Who We Help
Their needs are all different, but there is a common thread in the varied stories of each of Betterment's recipients. They all possess a generous spirit that drives them to continually give to their communities even in their time of need. In Betterment's eyes, they are heroes, and since our founding in 2000, we have helped more than 102 individuals and 74 organizations continue their heroic efforts of kindness.
Selfless efforts like those of Kiyas Nasrudeen whose entire village was destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. Instead of using funds to rebuild his home, Kiyas used Betterment's support to buy suppiles for others in his community who were less fortunate. Or, 2003 recipient Marc MIlkie, who, after both of his legs were amputated below the knee, wouldn't take Betterment funds until he was physically ready to start volunteering in his community.
Each story is remarkable, and the ripple effect that extends from each of our recipients is endless. Meet a few of our tremendous recipients...
Rachel Dorocak was just 7 months old when she was permanently paralyzed from the effects of Transverse Myelitis (TM). For her first birthday, her brothers, then ages 4 and 6, started the "Reading for Rachel" program which has raised more than $51,000 for TM research. Betterment's Cleveland Chapter was so impressed with her brothers' philanthropic entrepreneurship, that they committed their first event's support to Rachel's family. With Betterment's help, the Dorocaks purchased necessary therapy equipment for Rachel that was not covered under their insurance. Rachel is pictured above (then age 5) with Board Member Shannon Curley.
John Slate, a former fishing guide in Alexandria Bay, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that has confined him to a wheel chair. The Alex Bay Chapter jumped to support the Slate family in their time of need, making them recipients for the chapter's 8th Annual Paddle. Funds went to equip the Slate home with a wheelchair ramp, widen the entry ways, and expand the bathroom so John could use it wiht his chair. Members of the Alex Bay committee were on site to help with the design and building of the ramp, and local businesses contributed the materials at cost. The Slate family (John, Lisa, Gabby, and John-John) have become active participants in the Alex Bay Chapter -- Lisa organizes the program and runs registration. This past year, she organized the lemonade stand to engage kids in philanthropy. Gabby, John's young daughter, did a fundraiser in her neighborhood and is one of the program speakers each year. On top of that, she hasn't missed a year of paddling. John-John is now old enough to paddle and participated for the first time this past year. Carolyn Curley, a leader of the Alex Bay Chapter, said "Lisa Slate is one of the most positive, caring people I know. She never says no to help with Betterment even though she is so busy. She always has that glow and a smile on her face, even in the face of all the tough time they have had with John's disease." John has attended every paddle, and he and his entire family are an inspiration to us all.
TJ & Heather Murphy's house burned down in May 2012, leaving them, and their 3 children, with no tangable items from their home. A gift from Betterment's Immediate Need Fund helped them purchase furniture for their rented apartment while they worked to build a new home. Their Canton, OH Community also rallied to raise money for new toys for their children. When Canton's Annual Rocktoberfest committee contacted the Murphys again to see what help they needed, they declined additional support from Betterment, saying that Betterment had already done so much for them in their time of need, so they were now ready to help out others. They have since connected with another Canton Chapter recipient, Monica Snyder, and have assisted the Snyders in many ways.
If you are interested in nominating a potential Betterment recipient, please click here.