The mission of the Arredondo Family Foundation is to empower military families in the prevention of military related suicides and to provide support through education, financial relief and support services.
The 2017 Goals of the Arredondo Family Foundation are to:
- Train military families and friends to understand mental health crisis and suicide prevention techniques among their active duty service members and veterans and military family members in order to reduce the number of military-related suicides.
- Provide emergency fund assistance to military families who have experienced a suicide
- Provide educational assistance to military siblings who seek a college education.
Currently these goals apply only to Massachusetts residents.
The Arredondo Family Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 Organization.
Carlos Arredondo – President & Co-Founder: Carlos, the father of the late Alex and Brian, came to Boston in 1980 from his native Costa Rica and became a naturalized citizen in 2006. Having lost his older son Alex, a US Marine, in the war in Iraq, Carlos became a passionate peace and community activist, and a volunteer for the American Red Cross, Boston Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, and the St. Francis House. Carlos later lost his younger son Brian to suicide. He has dedicated himself to movements and causes that empower people and give voices to those who cannot speak for themselves. He actively advocates for peace locally and internationally, for suicide prevention, and for support services of veterans and military families. Carlos was a spectator at the Boston Marathon when, after tragedy struck, he ran to help Jeff Bauman with whom he has formed a lasting bond.
Mélida Arredondo – Executive Director & Co-Founder: Mélida is the stepmother to Carlos’ late sons, Alex and Brian. She is a published writer and political activist who previously worked in the field of public health for more than 20 years. She has written poetry and prose on topics including the cost of war, urban and international violence, healthcare, immigration, trauma, grief and loss. Her political activism dates back to childhood. Mélida was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease) and in 1976, she and other disabled children were invited to Washington DC to lobby for the right to accessibility. Mélida was born in New York City to Costa Rican & Nicaraguan parents and maintains strong connections to the tiny no-army nation of Costa Rica.
Brian Malone – Treasurer & Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee: Brian manages a personal financial practice within Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Financial Services, specializing in life, disability and long-term care insurance, and retirement and business benefit planning. He coaches youth football and is Co-Founder and President of The Great American Foundation, a non-profit that raises money from social events to support local charities. Brian graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in marketing, communications and finance.
Bruce Macdonald – Board Member:
Bruce Macdonald is the treasurer and a member of the board of directors for the Arredondo Family Foundation. He currently is employed as Retail Energy Consultant selling renewable energy for the past several years. Bruce was a Massachusetts trial attorney for 37 years. He is also a veteran from the Vietnam-era where he served in the US Navy. He has been an active leader in the sober-homes movement for Veterans and is a lifetime member of Veteran’s for Peace.
Keavin Duffy – Professional Advisory Council: Keavin, a fellow Gold Star family member, has extensive experience in the political arena, having assisted political candidates by managing campaign teams and volunteers, helping with fundraising, media buying and planning, event coordination, and social media. A candidate himself for Massachusetts State Representative, Keavin has worked as a Field Consultant for the Joe Avellone for Governor Campaign, a Regional GOTV (Get out the Vote) Director for Congressman Ed Markey campaign for US Senate, a Regional Field Director for Congressman Stephen Lynch for US Senate campaign, and a Field Organizer for Organizing for America, Democratic National Convention of Ohio. His younger brother Army Sgt. Shane Duffy was killed in 2008 in the war in Iraq. Keavin has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Rhode Island College.
Rita Gillman – Professional Advisory Council: A psycho-therapist with a private practice in Newton, MA, Rita has an MS in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University and a BA in Psychology from Connecticut College. Rita is well-versed in meditation and mindfulness instruction, having done her practicum at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Mass General Hospital and attended conferences on Meditation and Mindfulness in Psychotherapy at Harvard Medical School. She is also a Peacemaker for the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, a volunteer position to help resolve conflicts by focusing on healing and restoration. Rita volunteered last April for the One Run for Boston II, and helped the Arredondos with their Pizza Party to Prevent Suicide.
Sarah Legendre – Professional Advisory Council: Sarah has a background in psychology and non-profits. With a degree in Psychology from Clark University, she held an academic social work internship with a local mental health crisis hotline. She helped to raise funds and awareness for rain forest preservation and worked in Human Resources at a non-profit. She also worked in financial services and technology sectors. Sarah volunteered last April for the One Run for Boston II and helped the Arredondos raise money for Samaritans for Suicide Prevention through the Arredondos’ Pizza Party to Prevent Suicide. An avid Boston sports fan, Sarah enjoys time with her nephews, her “little sister” and her rescue dog.
Yadires Nova-Salcedo – Professional Advisory Council: Yadires is the host and producer of “Centro,” a weekly WBZ-TV news segment that examines issues of the Latino community including education, politics, current events and entertainment. She is also the executive producer and director of “Encuentro Latino,” a weekly, hour-long Spanish language TV show with local, national and international coverage. Nova-Salcedo was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in the Greater Boston area. She graduated from Emerson College in Boston in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism. She currently lives in Canton with her husband, daughter and son.