John Randy was my brother who was born on May 15, 1964. When he was born, he was deprived oxygen for a short period of time which ultimately, lead to his life of dependency. Randy was the oldest of 6 children who could not talk to the point of being understood. Although he could take care of his hygiene and yes even shave, he still could not live on his own.
Randy was given a life expectancy of 5 years to live. Fast forward, he lived to be 55 years of age, just passing away on March 14, 2019, 2 months shy of those 55 years. He beat the odds with 50 extended years of life. What does this say "God has the last word".
Although with his disability, it never stood in his way of just living a normal life as he knew it. John Randy attended a school with other children who were deemed autistic, unable to communicate and dependent. I often wondered why he was never taught the Art of Sign Language but simply growing up with Randy, you grew to understand what he thought from time to time.
Randy would always find himself with a broom sweeping and even picking up the trash in his neighborhood and he made the maintenance and grounds crew job easy. Smart in his own right, he knew to go get gloves and continue to clean up outside. It simply gave him something to do, a sense of purpose that he enjoyed.
Randy was allowed to go outside but where we lived and grew up, he knew not to venture off too far from the front door. At times he would test the waters a little but because everyone knew him and knew the rules, they would simple say "Randy I'm telling Ms. Mattie on you". He would, believe it or not shush folks but at the same time make his way back to the front door.
So with ASL through JRF, he would be heard through the signing of others. He never complained and so for that, is why, "JOHN RANDY FOUNDATION, INC. A NJ Nonprofit 501(c)(3)", is in his honor!
May 15, 1964 - March 14, 2019
Melissa grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey, where born and raised for most of her adult life. Although she relocated to the neighboring City, her roots are within Jersey City. Her love for community, outreach and societal change, started over 20 years ago, when she started noticing the differences in parts of her City the place she's called home. Not happy with what she's seen, Melissa set out on her journey to simply get involve to erect change and make a difference. She's gone over and beyond the realm of change, i.e, contacting to property authorities to: get a bus stop bench placed in front of the Senior Citizen building where she grew up, so that the Senior Citizens wouldn't have to stand to wait their oncoming bus. She's had the proper authorities, improve the lighting on the path that leads to the football field, which players and residents would walk even during nightfall to and from the football games. To date, Melissa has had the local bus company come back to her hometown and place 6 additional benches at various stops, for the comfort of residents while they await their bus to take them to their destinations.
Melissa is a giver and knows that it's better to give than receive as she's always putting everyone else's needs, problems and even concerns before her own by donating to Charity, any Charity that's doing a service to those in need. She knows how, who and what to do to get problems and issues resolved to mutual satisfaction. After watching her brother who was born dependent of care, live his life as normal as he only knew, never complaining and always wanting to help others until, ultimately passing away March of 2019. It was hard as we knew he didn't understand what was going on as he was non-verbal and couldn't express it. That never stopped him from wanting to help others. I for one took a 6 week course in Signing and can't wait to take a refresher course. I think the Signing is so needed and should be taught to others. So when it came down to deciding to form a Nonprofit organization, to give care and a helping hand to others, no question about the name, in his honor:
"John Randy Foundation", A NJ Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization formed!
Our letter on gun-violence was featured in the local newspaper of the Jersey Journal 4/28/22, Be sure to check it out in our BLOG section.
Also featured on "6Figures Grants Program Blog". Click the link below to read more about it.