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A portion of every Bella Tunno product sold is donated to the Matt Tunno MAKE A DIFFERENCE Memorial Fund. This fund was established in loving memory of Matt Tunno. Matt is Michelle Tunno Buelow's (founder of BELLA TUNNO) late brother. Matt's life was cut short, but his memory and passion will live on through proceeds from Bella Tunno sales. Matt was a highly passionate and loving brother, son, friend, student, musician and environmentalist. In his absence, we will try to meet his goals and make his dreams a reality. By donating to drug and alcohol abuse education, prevention and rehabilitation programs our goal is to help others live the life the Matt would have wanted. Additionally, Bella Tunno donates to programs supporting at-risk children and teenagers.
The following are projects the Matt Tunno MAKE A DIFFERENCE Memorial fund has supported:
- Bella Tunno Buy One / Give One Initiative (B1G Initiative)
- Bella Tunno Believes Safe Journey Scholarship
- Posh with Purpose
- Samaritan's Feet
- Lift up Ellie Fund
- Extreme Mission Makeover
- Family Fun Fest at Thompson's Child and Family Focus
- Safe Journey and Florence Crittenton of NC Product Donation
- Charlotte Rescue Mission Dove's Nest Room Sponsorship & Client Sponsorship
- Let's Make a Miracle Campaign
Bella Tunno Buy One / Give One Initiative (B1G Initiative)
For every product purchased, Bella Tunno connects 1 person in american to one meal. Over 17 Million children in America live in food-insecure homes. That’s 1 in 5 kids in the USA. When we heard about this, we knew we had to help. In 2014, we donated over 180,000 meals and in 2015, we’ll donate over 200,000 meals. Click here to learn more about our initiative.
Bella Tunno Believes Safe Journey Scholarship in honor of Cheryl Tunno and Joanne Buelow
In June 2013 we awarded three scholarships:
Livida Bracamonte - alumni of the Communities in Schools Safe Journey Program - is eighteen years old and currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as a sophomore. She has a three year old, energetic son who is her motivation for seeking higher education. She enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family. In the future, she sees herself graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, knowing that a steady career is within reach. She plan to later give back to the community so that she can return the favor for all the help she has received to succeed.
Amani Wall - alumni of the Communities in Schools Safe Journey Program - is a rising senior at North Carolina Central University. She is majoring in Psychology and History, with plans of becoming a lawyer, psychologist and a historian. There are many things she wants to accomplish educationally and she continues to strive toward her goals and dreams everyday. Also, she is the mother of a four year daughter who inspires her to become a better mother, person, and scholar daily. This past January she had the opportunity to work with the press at the Inaugural Ball of President Barack Obama. It was such a great experience. She also had the opportunity to help his campaign team, Organizing For America, first as a fall fellow, then she was offered to work as an Early Vote Organizer for the region North Carolina Central University. Before she found her passion in the study of Psychology, she was a Pharmaceutical Sciences major. After her first year of college, she was one of five freshman and one of fifty students selected to be in the Science Enrichment Preparation program at UNC-Chapel Hill. She values education and strongly believes that every student should do their very best in all classes. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society of Social Sciences. Even though she is a young mother and was once a teenager mother, she made up her mind that nothing can stop her from reaching my goals.
Te'Essence Jackson - alumni of the Communities in Schools Safe Journey Program - is a senior at UNC- Charlotte. She will be graduating May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. She is excited about finishing up her undergraduate career and starting her professional career as a nurse in the field of labor and delivery. She plans to gain some work experience and then return to school to obtain a MSN and become a Certified Nurse Midwife.
On June 7, 2012 we awarded Livida Bacamonte - part of the Communities in Schools Safe Journey Program - a $2500 scholarship. Livida's mentors and teachers characterized her as brilliant. She earned a GPA of 3.81 and will be attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte this fall. Livida's gratitude made us thankful for our customers and fans who make it possible for us to continue to help young women follow their dreams.
