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Together, We Did It!

We reached our $20,000 goal! St. John’s Episcopal Hospital was able to purchase 4 GE Healthcare's BiliSoft Phototherapy Systems for our Labor and Delivery department. Our tiniest patients with infant jaundice will get the light therapy they need right here on the Far Rockaway peninsula.

We could not have done it without our crowdfunding ambassadors, who raised money on and offline, as well as the donors who supported our efforts.

Thanks again for making #GivingTuesday2020 a memorable and successful fundraising year!

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Thank you crowdfunding ambassadors. We did it together!

Over $20,000 Raised from St. John's Episcopal Hospital #GivingTuesday Campaign Benefitting Newborn Babies

Press Release, posted on March 30, 2021

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital met its 2020 #GivingTuesday goal to raise $20,000 to fund the purchase of four GE Healthcare BiliSoft Phototherapy Systems. The systems treat hyperbilirubinemia, or jaundice, in infants, and are earmarked for the hospital’s Maternal Child Health Unit.

Raising the funds during the pandemic was a tall task, but the crowdfunding efforts of a nine-person team of ambassadors and a $5,000 grant from the South Shore Community Chest in Cedarhurst brought them over the goal line.

One of the hospital’s 2020 fundraising ambassadors, Joe Caraccia, Senior Executive VP at Jzanus Consulting, worked with Jzanus employees, friends, and others in the community to help fund this much-needed therapy. Jzanus had also donated 50 baby monitors to the hospital in 2019 and 2020, and Caraccia heeded the call for ambassadors to make the goal a reality.

“It’s really a natural fit, from the baby monitors to enhance the services that they could provide with the BiliSoft light therapy,” said Caraccia. “In this underserved area, sometime mothers don’t get all the prenatal care that they need and the result of that could be underweight babies or babies with jaundice."

Caraccia credits the fundraiser’s success to all of those in the community who came together for the hospital. “I had a lot of good people behind me, we had an outpouring of friendship, love and community. People gave what they can and together we met the goal.”

For Ambassador Chika Nwalor, #GivingTuesday 2020 was all about helping the hospital’s youngest patients.

“A newborn is the single most important human being to show his/herself to mankind.” Said Nwalor. “The light of a mother’s world, yet the hopes and dreams of our next generation.”

Combined, the nine ambassadors’ crowdfunding efforts brought in over 200 gifts towards the campaign.

St. John’s #GivingTuesday Crowdfunding Ambassadors for 2020 included:

  • Chika Nwalor, Mother Baby Nurse
  • Joe Caraccia, Jzanus Consulting
  • Sheryl Edwards, Member ECW Diocesan Board and Auxiliary
  • Aurel Apple, Medical Student, NYIT-College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Sharon Tucker, Former President, Queens ECW
  • Felecia Vaughn, Community Support Coordinator at St. John's Episcopal Pediatric Clinic
  • Ashvini Persaud, Sr. Business Banking Relationship Manager at M&T Bank
  • Samantha Lordi, Member of the Oyster Bay Episcopal Church & Real Estate Agent at Daniel Gale Sotheby's Intl. Realty
  • Maria Amador, Accounts Receivables Representative at St. John's Episcopal Hospital

image of hospital staff

“At SJEH, we strive to enhance our patient experience and to be equal care partners. The BiliSofts will provide our parents with peace of mind by supporting their newborn during the phototherapy treatment at the bedside. Parents are able to engage in the infant's care to support a speedy transition while bonding with their newborns. The Maternity team and our patients are grateful for this donation and for the community’s continued support,” said Denise Potts, MSN-ED, RNC Director, Maternal Child Health/Med- Surge at SJEH.

Jaundice is a threat to the well-being of 60% of full term infants and 80% of preterm infants. GE’s Bilisoft phototherapy systems uses blue light as an effective treatment of jaundice. These systems are especially useful in the hospital setting as they are easy to move, can be used with a radiant warmer, incubator, bassinet, crib or while in caregiver’s arms. They provide healthy therapy while encouraging infant-parent bonding.


Chika Nwalor

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A newborn is the single most important human being to show his/herself to mankind. The light of a mother’s world, yet the hopes and dreams of our next generation. Joining the Giving movement at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital to support newborns with Jaundice, is not only a project for me, but it is my passion. As it is said that children refresh the life and rejoice the heart, my life is refreshed and my heart rejoices at the opportunity to save a newborn life through acquiring bilisoft Phototherapy systems for newborn Jaundice. It won’t take one person, but it will take a community,so let us join hands to cater to our newborns, our Angels, our bridges to Heaven. - Chika Nwalor, Mother Baby Nurse (m) Support Chika's Fundraiser

Joe Caraccia

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St. John's Episcopal Hospital and its community is very near and dear to the hearts of Jzanus and me! We have been partners with EHS for over 25 years, assisting the people in the community and helping to achieve the hospital's mission. This year, through the generosity of John and Hilary, Jzanus was able to donate video baby monitors to all the families who gave birth in the month of January. In keeping with our commitment to give back, we are proud to support Bilisofts for Babies and are asking all of our friends and families to get behind us and make this dream a reality. Thank you in advance for your support! - Joe Caraccia, Senior Executive VP at Jzanus, Ltd.Support Joe's Fundraiser

