Posts Tagged ‘Sandy Cappelli’

Steven’s Hope outlines progress at annual luncheon

Sandy Cappelli shares the story of her son at the recent “There is Hope” luncheon for Steven’s Hope. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

Sandy Cappelli shares the story of her son at the recent “There is Hope” luncheon for Steven’s Hope. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

By Suzanne Sproul, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Posted: 11/19/14, 3:54 PM PST |

It was a packed house at the recent Steven’s Hope luncheon to outline progress on “There is Hope,” but more importantly, discuss dreams for the future.

And those dreams are big. The Upland-based organization started off 12 years ago to help provide temporary housing to families caring for severely ill children. That effort grew to helping with daily necessities and now it encompasses a goal of someday having a full-fledged campus.

The annual gathering is designed to be an hour to inspire people to help change a life. But it’s also a powerful testimonial to a family’s faith and love in believing there is hope even in times of despair. That story – of the Cappellis of Upland – began in earnest with a little boy who only lived 32 hours in 2000, but whose life continues to impact many today.

The mission statement of Upland-based Steven’s Hope says it all about the nonprofit that helps families in desperate times. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

The mission statement of Upland-based Steven’s Hope says it all about the nonprofit that helps families in desperate times. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

His story, along with those of others helped by the organization that bears his name, highlighted the seventh annual fundraising luncheon. Sandy and Tony Cappelli found out early in her pregnancy that their son, Steven Joseph Cappelli, had a fatal heart defect. The Upland couple didn’t waver in their decision to proceed with the pregnancy in hopes of donating his organs. That wasn’t possible, but the legacy lives on. Today, Steven’s Hope helps families coping with living with an injured or seriously ill child. Steven’s Hope provides financial support and housing to those families, but more importantly it serves as a support network in what is usually a lengthy ordeal.

Last year alone, Steven’s Hope helped 3,000 children. Jason Sgrignoli is the Chairman of the Board. He introduced several of the families helped by the organization, including Isabella Vahanian and her mom, Wendy, father Gregory, and sister, Gabriela.

Each year, Steven’s Hope recognizes a volunteer for his or her outstanding contribution. This year’s honoree is Gary Johnson, a former engineer and teacher who works tirelessly at the organization’s Children’s Boutique in Rancho Cucamonga.

Despite a record number of success stories, there is always much more that can be done. That takes money. Sandy Cappelli thanked Jersey Mike’s Subs for selecting them as a charity to help in its March promotion. Twenty Inland Empire stores participated and earned $122,000 for Steven’s Hope. And AM/PM stores also have contributed more than $100,000.

Corporate gifts are a wonderful mainstay, but the nonprofit relies heavily on local support. This year, Steven’s Hope opened its fourth apartment where families can stay when their children are being cared for, many times at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Last, Christmas, as part of its annual Winter Wonderland program, the nonprofit provided gifts to 6,000 children.

Steven’s Hope supporters also are in full holiday mode again this year. The annual Winter Wonderland toy campaign needs donations. Anyone who would like to adopt a family, arrangements can be made. Sponsors are needed, too, for the annual Winter Wonderful Christmas party for Steven’s Hope children and families.

Donations and sponsorships of all amounts are welcome. For more information about Steven’s Hope, call 909-373-0678.

Seen at the Scene: Alexa Cappelli, who sang; Donna and John Russo; Dale and Lynette Edelson; and Jim and Marcia Flock.

Steven’s Hope Co-Founder Launches Book Twelve Years In The Making

BOAP-cover-web largeTwelve years after Steven Cappelli’s brief life, the inspirational journey of hope and healing that was the catalyst for starting Steven’s Hope for Children will finally be shared.

Because of a Promise – A Mother’s Inspirational Journey from Whispers to Ripples by Sandy Cappelli is officially being launched on Thursday morning April 18, 2013 at 8AM PDT.

When asked why it took so long to get the story out, Sandy responded, “It wasn’t the story I wanted to write.  The pregnancy was so hopeful that I believed I was writing about a miraculous healing of my son’s heart. When that didn’t happen, I thought of the story as a “failed” whisper and could not see purpose in publishing.”

Periodically, Sandy would pull out the book and do some light editing, but it would always end up back on the shelf. Then, eighteen months ago, friends started working on Sandy to get the book published. On Thursday, April 18, the launch of the book becomes official.

