As I enter the home of Justine Riordan enthusiastically, I am met with the realization that I need to instead tone my enthusiasm down a notch so I do not disturb a sleeping Mikey on the couch. Mikey, has just underwent the first of three major brain surgeries geared to suppress or lessen the very frequent seizures he has been experiencing. The image of this 19 year old boy seeming a mere 12 year old sized body, who was born with autism, experiences seizures, and cerebral palsy of the legs laying snugly on the couch has been imprinted on my mind. The impact is only made to feel better by the fact that he found an angel named Justine Riordan to help him live a slightly better life.
Justine came to know Michael when he was a mere 9 years of age. He was malnourished, unkept, and closed off from the world and any form of expression. She fell in love with this tiny human and fought to take him on as a caregiver. She barely was successful in adopting him officially two years ago through the assistance of the nonprofit center Heartsong. Justine has fought a long and hard battle to figure out how to give Mikey the best life he can have. She recounts the immense help she needed in order to accomplish this and emphasizes the miracle organizations like Heartsong accomplish in their work with autistic children. For this reason, she felt the very imperative need to find a way to Give Back! It was with that sentiment that she birthed the Mikey Mo Gives Back campaign to help raise funds for other families to be able to receive the kind of help Heartsong was offering.
Mikey Mo Gives Back works to raise funds year round to provide scholarships to families with autistic children to enroll in the very effective programs offered at Heartsong. The programs help autistic children learn and express themselves through art, dance, and music. Self-expression is an essential human need for self fulfillment, sense of autonomy, and happiness. To give anyone the gift of the ability ti self-express when it difficult is the biggest aid to helping them live a happier and fuller life. We may take this one detail for granted in our daily life, however, for someone that is denied this very subtle feature it is miraculous!
The Mikey Mo Gives Back campaign raises funds in many ways.
-Donate directly to the fundraising Facebook app,
-Attend their annual Halloween event at Anthony's Brick Oven Pizza on 264 Main St. White Plains, NY, where 20% of the bill goes to Heartsong,
-Buy a Mikey Mo Gives Back T-Shirt, which lists all its sponsors whom help make it all possible,
-Buy raffle tickets that provide awesome prizes. This year 1st prize being tickets to the NY Giants vs Tampa Bay Game, 2nd prize a moonlight sail & fishing trip for two, 3rd prize a 55' smart TV.
Donations are accepted all year round with some Spring event also taking place. This year the annual Halloween party is Thursday Oct. 25th 4-8pm at Anthony's Brick Oven Pizza mentioned above.
So come and join us, bring the kids, there is trick o treating, pumpkin decorating, beer tasting for the adults, and a whole lot of enthusiasm to bring joy to families that struggle to find it on their everyday.
Credits & Contact:
FB: Justine Riordan
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza
Longo’s Park Deli
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
CVN Heating & Air Conditioning
Cornerstone Children’s Center
Villain Port Chester
Artisan Realty Inc.
Port Chester Rug & Linoleum Inc.
Rozlyn & Joe Carvin
Leeman & LaRosa Families
La Bottega Salon
Live, Love, Light!™ Together We Rise! - Reaching Heights LLC