Safelite helps bring smiles to teens with life-threatening illnesses through the joy of art

Few things could be more heartbreaking than receiving the unwelcome news that your child has cancer. And although they never dreamed it would happen in their family, Mario and Gisele DiNatale were by their daughter’s side every step of the way, to provide the kind of comfort only parents can.

Yet despite the excellent medical care, many prayers, and overwhelming community support, their beloved Alicia Rose passed on at the age 17, having lost her courageous battle.

Pictured (left to right): Mario DiNatale, Gary Strain, Gisele DiNatale

Safelite Solutions Vice President Client Sales & Support Gary Strain is the DiNatale’s longtime friend, and he reached out to offer his support. Gisele shared with him that she and Mario were creating The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation in their daughter’s honor, with a very special purpose—to provide amenities and activities that would boost the spirits of hospitalized teens. The kind of extras that would brighten their day when they needed a ray of sunshine most.

“We have been so appreciative of our personal and professional relationship with Gary,” Gisele said. “He has seen our family through everything. And having him provide his business acumen for the past four years as the Vice Chairman of our Board of Trustees has been invaluable.”

As touched as he was by their mission, Gary felt privileged to join the Board—but he was eager to get more involved. So he also lent his support to a very special program designed to give patients a creative outlet during treatments—through art carts filled with plenty of supplies, delivered to teens who are patients at local hospitals.

His enthusiasm for this pilot program led to Safelite’s participation at a very special event—the unveiling of Alicia’s Art Cart at Cook Children’s in Ft. Worth, Texas, on May 2, 2018. The cart will be put to immediate use in the dialysis unit.

District Manager Chris Bailey and Market Supply Chain Managers Shawn Mills and Scott Webb were honored to be on hand that day when they delivered the art cart that their market assembled by hand.

“We met with Cook Children’s Community Program Coordinator Jillian Mitchell and several of the nurses,” Chris shared. “They were truly grateful for the donation, and confident in the positive impact it will have on the kids.”

Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation Program Coordinator Bridget Murray was also delighted by Safelite’s gift. “We can’t thank Safelite enough for their involvement and support to this incredible cause and program,” she said. “We truly appreciate everyone’s efforts, and hope that this was a great experience for the Safelite associates who attended.”

Photo: Representatives from Safelite AutoGlass, partners of the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, attended the recent “Alicia’s Art Cart” unveiling at Cook Children’s Medical Center.  Pictured (left to right) are Chris Bailey, Amy Sandlin, Jillian Mitchell, Hanna Boyd, Shaun Mills and Scott Webb. Photo by Johnell Bègin.

Chris and his market plan to continue their partnership with the kids in the dialysis unit going forward and Gary has big plans as well. He has identified 20 states where there is an opportunity for Safelite associates in locations in each area to offer support. His goal is for Safelite to take part in 10 “unveiling events” before the end of the 2018 calendar year.

“I’m very excited that Safelite will be supporting a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” Gary shared. “Alicia’s Art Cart brightens often difficult days for the kids who benefit from them, and it makes me feel very good that the first launch of a Safelite sponsored art cart was such a success.”

Yet everyone involved never loses sight of the young lady whose spirit, courage, and will to live inspired everyone around her. As shared on the Foundation’s home page, “Alicia left this world a better place for having been in it, because everyone she met came away with a gift. A gift to see life in new ways, to know what it means to truly live life, and to be strong no matter what life hands you.”

For more information about Alicia’s Art Cart, visit www.victoriousfoundation.org/artcart.

Source article written and published by Safelite AutoGlass The Wire.

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About Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation
Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation (ARVF, Corp.) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization located in Voorhees, NJ. ARVF provides adolescent programs, and activities to enhance the quality of life for hospitalized teens battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Since 2002, “Victorious 4 Teens” programs have helped more than 75,000 critically ill teens and their families during hospitalization. The Foundation has raised over $2 million funding 63 Teen Lounges, special rooms in hospitals where young teen patients can hang out, watch movies, listen to music, play video games, and/or use computers. ARVF has also distributed over 14,000 “Teen Kits & Bandana Pillows” to hospitalized teens, and hosted Proms in children’s hospitals. For more information about ARVF and to find out how you can help hospitalized teens, visit www.victoriousfoundation.org


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