In a world where communities are vital, especially when populations are asked to social distance for the sake of communal health, it’s difficult to navigate as a parentless child or a parent who has lost their offspring. As research demonstrates, many parentless children may develop pseudo-orphan syndrome due to them not having one or both parents. In some cases, the children may experience deprivation of social life, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or sleeping and eating disorders. To address these pressing issues, Anthony Tony Gomez began the Brandon Alexander Foundation, which focuses on children and families in Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico.
“Our final goal is for all the children involved in our organization to establish a positive and lifelong relationship with one another. We will coordinate travel missions to Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico to deliver gifts and other items for parentless children. We will also host Play, Laugh, and Live like Brandon events, which consist of weekend gatherings, mainly on Saturdays, where parentless children are able to share with other children and adults. It is important to highlight that 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Tony explains.
The foundation was inspired by Tony’s son, Brandon Alexander Gomez, who tragically passed away in June of 2020 in a motorized vehicle accident at the young age of 9. After Brandon Alexander’s passing, his father dove into the statistics surrounding parentless children and parents who lost their offspring. These numbers, such as how at any given point, there are over 500,000 children in the U.S. Foster Care System, that 118,000 children are waiting to be adopted at any given time, or that every 18 seconds another child becomes an orphan, without a mother or father, made a deep impact on him.
“I was motivated to pursue the mission of the foundation to benefit parentless children and parents who lost their offspring. I believe that what I encountered with my son’s passing made me realize the meaning of life at different levels and one of them was how to feel valuable through service to others,” Tony says.
The gatherings organized by the Brandon Alexander Foundation take place in communal places, such as parks, recreational areas, or community establishments such as movie theatres or museums. In these spaces, the foundation holds activities for attendants and brings in guest speakers to deliver messages. In any decision they make about what to provide at their gatherings, the Foundation focuses on what Brandon Alexander would have enjoyed.
“We give attendants the opportunity to share, play, and interact with others during the weekends. Finally, we deliver Fresh Like Brandon boxes with fresh outfits, a health item, a learning item, a fun item, a shirt, a sticker, and information about the foundation’s mission and story,” Tony outlines.
Above all else, Tony is motivated to use his foundation to give back to the community. He believes that most of the founders of nonprofit organizations have a deep passion for something bigger than themselves. Overall, they are worried about how they can contribute to big issues beyond their daily needs and their own families. This passion to give back to the community is important, especially because research confirms that giving can be the key to happiness.
For those interested in supporting the Brandon Alexander Foundation, Tony encourages them to donate. They receive donations from both individuals and corporations. As an individual, it’s possible to donate clothing directly to their donation centers conveniently located at the DMV, as well as organizing truck pick-ups for larger donations.
To learn more about the foundation and how it’s possible to support their mission, be sure to visit the website.
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