NJ foundation grants wishes to children
A Garden State group is turning tragedy into charity while honoring the memory of a beloved Edison woman.
Bianca Yodice, 21, had her life cut tragically short in 2010 when she was struck by a car on Route 1 in Edison. Yodice was crossing the road as she walked to her job at a day care facility.
Since children were such an important part of her life, Bianca's aunt, Debbie Savigliano, was inspired to launch a charity in her niece's honor, which supported children in need.
Shortly after, Bianca's Kids was born.
"And what we do is we provide granted wishes and basic needs to foster and needy children around New Jersey," she said. "Essentially, our job is to bring joy to children who are struggling, whatever the struggle is."
The non-profit has astoundingly granted more than 12,000 wishes around the state and even across the country. The wishes range anywhere from a new house, an iPad, a prom dress, meeting celebrities to basic necessities.
Savigliano said the program is open to any kid up to 18-years-old, suffering from mental, emotional, physical, or financial stress.
In 2013, Bianca's Kids was named as one of the fastest growing nonprofits in South Jersey and was recognized as a '2014 Top Ranked Nonprofit' by GreatNonprofits.org.
She attributes a lot of success to the fact that Bianca's Kids is 100 percent volunteer and receives no government funding. Their entire operation is financed through private donations.
"We live in the most amazing state. The people that live in New Jersey are the most giving, caring, generous individuals. And, it's thanks to them that we have been able to make so many kids happy," she said.
Savigliano recently wrote a book chronicling the devastation of losing her niece and how she has tried to channel it into a positive.
All proceeds from the book, 'From Grief to Gratitude: The Making of Bianca's Kids,' go directly towards their cause of touching as many children's lives as possible in the name of Bianca.
"If we can turn that 12-thousand number to 50,000 into 100,000, that would be an amazing feat. And that's our goal."