Tuesday's Child strikes a chord

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When Adoption RI called Reel to Real’s Anthony Marrapese, they were asking if he’d be willing to host NBC 10’s Patrice Wood and a young boy in need of a forever family as a segment of the station’s “Tuesday’s Child” was filmed. Charlie was a young adolescent who loved music and rapping, and Marrapese’s studio was the perfect spot for him to do just that.

“He came in and he’d written a little rap song about being adopted,” Marrapese said. “He was a sweet kid, about 13, and he was so excited to record his song. He really took to it. Patrice Wood interviewed him, and while they were sitting together they sat at the piano and played around for a little bit. She taught him a couple of little songs and he duplicated what she was playing. He’s got a really good ear.”

After Wood left, Marrapese brought Charlie into the room where he does his song mixing, a room filled with keyboards, soundboards and other fascinating technology.

“What took me months to learn with the beat machine, he took to right away,” Marrapese said. “He loved it.”

Marrapese had an idea. Having originated his “Christmas Angels” program years ago, a Facebook group of generous “angels” who make the Christmas lists of children in need come true each year, Marrapese knew that angels exist all year long. Once again, he took to Facebook, sharing his story about Charlie and asking if he had 30 friends who might be interested in donating $10 each to get a keyboard for Charlie.

“By the end of the day, I had $500. People are very generous,” he said. “Frank O’Donnell [of the Keri O’Donnell fund, which provides scholarship funds for art and performance endeavors] saw the post on Facebook and asked if they could donate $500 towards music lessons for Charlie. Another person not even on Facebook heard about the fundraising and offered to donate a keyboard that had never been used.”

Marrapese said the response he’s received is a reminder of the innate good that exists in the world today.

“People are caring, they’re reaching out and some of them are people I don’t normally hear from,” he said. “Some have donated more than the suggested ten dollar amount. When it comes to kids, people are generous and they are willing, and this is all possible because of all of these people.”

Marrapese is in the process of setting up a date to meet up with Charlie again, at which time Charlie will find out about the equipment and music lesson donations, as he currently has no idea what has taken place at Reel to Real since his last visit.

Ultimately, Marrapese hopes that someone will see Charlie’s story and he will find his forever family.

“I hate to see anybody who has to go without,” Marrapese said. “Charlie is such a sweet kid, with a smile from ear to ear the whole time he was here. I just hope that someone will see his story and he’ll get adopted.”

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