“After providing hope and healing to thousands of families through Steven’s Hope for Children, I no longer think of it as a failed whisper, but I am still humbled by the response of those who have read an advance copy of the book.  Everyone seems to be taking away something different. For some it is about love and loss, for others it is about the faith and prophecy that guided us, while others seem to resonate with the concept of making ripples of impact in the world around us. I am just happy that my story is impacting lives.”

A new website has been created to help promote “Because of a Promise” and to offer groups the opportunity to have Sandy speak and share the message of moving from “Whispers to Ripples.” You can also sign up for her blog, social media or read and view testimonials on the book.  The website address is

“The official book launch will be between 8 AM and noon this Thursday,” said Tony Cappelli. “We are hoping to make it an Amazon Best Seller to open more doors to get the message out and to bring greater awareness to Steven’s Hope for Children to help further its mission. We would appreciate all the help we can get.”


To assist with the book launch, purchase your book(s) from on the morning of 4/18. You can also contribute through the “Ripple It Forward” project which allows supporters to go online and make a tax-deductible donation to buy one or more copies of Because of a Promise to be distributed for free to a family involved with the Steven’s Hope ministries that can benefit from its inspirational message.



Record Number of Businesses Commit To St. Patrick’s Day Event

UPLAND, CA. 3/14/12 – Steven’s Hope for Children has confirmed that a record number of sponsors have signed on to support the 10th Annual Tip the Fire Fighter Fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, March 17.  All the fire fighters have been busy
promoting the event since mid January and the St. Patrick’s Day event is shaping up to be the biggest one of the last decade.

Over two dozen companies have committed to sponsoring the event that will benefit Steven’s Hope for Children.  Finn Industries, a St. Patrick’s Day Sponsorship veteran leads the group of businesses with two sponsorships. Harbor Distributing has also doubled their sponsorship.

 “A lot of our support comes from businesses that come back year after year, so
it’s like a family reunion” said Fire Fighter Victor Lopez.  Lopez is the heir apparent to take over this fundraiser from Capt. Perez.  “This is a fun event. It’s a great time for owners and managers to bond with their employees and show their appreciation. We appreciate them doing that here and helping Steven’s Hope.”

For over a decade, the Ontario Fire Fighter Local 1430 has hosted dozens of
fundraisers for numerous causes.  Collectively, the fire fighters do this out of passion and a commitment to children in the community that has never waned.  That strong tradition of giving back continues with the latest fundraising event on St. Patrick’s Day known as the Tip The Fire Fighter Fundraiser.

Perez and his team never have a lack of energy for putting on events and their
efforts are now focused on the March 17 event to support Steven’s Hope for
Children, an Upland based charity supporting seriously I’ll or injured children.

“It’s all about the kids,” says Capt. Perez. “We love the kids and the future they have. That’s why we do events like the Tip The Fire Fighter fundraiser; to give them a hope for their own future.”

“Steven’s Hope does amazing work for kids going through transplant surgery or dealing with illness like cancer.”  Perez said this is the eighth year they have worked to support the nonprofit. “They provide housing, clothing, food, transportation and lots of love to so many families throughout the Inland Empire. We are all fighting for the same result- healthy kids.”

El Torito Restaurant will be the location of the event that will feature live
music, a karaoke contest, lots of green stuff, green beer, lots of prizes, and
of course, corned beef and cabbage. The restaurant will be open at 9AM to serve
a special brunch buffet that will continue until 3PM when the nighttime buffet
will begin.

The traditional Mexican restaurant has been specially decorated for the occasion.  With a large turnout expected, reservations for seating are strongly recommended.

“This is the best place to be on March 17th,” according to Steven’s Hope for
Children co-founder and President, Tony Cappelli. “Where else should a person go on an Irish holiday other than a Mexican restaurant for a corned beef taco?”

Aside from a seemingly endless supply of Irish and Mexican fare, the Fire Fighters
will be greeting customers throughout the day and will be available for photographs.

This year, more businesses have signed up for the event than ever before.  The sponsorships range is a “Bagpipe” sponsorship for $400, a “Shamrock” for $600, a “Leprechaun” for $800 and a “Pot O’Gold” for $1000.  Each sponsor level
gets more and more stuff to celebrate the day.

The  “Pot of Gold” sponsor of $1,000 includes CNC Motors, Draper Mortuary, Finn Industries, Harbor Distributing, Juanita’s #3, KIK Corporation, NAFTA, Ontario Airport Hilton, Ontario Local 1430, Ontario Police Officers Association, Source Interlink, Summit Machine.

