Ready to kick off The Danny Fund “Hearts” campaign at DeCicco & Sons Pelham are, from l. to r., Anthony Angelini (Front End Manager), Luisa De Cicco (Director of HR), Frank Torres (Assistant Store Manager), and Angelo Lucarelli, Jr. (Store Manager)

Chances are you’ve seen them before – store windows adorned with personalized sneaker-shaped cards or pink ribbons representing the generosity of hundreds of customers in support of various worthwhile organizations. Make a small donation at the register, typically in the $1 or $2 range, and your name appears as part of a colorful display of philanthropy for all to see. With a long history of altruistic support, DeCicco & Sons is no stranger to lending a hand – and a window – to such causes, participating in similar campaigns for national charitable organizations in support of research for both breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. When John Hynes, Board President for The Danny Fund, approached DeCicco & Sons’ Director of Human Resources and long-time Pelham resident, Luisa DeCicco, with his idea, she was happy to be part of this endeavor – both as a business owner and a community member.

During the month of February, customers in DeCicco & Sons Pelham store will have the opportunity to purchase “Hearts” during checkout in support of The Danny Fund, a Pelham-based organization created to help families throughout Westchester, the Bronx, and beyond dealing with the catastrophic illness or injury of a child. For every $1 given, the donor’s name will be written on a specially designed heart-card and proudly posted on the front window of the store facing Fifth Avenue – the perfect heartfelt Valentine. Virtually all the money raised – upwards of 95% of every dollar donated – will go directly to Danny Fund families struggling to navigate their “new normal”.

These modest donations can actually add up to big money for a small non-profit like The Danny Fund but equally as valuable is the awareness created by the program which can be extremely beneficial in terms of volunteer recruitment, ongoing donations, and making sure families in crisis know The Danny Fund exists and is available to help.

“Getting the word out about who we are and what we do is so important to our mission which is why we are really stepping up our outreach in 2017,” said Mr. Hynes. “This partnership with DeCicco & Sons is a great first step and dovetails nicely with our annual Valentine Ball on February 11th.”

The awareness component cannot be understated.

“I always knew of The Danny Fund and had a vague idea they did something to help sick children,” shared Ms. DeCicco. “But until I attended a recent board meeting I didn’t realize how much they really do for each family, how personally involved they are, beyond just providing financial assistance. They truly do “adopt” them into the larger Danny Fund family, which is so precious given that some of these families might be feeling a little lost or alone. It’s a remarkable dynamic.”

DeCicco & Sons’ participation in this program underscores their basic philosophy that “a life is only important when it has an impact on other lives.” When you see the phrase “Quality First” in the DeCicco & Sons’ logo and advertising throughout their seven supermarkets in Westchester and Putnam County, it is more than just a slogan about their business. It is a continuance of a 40-year family tradition that is applied to every facet of their lives, including patronage of the charitable causes and school districts in the communities they serve.

“We are so excited about launching this program with The Danny Fund and continuing to support this wonderful organization right here in our own backyard,” acknowledges Ms. DeCicco. “We really hope we can not only help them raise funds to continue their great work but also educate the community about all that they do.”