Briana Vega changed the lives of so many, including Ricky Patel. She was and will always be seen as an angel who gave so much and took so little. A story that is often told by Ricky includes a visit to the children's hospital in 2013. Briana walked up to Ricky without knowing him and offered to place a bandaid on his finger. Ricky smiled and asked what the reason for the bandaid was, Briana smiled back and said "Children are afraid of being in the hospital, so I am trying to make it a little fun for them by placing cartoon (Minion) bandaids on everyones fingers". This one small act of kindness has created awareness shared by thousands of people over the years. We will always remember her courage and passion to help others. #LIVELIKEBRIANA
Briana Vega at the 2013 Fashion Gives Back event.
The heart symbol has long been recognized across cultures as a symbol of joy, compassion, charity, and love. In addition to all of those, the heart for ITS4THEKIDS represents strength. We often times take for granted that our heart beats 4,500 times an hour and 108,000 times in one whole day. The heart is the epitome of strength.
The Hopeful Hearts Project was created as a way to remind each child who has a diagnosis of cancer and those who are having an extensive stay at the Nicholas Children’s Hospital, that they are not alone; that there is strength within their connection to others.
These beautiful hearts are made from Rose Quartz which is a crystal of unconditional love. It carries an energy of deep inner healing, compassion, peace, self-love, and comfort. Our hope is when these children and families hold this beautiful smooth stone, they will remember they are supported, loved, and thought of often.
And as the famous poet Henry Thoreau said, "there is no remedy for love, but to love more." It is from our hearts to theirs that each child remember and know the courage, unmeasurable love, and strength that is within each of them.
ITS4THEKIDS Foundation has helped to establish the Gracious Hands Orphanage in Gressier, Haiti. After severe destruction from Hurricane Matthew throughout all of Haiti in 2016, many children were left without their families and homes. By sending people to help directly on the ground, our Foundation was able to set up and fully staff the Orphanage to house 42 boys and girls aged 5 to 13 years old in an area outside of Port-au-Prince. Along with food, water, and shelter, The Ricky Patel Foundation provides leadership and skill development programs.
The Foundation organizes and assists in coordinating volunteers from the United States and Canada to Gressier, Haiti. Our Foundation gets to know the children and to inspire each other through daily activities and learning. We are committed to building an adoption network with the Gracious Hands Orphanage so that every child is offered the chance to grow up in a loving home.
If you are interested in learning more about Gracious Hands Orphanage, please click the link below.
Most children who fall victim to prostitution today come from environments where they have already been sexually abused. To be sure, the majority of children in America who are exploited sexually have already endured a life of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. Indeed, the contributor to a child entering into a life of child sex trafficking is a prior life of sexual abuse. Along with this, many of these children who have already been exposed to sexual abuse have problems with low self-esteem, and do not receive the educational opportunities they deserve. For some teens who have suffered abuse from the hands of family members, they may seek escape by running away from home. As a result, they are more likely to end up homeless, and may choose a life style of prostitution in order to “make ends meet,” financially, so to speak. These youth are more inclined to be placed into foster homes or group homes, and are also more likely to run away. Pimps also attract children by targeting them in group homes, promising them gifts, a sense of belonging, and a place where they will be loved, as well as encouraging them with presents and gifts, all while grooming them for a life of prostitution.
The danger is real. It is happening across the globe. It is happening across the nation. It is even happening in our cities, neighborhoods, and even in our own homes. Without a doubt, so many of children have experienced situations and terrors that we might not be prepared for, at first. So many children have been exposed to environments and horrors that are beyond our own experiences. Yet, these are the very children who need to be protected and kept safe from these situations and horrors, ensuring that they never experience them again.
Our organization is working diligently to help victims of sex trafficking. We are currently providing supplies and financial resources to those who have suffered from sex trafficking in South Florida. If you would like to work with our organization to provide relief to these victims, please click the link below.
Cuddle care programs are increasing across the United States as the births of drug addicted babies have skyrocketed in the last decade. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one baby every 25 minutes is born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). This requires a withdrawal program that each baby must undergo. The severity and increasing numbers of babies that must suffer through this has led to many hospitals introducing programs to help mothers and babies.
The majority of hospitals who have implemented these programs have been highly successful with having volunteers come in to help soothe premature and drug addicted newborns. Doctors have even reported that volunteers cuddling the babies reduces both the amount of medication they need, as well as the length of their stay in the hospital. In addition, early skin-to-skin contact provides multiple benefits, including reduced infant mortality, improved cardiorespiratory stability and temperature regulation, and decreased length of hospital stay.
In addition to these drug addicted babies, we will also help other babies in theN
The ITS4THEKIDS initiative will be sending cuddle volunteers to help babies at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital starting in 2020. It’s our hope to provide help and assistance in all aspects of healthcare to those in need.
The Ricky Patel Foundation is dedicated to assist the Nicklaus Children's Hospital to ensure that all children have access to quality health care. The foundation hosts several events throughout the year in Miami to raise funds and awareness for the Nicklaus Children's Hospital, as a leader in all aspects of pediatric medicine.
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children's Hospital is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with nearly 800 attending physicians and more than 475 pediatric subspecialists. The 309-bed hospital, known as Miami Children's Hospital from 1983 through 2014, is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine, with many programs routinely ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report, since 2008. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession's most prestigious institutional honor.
The Nicklaus Children's Hospital network includes more than a dozen outpatient centers extending from Palm Beach County to southern Miami-Dade County, offering a range of pediatric healthcare services, including urgent care, rehabilitation services and subspecialty physician appointments for children of all ages, including up to age 21.
For more information about the great Nicklaus Children's Hospital, please click the link below.