Hope Totes mission is to offer comfort and love-filled support in a time of medical need by gifting ‘Hope Totes’ to patients and their caregivers.
When Colleen Marchetta’s son Jackson was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in 2014, there was a lot of medical information to learn, take in and organize. Three years into treatments, Colleen finally came up with a simple and easy-to-use tote setup for organizing medical papers, keeping track of medications/side-effects, and traveling to hospitals for treatments or stays.
Fast forward to the fall of 2018, when Colleen received a call from her friend, Amy Velez. Amy’s son Thomas had just been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, and they were at the hospital preparing for surgery. Colleen immediately put together a tote for Amy, similar to what she had, and delivered it to the hospital. Included in that tote was a medical binder (to keep and organize medical information), a notebook for writing down thoughts/questions for the doctors and care team, a blanket and slippers for the hospital stay, and some other personalized items. This tote became critical to Amy getting organized for her son while still in a state of shock.
Over time, Thomas’ health improved, and Colleen and Amy continued to make totes for loved ones facing difficult medical situations. It became clear to them both that there was a need to provide these totes to more people in the WNY area. That’s when they decided to make their mission official and form a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to support Western New Yorkers in similar circumstances. In 2020 Hope Totes began offering help, hope, organization and support during the most trying of times, to patients and their caregivers.