Sheryl Edwards

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I have been involved in several fundraising events for St John’s and have seen first hand the life changing results of funds raised for these causes. This effort is especially dear to my heart, being the parent of a child born with jaundice , several years ago, when this valuable treatment was not available. - "None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful." – Mother Teresa . - Sheryl Edwards, Member of ECW Diocesan Board & Auxiliary Member.Support Sheryl's Fundraiser

Aurel Apple

Aurel Apple Support Aurel's Fundraiser
I first became involved in fundraising for St. John’s Episcopal Hospital during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when I raised money, through my initiative Meals From Med Students. Through this initiative, we were able to provide meals for the many healthcare workers on the front lines at several hospitals on Long Island and in New York City. I am excited to be an ambassador for St. John’s fundraising in order to give back to this hospital that provides such vital services for its community. Fundraising for the current BiliSofts for Babies campaign is particularly important to me as three of my younger brothers relied on this type of treatment for the first days of their lives. This technology is so important and necessary for St. John’s Episcopal Hospital as newborn jaundice is a common condition, affecting 60% of newborns and 80% of premature newborns, and will allow St. John’s to continue providing the utmost care for the innocent newborns in Far Rockaway and the Five Towns. - Aurel Apple, 4th-Year Medical Student at NYIT-COMSupport Aurel's Fundraiser

Sharon Tucker

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St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is a lifeline to the residents of Far Rockaway. The hospital works tirelessly to provide quality medical care, social services, pastoral care within its building, but more importantly the surrounding community. As an Auxiliary Volunteer and former President of the Queens Episcopal Church Women – I have seen the good works and love from the staff and shown to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. In these extraordinary times – the good news – the circle of life continues. With your gift blessings to support BiliSoft Phototherapy Systems for babies with jaundice, all of us can help a life succeed. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’ ~ Helen Keller - Sharon Tucker, Former President of the Queens ECW Support Sharon's Fundraiser

Felecia Vaughan

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Jaundice is a great cause to give to. Donate to support newborn babies fighting jaundice, it is a common condition in newborn babies born before 38 weeks. Infant jaundice usually occurs because a baby's liver isn't mature enough to rid of the bilirubin in the bloodstream. A great treatment is phototherapy! With the present pandemic I know it is hard to find a little extra. But, small amounts do add up. Dreams become vivid thoughts, those thoughts turn into innovative actions that lead to remarkable changes! As a mom who had a child given phototherapy at birth I can't express how significant your gift is to me. - Felecia Vaughan, Community Support Coordinator at St. John's Episcopal Pediatric Clinic Suuport Felecia's Fundraiser

Ashvini Persaud

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Hi, I am Ashvini Persaud, a Sr. Business banking Relationship Manager, who helps business clients, including healthcare businesses, with banking, cash management and lending solutions. I am so excited to be volunteering to help promote St. John's Episcopal Hospital's Giving Tuesday fundraiser "BiliSoft for Babies" to help children with jaundice. I have helped and supported other St. John's fundraising efforts for children through social media channels.

I am very passionate about helping and fundraising for children's causes. It is important that we help nonprofits, especially during these very difficult times. A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated! - Ashvini Persaud, Sr. Business Banking Relationship Manager at M&T Bank Support Ashvini's Fundraiser

Samantha Lordi

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I'm here because this hits home! You rely 100% on Nurses and Doctors to teach you how to care for your baby. All of this preparation, but then you find yourself in a hospital with words flying everywhere like "bilirubin" and "jaundice". What is this?! Mackenzie's skin was tanner than it should have been, and she was being monitored for jaundice. I had no idea what this meant but I will never forget the weight of the world I felt, being a new Mother, thinking how anything that affected my new baby, I would carry too. Join me in St. John's Episcopal Hospital's fundraiser for more amazing technology, and this time it's "BiliSofts for Babies". - Samantha Lordi, Member of the Oyster Bay Episcopal Church & Real Estate Agent at Daniel Gale Sotheby's Intl. Realty Suuport Samantha's Fundraiser

Maria Amador

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I'm fundraising for St. John's Episcopal Hospital because I do believe in their efforts to help the community health. I've participated in many other fundraisers over the years such as Adopt-a-family and the Community & Back-to-School Wellness Event, but this one is close to my heart. To help infants who have been diagnosed with jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by high bilirubin levels in the blood stream - St. John's is investing in BiliSoft Phototherapy Systems. If you can, please donate any amount, big or small - towards my fundraiser for the BiliSoft Phototherapy Systems, to help cure babies with jaundice. Thank you! - Maria Amador, Accounts Receivables Representative at St. John'sSuuport Maria's Fundraiser


327 Beach 19th Street Far Rockaway, NY 11691 | TO REACH US: (718) 869-7000

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