David Caruso’s story: From fabulous event designer to fierce advocate for survivors of assault

Dear friends,

My relationship with Aurora Health Care Foundation began in 2013 when I was hired to  produce events with their team. One of those events, Hope Shining Blue, inspired me to become more involved as a champion for Aurora Healing & Advocacy Services. Though I’ve produced major events for 16 years, I’ve never witnessed anything like this. The impact of this event, and the services provided, seemed to be direct and immediate for the survivors who were honored. Year after year, I noticed how the event experience became a very strong part of their healing journey.

After spending time with counselors, caregivers and survivors, I was inspired to become one of the founding members of the Aurora Healing and Advocacy Giving Circle. Each  member gives $1,000 and then we vote together on how to allocate the funds. In only 10 months, this dedicated group raised $21,000 for Aurora Healing and Advocacy Services!
From the 2017 Hope Shining Blue event: Vivian King, who served as an interviewer, David Caruso, who was the event planner and producer, and Jordan DeChambre, who was the stylist for the survivor models. The event supports Aurora Healing & Advocacy Services.
David, with the 11 iPads that he donated to Aurora Healing Center at Sinai. David went to his own friends and colleagues to see what they could each chip in.
I became so invested, I wanted to help with additional needs at Aurora Healing Center at Sinai, which is a program of Aurora Healing and Advocacy Services. They needed iPads to help provide children with familiar and comforting distractions during their treatment for assault and abuse. After learning of this need through the Giving Circle, I went to my own personal “giving circle of friends” to see if they could help me do more. I am so grateful for my friends and clients who stepped up to help purchase 11 iPads that I recently delivered to Aurora Healing Center at Sinai. The circle of generosity has just continued to grow!

Something that has also been great about this experience is how the team at Aurora Health Care Foundation is always able to meet you wherever you are in your ability to give. They have made it so easy for me to find ways to donate and they are always able to lend a hand, whether it is providing tours, writing letters and more. The team at Aurora makes giving easy.

What I’ve realized over the years is that the survivors I met and came to know were also changing my life. Their unimaginable circumstances and will to survive motivated me to extend my time, talent and resources however I possibly could. I feel passionate about helping to provide a more peaceful, loving and accepting community in which they could thrive.

So I would like to challenge this audience, wherever you are reading this, to rise up and offer this much needed support to the men, women and children who are survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in our community. I have no doubt that we all have the capacity to DO SOMETHING. And I’m confident that you and the people served by your generosity will become most truly alive!

Sincerely,
 
David Caruso
President & Creative Director,
Dynamic Events by David Caruso

If you’re interested in learning more about the Aurora Healing and Advocacy Giving Circle, or if you’d like to start one of your own to support the Aurora Abuse Response programs in your community, visit give.aurora.org/denimday.

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