On June 2, 2011 we awarded Sunia WIlliams - part of the Communities in Schools Safe Journey Program - a $2500 scholarship. Sunia showed amazing character, a high GPA (3.68) and had been accepted to a four-year university. When we awarded her the scholarship, she was uncontrollably shaking and crying...her gratitude, excitement and promise made offering her the well-earned scholarship that much better!
Posh with Purpose
Thank you for shopping selfishly to give selflessly and helping us get FANCY for Philanthropy! We raised over $30,100!
Our first annual Posh with Purpose event was a tremendous success. We had over 400 people attend the event and the Mint Museum mentioned it was one of the largest events they can remember in a long time.
100% of the proceeds were donated to the Charlotte Rescue Mission Dove's Nest Program, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for women. This revolutionary program keeps families together by providing on site housing for children of the clients as well as the women.
For highlights and videos of the event click here - Posh with Purpose
Lift up Ellie Fund
Thank you to all our Bella Tunno fans who helped us raise over $8,800 for the Lift Up Ellie Fund by purchasing Ellie's Headband! For those that do not know Ellie lost her fight and returned to her maker on June 23rd, 2010. In honor of Ellie we challenge you to continue supporting the fight against Rhabdomyoscaroma cancer. For those that do not know Ellie and her story please read the following and at the end of the story you can see how you can help support her family and the fight against Rhabdomyoscaroma cancer. RIP - ELLIE - YOU ARE MISSED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
HistoryEllie was diagnosed July 2, 2008 with a rare childhood cancer called Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma. Only 3% of children in the United States have this type of rare pediatric cancer. Out of the 350 children total diagnosed per year, only 175 children have a survival rate past 5 years.
MissionThe mission of the "Lift Up Ellie Fund" is to find the cure and help the Potvin's with the costs associated with fighting this devastating illness. This fund is a Supplemental Needs Trust Fund created for Ellie Shoal Potvin to offer various forms of financial relief for the family over the long years ahead.
ProgramWith each purchase, monetary, emotional and visible support is offered to Ellie, her family and the "Lift Up Ellie Fund.
8 year old girls should focus on Barbies and their multiplication tables. Their laughs should be light, airy, real - they shouldn't have a care in the world. They should go to sleep replaying their soccer games and with tunes of Hannah Montana in their head.
Life's just not that fancy-free for Ellie and Grace Potvin. Ellie is battling Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma - a very rare childhood cancer. Ellie was diagnosed July 2, 2008 and life has been forever changed. Only 3% of children in the United States have this type of rare pediatric cancer. Out of the 350 children total diagnosed per year, only 175 children have a survival rate past 5 years.
She has been fighting this fight with her twin sister Grace and her parents for 1.5 years now. Ellie's battles scars are visible from the sickness, Grace's scars are equally as deep, but not for the world to see. These girls are warriors - fighting a battle with odds against them, the beast is so much bigger than the monster under their bed. Like most twins, Ellie and Grace have an inseparable bond - a love for each other that's hard to describe to others. Ellie is holding on to life. Grace is holding on to hope. We want to band together to help them hold onto one another.
Bella Tunno partnered with Ellie and Grace to create a reversible headband that reflects their personal style - Ellie's side is hot pink camo - wild and experimental. Grace's side is bright repeating stripes - pretty and conservative. But this isn't just a headband - it's a reflection of the girls - it's their headband and it's our chance to band together to show Ellie, Grace and her family our monetary, emotional and visible support. By purchasing the headband, Bella Tunno fans joined Ellie, and her family in their battle against cancer. Here's how purchasing a headband helped:
- 100% of the proceeds were donated to the Ellie Potvin Fund to help with Ellie's treatments and the family's financial needs
- Purchasing a headband grew awareness for Ellie and Rhabdomyosarcoma.
- Wearing the Lift Up Ellie Headband was a visible show of support.