Leprechaun Sponsors of $800 are Main Street Fibers, Trek Bikes and West Coast Ultrasound Institute.

$600 “Shamrock” sponsors are the Baird Family RV, Hino Motors, Mark
Christopher Auto Center, Ontario Airport, Ontario Double Tree Hotel, Quality Coach Works, Technicolor Entertainment and Vistar-Performance Food Group.

“Bagpipe” sponsors include Dietz Towing, ICL Performance Products, Lines &
Stooksbury, Majestic Trophy, McKesson, Mike Poe, Ontario Airport Police
Association, Professional Electric and Toyota.


About Steven’s Hope for Children

Steven’s Hope for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Upland,  CA. It was started by Tony and Sandy Cappelli after their son, Steven, died from heart complications only 32 hours after birth.  Through their loss, Tony and Sandy felt compelled to help families with seriously ill or injured children. Each year they help hundreds of families through their programs by providing temporary housing, food, emotional support, clothing and other necessities to needy families.

For more information about Steven’s Hope for Children, call 866-3-STEVEN or visit the website at

Steven’s Hope for Children is located at 1014  W. Foothill Blvd., Suite B,Upland,CA


Press Release Contacts:

Tony Cappelli, Executive Director Steven’s Hope for Children,(909) 373-0678

Capt. Martin Perez, Ontario Fire Department, (760) 285-5441



Steven’s Hope in Upland helping kids during holidays and year round

Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer

Created: 11/21/2011 06:02:53 AM PST

(Will Lester/Staff Photographer) Tony and Sandy Cappelli, founders of Steven's Hope For Children in Upland, stand in their store Wednesday November 2, 2011.

UPLAND – For many seriously ill children and their families, Steven’s Hope for Children is Santa Claus.

“A lot of families send us pictures of their kids Christmas morning just beaming because they’ve gotten something,” Tony Cappelli said. “Whether it’s a game they really wanted or not they’re beaming because they got something and they didn’t expect it.”

Steven’s Hope provides housing and support to families of ill children. They have three apartments near Loma Linda University Medical  Center where families can stay during their child’s treatments.

Through Winter Wonderland, sick children and their siblings submit their holiday gift wishes. A donor will sign up to fulfill those wishes.

Last year they gave out more than 3,800 gifts to more than 1,000 children from six local hospitals.

“It’s a prayer that we get all the wishes filled. It’s a little scary when you head out into an economy like this, but last year we exceeded everything that we could imagine,” Sandy Cappelli said. “I’m just praying we get enough to get all the kids sponsored again. Our goal is to hit over 1,000 again.”

Similar to many nonprofits, Steven’s Hope is working hard to stay afloat financially, but have seen donations grow for its Wonderland program.

“People they don’t have money,” Sandy Cappelli said. “This is why it’s such a huge program for us because they all want to deliver toys. I can’t get a check, but I can get toys, which is good. We’re making the best of that and helping as many people as we can help through that.”

This year they are looking for toys and sponsorships for two holiday parties in December.

Donors also can hold toy drives to help provide toys for the children at the parties.

“They all sit there holding this gift form Santa Claus, because Santa is the one who delivers it, – to see their little faces and to watch them open these gifts – it is so fun,” Sandy Cappelli said. “They don’t even know we load their trunk up for Christmas.”

Because the Cappellis want to continue to see those happy smiling faces, they are kicking off a new program that will spread the Christmas spirit year round.

“We just don’t want the spirit of Christmas to end on Dec. 25,” Tony Cappelli said.

They are looking for funding to support 25 families throughout the year with gift cards for food and gas as well as family celebrations.

Since their inception more than 10 years ago, Steven’s Hope has become more than housing.

Not only does it provide gifts for sick children and their families at Christmas, it also has two kids clothing boutiques, and try to support families with food, gas cards and family events.

Steven’s Hope opened the two boutiques, one next to their office at 1014 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite C and one in Rancho Cucamonga at 10730 Foothill Blvd., Suite 170.

They offer gift cards to their boutique for parents to buy their children clothing and toys.

The proceeds from the boutiques go to fund their programs and apartments.

“It adds up. It really does,” Sandy Cappelli said. “I just feel like we’re not just about one thing. We’re about hitting the needs of what the families are. We look at their situation and we can accommodate what needs to be done. ”

For more information on Steven’s Hope and its programs visit


–, 909-483-8555, @UplandNow