In 2019, Mitch and Mindy Rivas were crossing into their fourth year without their twin daughter Maryssa. Maryssa passed away in 2015 at the young age of 2 from a congenital heart defect (CHD). Nearly 1 in 100 children are born with a CHD diagnosis. After passing away, Mitch and
Mindy knew they had to be “the blessing they prayed to receive.” Mitch recollects, “We knew we had to help people. Our first “Mission” was not even related to the medically fragile community. Still, we knew we had to capitalize on our support system.” Unfortunately, a support system is not something every family has. Maryssa’s Mission welcomed over 300 guests to their annual banquet and fundraiser event during this year’s five-year celebration banquet. The proceeds from this event empower them to be that extension of support to medically fragile families.
The challenges of growing a grassroots nonprofit from scratch are immense. We are an average family, and nothing “special” set us apart from other organizations. Or so they thought; many families boast about how accessible Mitch and Mindy are. One mom recounted that she could text Mindy, no matter what time of day, and Mindy always responded with a calm and loving reply. Since 2015, Mitch and Mindy, with the help of their talented Board of Directors, have exponentially grown the Foundation. They have joined their networks and attracted individuals who want help finding their place in blessing the medically fragile community.
If I could narrow it down to three successful keys that have grown our nonprofit, I would say being genuine, transparent, and always acting in love. Those three keys are essential elements in our relationships with supporters, families, and medical professionals. One of my takeaways from my time in the Marine Corps is integrity. We have raised our children to lead with integrity. If you don’t have your integrity and your word, all other by-products will lack substance. This holiday season, we are thankful for our family, friends, and supporters. Remember, today is not permanent, and tomorrow is not written. Embrace your brave because we will get through this together. See this year’s banquet video by scanning the QR code below or following us on Facebook @maryssasmissionfoundation. See you at our next event. Please support us at www.MMFKids.org.