Extreme Mission Makeover
Thank you everyone who made our Extreme Mission Makeover a success!
Here is a video capturing the day and our achievements:
This year we sponsored the Extreme Mission Makeover. On just one day, from 8 AM to 5 PM, Bella Tunno joined Ashland Custom Homes and 16 other companies and over 70 volunteers to aid in much needed renovations and improvements at the Charlotte Rescue Mission (http://www.charlotterescuemission.org). The key goal at the end of the day - to turn an unused basement area into six dorm rooms and a bathroom area. Volunteers also painted several rooms at the various Mission buildings, renovated the gymnasium, built a sand volleyball and horseshoe pit, organized and cleaned the food pantry, and landscaped and beautified the property.
The Charlotte Rescue Mission (www.charlotterescuemission.org) is a privately funded program with success rates that rival the highest in the country. This organization is working hard to eradicate drugs and alcohol from addicts' lives but also grow self-worth, offer training for vocations, give families back their moms, dads, brothers, and sisters and make our community a safer place to live. The Mission is truly working miracles on very limited funds. It is a 98 bed shelter with a connected halfway house, and it always has a wait list. Building these six new rooms will allow 24 more clients a year go through the program that may have not otherwise had the chance. Over the years, this in turn will offer hundreds of individuals the opportunity to participate in the program and start a new life for themselves.
A special thank you to all our sponsors:
- Addison Whitney
- Ashland Custom Homes
- Barringer & Barringer Landscape Services
- Beuerlein's Pro Fitness
- Einstein Bros Bagels
- Heard Ratzlaff Construction
- Kelly Brewster Design
- The Linda Construction Company
- Metrolina Greenhouse
- Outback Steakhouse
- Treadaway & Sons Painting
- Wallace Farms
Family Fun Fest at Thompson's Child and Family Focus
Hosted a day of fun for the families at Thompson's Family Focus, a local children's home, including music, arts & crafts, gifts and entertainment.
Bella Tunno Believes Safe Journey Scholarship
Bella Tunno awards a yearly scholarship to a Safe Journey program participant to help with their college education costs.
A division of Communities in Schools, Safe Journey is a program that supports teen mothers with their completion of high-school while teaching parenting programs to minimize abuse and neglect. The program strengthens their connections with their children, families, and community. Safe Journey is set up to lead participants to self-sufficiency and success.
Safe Journey and Florence Crittenton of NC Product Donation
Continued donation of products to Safe Journey and Florence Crittenton of NC for mothers and their babies.
Founded in 1903, Florence Crittenton Services of North Carolina is a non-profit organization providing single mothers and their babies comprehensive medical/prenatal care, social, educational, adoption and parenting support services, as well as, substance abuse intervention, treatment and prevention. Promoting health and hope for tomorrow's children, Florence Crittenton Services provides an opportunity for a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby and positive life choices.
Dove's Nest Room Sponsorship
Sponsored a room at the Charlotte Rescue Mission's Dove's Nest . Dove's Nest is a women's drug and alcohol rehabilitation center being built in Charlotte, NC. The Dove's Nest is one of the few programs in the country that allows mothers to get treated for their addiction while allowing their children to stay with their mother during treatment and get the psychological and emotional assistance they need too.
Charlotte Rescue Mission Client Sponsorship
Sponsored a client to attend the Charlotte Rescue Mission (all expenses paid) for the term of the treatment.
Let's Make a Miracle Campaign
Sponsored an event at the Charlotte Rescue Mission during the holiday season to ensure residents who might otherwise have had nothing during the Christmas Season received a hot meal, new shoes and clothes, toiletries, and even new mattresses.
Sponsorship or Causes we should consider?
Bella Tunno is always looking for great causes that support at-risk children and teens and/or teens, men, and women struggling with drug and alcohol dependency. If you know of any organizations we should check out please let us know or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor of an event please contact Todd Buelow.