RENO, Nev. (KOLO) — After a vacation program failed, the Northern Nevada Hopes behavioral health team got to work, raising $8,000 to give to pediatric patients who wouldn’t normally get a gift.
“A lot of the families came from the case management department, so they work with them on housing and other help, and then our behavioral health, we had a lot of families,” said Cassi Levesque, a behavioral therapist at NN Hopes. “All children are in therapy at Northern Nevada Hopes.”
According to the staff, the money was raised in two days and because it was more than expected, they were able to double the number of families.
“The families that come to Hopes are of different socioeconomic status, but we have families that are really struggling,” Levesque says.
About six months ago, 11-year-old Jayden Fauls and his nine-year-old sister lost their father to an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
“So mom is not only struggling to support everyone on her own, but also trying to make Christmas special for them,” Levesque said.
They are one of 40 families who received a $200 gift card, which they say was unexpected.
“There are many families who lose relatives and need help and not all of them get this opportunity,” says Jayden Fauls.
While he and his sister have a few things in mind about the money, they don’t want to spend much on themselves.
“Spend it on people who can’t get presents,” Aunika Fauls said.
$1,500 of the donations came from the Reno Police Department (RPD).
“When we realized that there were children and families in need right now looking for the opportunity to complement their own Christmas gift, that kind of motivated us,” said Brandon Cassinelli, embedded resource officer at RPD.
Other donors include Nugget Casino, Willow Springs Center, and Pepsi Co.
NN Hopes already has many other programs for these families and says it is special to be able to help others in their time of need.
For more information about available programs or how to donate, call 775.786.4673 or click here.
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