Financial Pick-Me-Up Donations: We help pay for uncovered medical expenses, beneficial recreation activities, gift cards for food/gas, personal items, or almost any recipient request within reasonable limits. This program is for families who need help financially due to crises (any life-changing situation) or who live each day with a serious illness or disability. We aim to help the entire family. Priority is given to those in the central New Jersey/metro area who do not receive major assistance from other organizations and supporters.
Fundraising: Our community fundraisers, such as our highly anticipated talented shows, unites people of all ages and abilities.
Recreational and Emotional Purpose Pick-Me-Ups: RPMU sends personalized "purpose projects" which include activity materials with one-of-a-kind activity protocols as guidance. Although at this time Amara is unable to work as a recreation/creative arts therapist, she is still a therapist and receives help from her own therapists and friends to make her ideas become a reality. Projects are not meant to be done in a day. They have long-term benefits. Some goals that can be achieved are: legacy building, self-discovery, leisure time management, altruism, increased self-esteem, development of coping strategies/relaxation techniques, sensory integration, overall wellness, and many more... E-mail us the person's ability, age, interest, and reason for wanting a purpose. It can include any artistic, musical, sensory, or recreational material (even apps), and we will adapt to the person's ability. I learned that to truly inspire is not only to give but to guide someone to give as well. We need family members,' friends' or therapists' encouragement to make sure projects are followed through. RPMU can also have a personal Friendly Ability Volunteer (FAV) deliver and be a guiding support if it's local (NJ, NYC, or even CT). Share the Gift: Share the Gift is a program where we go to different children’s inpatient hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers to share the gifts of art, music, dance, performance, and writing. Now things are changing, and we share gifts through care packages and Purpose Pick-Me-Ups, which are eligible to those nationwide.
Friendly Ability Volunteer (FAVs): FAVs is a program that gives everyone the opportunity to make a difference. We used to have mainly youth volunteers who helped "share the gift" in hospitals/nursing homes, help with fundraisers, create crafts, come to monthly group volunteer meetings, and help with anything we needed. Volunteering with RPMU builds self-confidence, awareness, and socialization, and it is a feel-good community service act! Now anyone of any age or background in any part of U.S. with a passion to make a difference should contact us. Our volunteers have become inspired to have careers as therapists, teachers, and human service workers.
Other activities: Robert Riccio and his friends are committed to helping enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing monthly recreational and social programming, especially for young adults. Transportation is provided, and we even have a wheelchair accessible van.
Educational D.A.N.C.E. Awareness: RPMU is all about bringing awareness to people about all the many different illnesses and disabilities. In the past, Amara presented to different schools and organizations, educating children and adults about brain injuries, safety, mental health, rare diseases, and disabilities. Now, Amara still inspires people to D.A.N.C.E. (Discover. Accomplish. Nourish. Create. Embrace.) through her and cousin Jessica's book, This Is Why I D.A.N.C.E.. Learn more about the D.A.N.C.E. philosophy here.
Caring Connections: RPMU educates families and provides various resources to help them in ways many are unable to. We educate them about what's available in the community, how to self-advocate, and how to live the best quality of life possible. Amara and Lori enjoy researching and connecting with other foundations to make a greater difference. Many of our volunteers and families we help also connect and help each other as well. We are also thankful for local businesses who help us with our events. We truly like to support small businesses, especially those owned or supported by people with disabilities.
Speaking: Robert is willing to bring back speaking engagements as Covid-19 restrictions lessen, but until then, Robert and Lori can give virtual presentations planned out by Amara.