Cassidy Curtain is one special little girl. In 2010, when she was just 7 years old, Cassidy raised several hundred dollars to support NECO and our partner, Gift of Life International (GOLI), to bring lifesaving medical care to Uganda. Now, at just 9 years old, Cassidy surprised us again by committing to raise $1000, all by herself, to help NECO and GOLI continue our good work around the world.
Cassidy attends the Laurel Hill school on Long Island and is dedicated to animals, dance and charity work. When asked why she is so motivated to help others, she quickly offers, “My friends and I have such a good life and I want other kids to have the same things I have.” Her family is not at all surprised by Cassidy's good work; they personally have set a great example in their own lives. Her family runs a non-profit called Second Chance Animal Rescue in their hometown of Farmingville. “My mom, grandma and my dad work with the ASPCA and they do animal rescue and when they bring the animals back to the kennel, I help with feeding them and stuff.”
Cassidy raised most of her money through her school friends, soliciting her family and neighbors as well as setting up pictures and collection cans at her dad's business, Farmingville Feed. Cassidy wasn't sure exactly where the money would go, but she knew that NECO would make sure her goal of helping others would be fulfilled.
On January 6th, NECO Executive Director Rosemarie Taglione attended a dinner hosted by the Verrazano Rotary on behalf of GOLI and a young girl named Brenda who had recently been the recipient of an Our Hearts are in El Salvador mission. Brenda was on her way home after receiving lifesaving surgery performed by 2011 International Medalist Giancarlo Crupi in Bergamo, Italy. Brenda, who also lives with Downs Syndrome, and her mother Yemmy were the guests of honor at the benefit.
Ms. Taglione was honored to turn Cassidy's check over to GOLI's Chairman Bill Curry as well as toys and stockings filled with candy that were created by Cassidy Curtain and her friends. While Cassidy and Brenda never met, it's not difficult to see that these two inspiring girls are connected, if not by circumstance, than by the sweet smiles of hope on their faces.