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Yolanda D.

Ripples make waves.

We have a long-running saying at Chive Charities that you’ll often hear us repeating: “Ripples make waves.”

In the last decade, our organization has seen some of the most remarkable things – and it’s not always the stories. It’s these moments of connection or coincidence that sometimes surprise us the most. We don’t always see that connection right away - those early ripples in the water - but as the full story comes together, it becomes a wave of life-changing impact that’s impossible to miss.

Last month, we introduced you to Barendhts, a bright and bubbly 20-something from Massachusetts who was known for his big personality and contagious smile. The family had endured a lot this year, including the loss of their mother and Barendhts's primary caregiver. 

Thankfully, Barendhts had a social worker in his corner who was looking out for him, and she recommended that the family contact Chive Charities and apply for help. They did, and we answered. But that’s just the first part of the story.

Today, we introduce you to Yolanda, an 11-year-old with a rare and medically complex condition called CHARGE syndrome. She requires the full-time use of a wheelchair, and relies on life-sustaining equipment like a trach, oxygen, and suctioning machines. She depends on round-the-clock care.

Her mom, Amilta, juggles it all, having immigrated to the U.S. from Cabo Verde, a small country off the west coast of Africa. She has five daughters, two of whom have special medical needs, including Yolanda. It’s hard enough to adjust to life in a new country, but when you have so many other challenges thrown your way, it’s difficult to imagine how she kept her head above water. 

Due to her daughters’ complex care, Amilta was connected with a social worker to help support the family. It just happened to be the very same one that worked with Barendhts. Neither knew each other and couldn’t have imagined how their stories would intertwine, all because of one special person.

Ripples make waves.

“The family has very limited income, due to mom not being able to work many hours,” the social worker, Heather, wrote to Chive Charities. “They have an older sedan with more than 100,000 miles on it and it’s not the safest way for Yolanda to travel. A wheelchair van would help keep Yolanda safe and her mom would be able to transport her to her many doctor appointments at Boston Children’s Hospital, and to more outdoor activities outside of the home.”

Hard to argue with that. When we spoke with Amilta, she explained that a single doctor appointment could take the entire day because the medical transport companies were notoriously late or wouldn’t show up at all. And while Yolanda has the most complex needs, she’s not the only daughter relying on Amilta. She simply doesn’t have the hours to spend waiting to get Yolanda to an appointment.

When we read Heather’s letter and talked with the family, it was clear that this was a family in desperate need of a break.

And because this angel named Heather went above and beyond the duties of her role, her actions were able to change two families’ lives. She didn’t just care for them as a social worker, she cared for them as a person with a heart full of compassion. Sounds a lot like our community of supporters.

Yolanda is a special kid, and not just because she has an ultra-rare condition. She loves music, watching YouTube, and going to school.

But one thing she doesn’t like in the slightest is crowds. It overwhelms her and causes distress, and that includes riding the school bus or taking public transportation. This van provides more than a way for her to travel – it provides comfort and relief, too.

Through your continual support, we were able to fully fund the purchase of a white 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan for a total impact of $44,933.

Sometimes, we can see the immediate impact of the things we do or people we meet. But more often than not, it’s those seemingly insignificant or smaller moments that resonate the most. When you tell someone about Chive Charities, you have the opportunity to change their lives for the better. When you read a story or donate to help the next person in need, you’ve become part of the bigger picture. Those little ripples make waves, and those waves are what will change the world.

It’s why we talk about making the world 10% happier – not 100%. The likes, comments, upvotes, shares, donations…they all serve a purpose. And together, they create a force to be reckoned with. We might not be able to take away every burden or heal every wound, but for those who need it the most, we’ll never falter. 

When you join the Chive Charities donor family, you’re joining a movement committed to championing the underdogs. Those ripples make waves and the result is hundreds of lives changed for the better. Heather already did that for two families, just by mentioning our name. Imagine what you could do. Find out and DONATE HERE.

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