Thanks to all of you who supported the Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation (TJNFF) 11 Days of Giving we surpassed our minimum goal of 111 donations with a total of 146 donations over the course of the 11 days!  It didn't go unnoticed that 1+4+6=11 which made us feel like Nick was saying "Great job!"  The total amount came to just over $17,000 and we are so very grateful to every one of you who made a donation!  Because your support, TJNFF will continue to have a significant impact on the lives of young people.  Each year the campaign coincides with our fall mission trip to the Dominican Republic and it gives us a chance to see how the programs  that you support are doing.  Here's an update:

  • In 2016  you helped us raise enough money for Vision Trust, our partner in the DR, to purchase property adjacent to Tia Tatiana School to build a free-standing Early Childhood Education Center.  While the property originally being considered has been taken off the market, Vision Trust is now looking into other options in the community.  This center will eventually accommodate nearly 100 children ages 3-6 from families living in extreme poverty.  Today these children are cared for and educated in the existing Tia Tatiana school in conditions less than ideal for little ones. We look forward to hearing when this new property can be secured. The photo below shows the 2nd grade classroom we visited on our recent November trip.  The  new desks and chairs are thanks to your support!
 the new desks and chairs in this classroom were possible thanks to thrive in Joy Nick fagnano foundation donors

the new desks and chairs in this classroom were possible thanks to thrive in Joy Nick fagnano foundation donors

  • We're praying for a church or other organization to partner with Vision Trust to provide the construction funding for Tia Tatiana Schools' Early Childhood Education building while TJNFF's goal will be to fund the furniture and other interior needs.
  • After refurbishing Tia Tatiana School's kitchen in March of 2017, we've set our sights set on a kitchen upgrade at the boys' house at the Remar Orphanage for March 2018.
  • We plan to make improvements to the preschool located at the school where the children from the Remar Orphanage attend class. We hope to tackle this project with the USC Caruso Catholic Center students who will be joining us for their March 2018 alternative spring break mission trip. 

Your support also contributes to these TJNFF causes:

  • Before the end of 2017 we'll present a gift  of approximately $4,000 to support the Nick Fagnano Memorial Endowment at USC's  Price School of Public Policy providing one or more scholarships to Price students enrolled in a program whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities here and abroad.
  • In spring of 2018 we'll award a scholarship based on strength of character to a graduating 8th grader at St. Brendan School and a graduating Notre Dame High School senior who has played baseball at NDHS all four years .
  • In Fall of 2018 we hope to pilot a unique Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation program open to young people ages 10-17 to encourage and reward character through education and recreation.  The program will provide awards to qualifying students to be used to gain expertise in something they are passionate about and, in turn, to share that expertise in a way that will benefit others. Stay tuned for more information on how to nominate young people for this program in February 2018.


Whenever Nick saw the time 11:11 on his phone he made a wish. 2017 marks the 3rd Annual Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation 11 days of giving ending on 11.11 at 11:11 p.m.  Each year we set our goal to exceed 111 donations. It's not about how MUCH one gives--it's about how MANY choose to participate. Every donation makes a big difference for young people living in the Dominican Republic who lack so many of the basic things we take for granted... yet have so much joy.

Suggested donation: $1.11, $11.11, $111.11 or any multiple thereof: $22.22, $33.33, $44.44, $88.88 etc.

In March 2017, Jay , Mary , and Students from USC's Caruso Catholic Center  spent a week in Santo Domingo  helping some special kids at the Remar Orphanage and at Tia Tatiana School.

On November 10, 2017 Mary and Jay, departed on their 8th trip to the Dominican Republic since Nick's passing. On every trip, thanks to the generosity of Thrive in Joy supporters, life has improved  for the children at the Remar orphanage and Tia Tatiana school.  On the November 2018 trip we traveled to the Haitian border to visit a Vision Trust school that serves as an inspiration for children living in extreme poverty on the border of Haiti. 

the 2 photos on the right show the school we visited on border of the DR and Haiti on our November 2017 trip. The 3rd photo is the property immediately adjacent to the school and the far right photo is at the Haitian border standing on the DR side.  Haitians are returning from their Monday market day.  Every Friday and Monday they are allowed to freely cross into the DR to sell goods in the open air market.

Eager students at Tia Tatiana School in Santo Domingo where we hope to see an expansion allowing for more classrooms.

With your support, Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation will be keeping Nick's light brightly shining.                                        

Your support has been an answer to the prayers of children and their families who have so little but whose hearts are so full of appreciation and love.