NEW CASTLE — For the third straight year, a Shenango Township family has struck out on its own to help sick children.
George and Monica Fiacco of Woodland Hills Drive, with their daughters Nicole, 24, and Chelsea, 20, started in 2011 buying toys for young patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
One of Fiacco’s daughters had been a patient at Children’s Hospital when she was younger. He is thankful for the facility and wants to extend the holiday cheer to youngsters who are patients during the holidays.
Each year, their efforts have grown, and in 2013, “We had out biggest year ever,” George Fiacco said.
In addition to providing toys to the hospital, Fiacco noted, “We were able to take food and everyday things to the Salvation Army and the women’s shelter in our hometown.”
On top of spending their own money, the Fiaccos also have been getting some help from local businesses. Intense Fitness and Holly’s Hobbies — owned by Brian and Holly Hobel — each matched the family’s donation, Fiacco said, and Kmart provided a 20 percent discount on all their purchases. Store manager Gary Kennedy donated a large doll house and provided a donation as well.
“Every year, people call me and want to know if I’m doing it again,” Fiacco said of his family’s outreach. “It just keeps getting bigger.”
The effort this year raised almost $3,000, with about $1,400 going to Children’s Hospital. A portion of the rest was divided between the Salvation Army and the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, and Fiacco has reserved another part for either a local church or a veterans hospital.