Whitestone is “United for Sofia.”
Sofia Rabello, a sixth-grade student at Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Sofia loves arts & crafts,” wrote her mother, Dione Rabello. “She can’t wait to be back home playing with her friends. She was admitted into the hospital with a brain tumor and is going through many tests to determine treatment.”
While insurance is covering most of the treatment, Rabello also wrote, the family is caring for Sofia full-time and has had to stop working. In an effort to reach out for financial assistance for Sofia’s treatment, Rabello launched a crowdfunding campaign.
To help spread the word, family friend Lina Lodico took to the We Love Whitestone civic association Facebook group to inform the community about the family’s situation.
The response was immediate. In mere days, the online campaign has collected an astounding $28,980 out of its $50,000 goal and has been shared 2,100 times on social media platforms.
“The Whitestone community has been amazing, as usual,” said Alfredo Centola, president of the civic association. “Checks and donations have been pouring in, and within a 24-hour period, the donations have doubled.”
On Lodico’s Facebook post, members began to offer both financial and emotional support to the family. In order to make donating possible for those who did not wish to go through the website, Centola offered the civic association’s post office box as a place for interested parties to send their donations to the family. The checks will be personally delivered to the family by Lodico.
Those interested in donating can do so through the online crowdfunding campaign or by sending a check made out to Dione Rabello to We Love Whitestone, P.O. Box 29, Whitestone, NY 11357.
“We Love Whitestone is very proud of our members and our community at large,” Centola said. “We always step up and help our neighbors, and this is one more shining example.”