was presented a framed photo of Ricky for their new memorial photo wall.
Thank you to the dedicated Andrew House staff for continuing to provide such a valuable life-saving service.
On Monday June 29, 2020 Ricky, Inc. donated another 32 filled men's backpacks to the Andrew Detox Center in Boston. Within the past year, Ricky, Inc has donated 96 backpacks to Andrew House clients in memory of Ricky
Nick Giacoppo & his fiance'e Virginia Norton deliver backpacks to less fortunate persons during their June 2020 Street Outreach efforts in Portland Maine.
We are really at a loss for words. But, I will do my best to express mine, my husband Rich, sons Christopher and Nicholas' heartfelt gratitude for the support we received during our first virtual auction. It's really from the inception of the idea to help those that are in need in our beloved son Ricky's name. From the very start family, friends, friends of friends, and people that heard about what we were doing and wanted to help in whatever way they could to make our mission possible.
When we lost Ricky to an overdose we wanted people to know Ricky was so much more than his disease (substance use disorder) and he has a family that loves and misses him every second of everyday. We wanted to channel our grief in a way that would make Ricky proud while supporting those most in need.
The Rickyinc. Auction was a great success, from the items that were bid on, to the one time donations and the supplies we received from the Amazon wish list including hats, gloves, winter socks for men and women that were delivered to our doorstep.
Please know all donations go directly to purchasing the supplies for the backpacks. In the coming weeks and months we will be delivering to Andrew House Detox, AHOPE, PAATHS, Women's recovery home and their children, homeless veterans programs in the Boston and Portland Maine areas, the Comfort Station in Boston, street outreach in Boston and the Waltham House.
Thank you to each and every person that helped us even if you couldn't afford to donate but shared the auction information either by social media or by word of mouth. Everything, and everyone matters.
Tonight my family is not feeling stigma, we are feeling love. We wish health and happiness to you and those you love during these difficult times. We know Ricky would say thank you and be humbled by this.
Remembering and celebrating Ricky on his birthday May 24, 2020
On Friday Dec. 11, 2020 Ricky, Inc. delivered 40 backpacks filled with personal essentials and winter gear to the Access Drug User Health Program in Cambridge. We were met by Charlie Pillus (pictured on the far left), a Health Navigator for the program who graciously accepted the backpacks, brought them into the building per Covid-19 precautions and provided us with some information about their program which is operated as a branch of the Fenway Health system. Ricky had been associated with Fenway Health for several years during his struggles with substance use disorder and frequently was provided much needed assistance.
The Access program is a multifaceted harm reduction provider that performs many important services like overdose prevention training, overdose aftercare, Narcan distribution and many more great and much needed services.
Access also has a Mobil Outreach Van that travels throughout the greater Boston area to cities like Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, Everett, Waltham and Malden. The van maintains a Monday-Friday schedule and offers most of the same services that their drop-in centers do, including syringe exchange and life saving Narcan.
Ricky, Inc. is delighted to collaborate and align itself with the Access Drug User Health Program and will plan another backpack distribution for the Spring 2021.
We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Cassidy Ockene, the Program Manager for allowing us to assist in their mission to provide help for persons in need and for providing us with the photo of the staff with the backpacks.