Moms helping other moms with gifts
Gina “Muzzi” Racioppi grew up in Naples and has lived the last 15 years in Bonita Springs.
She recalls her son attending kindergarten at Bonita Springs Elementary, and seeing other parents walk their children to school from home. Those children ate free lunches at school and brought napsacks of food home with them.
Racioppi never forgot those families, many who struggled financially. After 10 years of working at her dad’s company, the Muzzi Group Inc., she started her own insurance agency in 2009.
She named her company, AG Family Insurance, after her two children: Anthony and Gianna.
“I thought of that in the shower,” Racioppi said with a laugh. “I do my best thinking in the shower. It’s practically the only time I have to myself. I thought ‘Racioppi’ was too long, and my children’s names would be great.”
Now that Racioppi has her company on firm ground with about 1,600 clients, she decided it was time to give back to the community.
AG Family Insurance is conducting its first Little Angels Toy Drive for families in need during the holidays.
“We’ve adopted seven families so far. There are so many unfortunate kids out there, so the more we can help the merrier,” Racioppi said. “Although this is my first drive, so I don’t want to take on more than I can handle.”
That all depends on the community’s response. She will help more families if the toy donations roll in. Racioppi’s initial families were selected from Parkside Elementary, Bonita Springs Elementary, Oak River Church and United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, and she expects to receive lists from the families of their needs and kids’ ages and toy wishes by today.
People can donate unwrapped toys, although gift cards from Wal-Mart or Target may be even better. With the gift cards, she and her staff can purchase the gifts based on the lists and children’s ages, and then wrap the presents themselves.
Donations will be accepted by mail or at a drop box at AG Family Insurance, 9420 Fountain Medical Court Suite 101 in Bonita Springs, or by calling 322-5310 to make arrangements. Call for questions too. The donation deadline is Dec. 17.
“If you know of a family that needs help, call and tell us,” Racioppi said.
For more information about the company, visit agfamilyinsurance.com or find it on Facebook.
Other coming charity events include:
Nov. 10: Fourth Annual Glass Slipper Ball at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero for the Zonta Club of Bonita Springs, which benefits local nonprofits working to provide educational programs, health related assistance and an end to violence against women. Dinner from 20 top chefs, dancing tolive music, cocktail or black tie attire, auctions, gift bags and more. Tickets are $125 at zontabonitasprings.org.
Dec. 12: Third Annual Charity Fashion Show, Luncheon & Auction at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s neonatal intensive care unit. Tickets are $75. Call 495-8295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.