Angels in Motion started with one woman’s efforts to rescue her child from the disease of addiction. While searching the streets of Kensington (a neighborhood in Philadelphia), for her son, Carol Rostucher saw that many other children and loved ones were suffering and lost as well.
Carol began to open her heart to the streets and spread her love where it was needed the most. Her efforts included treating each person as an individual and offering her genuine compassion and understanding, and providing “blessing bags” which contain food, snacks, clothing, hygiene products and resource information to obtain help when they are ready.
On February 6, 2015 an article was written in the Philadelphia Daily News depicting Carol’s efforts and struggles between the streets and her son. Following the article, an outpouring of help and support came in the form of other parents, siblings, and loved ones looking to help. Through this collective effort and staying true to Carol’s vision of de-stigmatizing the disease of addiction and spreading love, understanding, and compassion, Angels in Motion was formed in mid-February of 2015. AIM consists of a diverse group of individuals, showing that the disease of addiction does not discriminate based on race, economic status or locale. Each member shares the same passion and concern for their community and those suffering from this disease called addiction.
Through the generous donations of the community and the wonderful help and time of our volunteers, Angels in Motion has been able to increase its presence within the Philadelphia area and deliver its blessing bags on a weekly basis. Angels in Motion also holds twice-monthly meetings for the community to help spread awareness about the disease of addiction and offers support to families, friends, and loved ones that have been effected by this disease.
No longer do you have to feel alone or deal with this epidemic without help or support. Angels in Motion is breaking barriers and spreading awareness one life at a time with the hope to one day bring an end to the negative stigma attached with the disease of addiction and provide those in need with the proper care and enough love to support them on their road to recovery and a new life.
“The American Revolution began in Philadelphia over 200 years ago. We are now on the brink of a new revolution, one that will shine light on this terrible disease and bridge the gaps between understanding and compassion and love and tolerance. It’s time to make the change and what better place than Philadelphia, the birthplace of change.” ~ Author unknown
Meet the members of the AIM Leadership Team!
My name is Carol Rostucher. It is difficult for me to write my bio on a constantly evolving life. I can proudly say that I am the mother of 2 amazing sons. My youngest son is Dylan; he is 16 years young, an honor student at Roman Catholic High School. He rows, and his quad just won City and Catholic League Championships! My oldest son Drew is a talented artist with an amazing heart. He is 25 years young and currently in recovery from the disease of addiction. There is one thing I truly hate – addiction. I must say Drew’s disease has taught me so much. I look in the mirror and love who I see, I am not afraid to be me, and I do not care what anyone thinks of me. I know unconditional love; I am not ashamed of my children in any way. I try my best not to judge, and to give everyone a fair chance. I have grown and met the most amazing people through this journey. Would I be this person today if my son did not have this disease? I honestly do not think so. Do not get me wrong – I really wish my son did not have substance use disorder. Unfortunately, he does, along with millions of human beings all over the world. This would be why I do what I do, along with all the volunteers of Angels in Motion. We are changing the way those suffering with the disease of addiction are treated, one life at a time.
Contact Carol at email@example.com
Mobile Syringe Exchange Coordinator/ Narcan Training
My name is Barbara Peahota-Burns and I am a Lead Outing Volunteer for AIM. I have been married for 30 years and am the mother of two – Kelly, who is 18 and will be attending college in the fall, and Billy, 25, who lives in California and is currently in recovery from the disease of addiction. I am also the grandmother of two.
This disease has taught me to live in the moment, love unconditionally and take the time to laugh. Being on this journey, I’ve received more from our Angels In Need than I have given. My life-long commitment will be to work with AIM, helping to make our mission statement a reality.
Contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph A. Giandonato
Vice Chair / Fundraiser
Joe has over 35 years’ of contracts/grants experience which includes over 5 years as Deputy Logistics Officer, Director of Procurement Administration/Compliance, and Program Director supporting various programs throughout Amtrak, 12 years performing as Contracts Manager/Operations Lead at CH2M HILL, and over 18 years’ experience performing contract management duties on numerous federal programs. Other experience includes managing and administering contracts/subcontracts/grants in accordance with federal requirements, ensuring compliance with regulations, policy, and contract terms and conditions, preparing solicitations and proposals, conducting negotiations, awarding contracts/subcontracts/grants, performing post-award functions, and ensuring compliance to contract/grant terms with local, state, and federal laws. Joe earned his BA from Temple University and a MBA from Strayer University. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. Enjoy sports, music, and the arts. Joe has been a member of Angels in Motion supporting outreach efforts, business management, fundraising, and grant writing for 3 years after losing his daughter, Alissa, age 20, to an overdose.
Brooke M. Feldman
Brooke is a widely recognized speaker, advocate, consultant, and writer who brings a wealth of professional experience and knowledge when it comes to issues of social justice, transforming systems and improving behavioral healthcare. Prior to becoming the Philadelphia Center Manger of CleanSlate Outpatient Addiction Medicine, Brooke served for several years as a national consultant focused on behavioral health systems transformation. For 10 years leading up to her consulting work, Brooke served in Philadelphia’s behavioral health system in a variety of settings including a recovery residence, addiction treatment center, Recovery Community Organization (RCO) and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). This breadth of experience has enabled Brooke to develop a unique well-rounded perspective in the way she views and works in transforming behavioral healthcare.
In addition to Brooke’s professional experience, Brooke brings invaluable lived experience as a person in recovery. After spending her adolescent years in and out of behavioral health institutions and Philly’s juvenile justice system, Brooke found recovery at the age of 24. Since that time, she has focused her life’s work on making wellness and recovery, however self-defined, available to all.
Ronnie Sue Kaiser
I’m Ronnie Sue Kaiser, the mother of 3, grandmother of 5 and one of the Directors of AIM. I also have a 9-5 job that pays the bills, but the volunteer work I do with those that suffer with the disease of addiction is how I plan on making a difference. I’m bull-headed, snarky, call-you-out-on-bullcrap kind of lady. I am also compassionate, loving and would give you the shirt off my back if you need it. I love sports, sitting with my family and arguing over whatever seems to be funny at the time. If you can’t laugh, you’re doing something wrong.
Contact Ronnie at email@example.com
Volunteer Coordinator / CRS Program
Contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Admin / Treasurer
My name is Jackie Raftery. I have been married to Richard for 30 years. I have 3 beautiful children, (Andrew, Julia and Timothy) and 1 precious granddaughter (Anna). My husband has been in recovery for 24 years and my oldest son has 3 years of recovery. Living in a family with this life threatening disease is not an easy one. But I am so fortunate that they are alive and thriving. With the help of their 12 step program, it keeps them living one day at a time. Along with being a Director of AIM, I work full time as a Resident Manager of an apartment complex. I am an advocate of treating all who suffer from addiction with compassion and love. I am so proud to a part of Angels in Motion, who show all that are struggling with this disease Hope, Love and Compassion!
Contact Jackie at email@example.com
Timothy Benston has over 25 years of work experience in community health and planning. Much of that experience has been organized around issues of poverty and race in urban settings focused specifically on HIV, substance use, and mental health. He has a BA from Harvard, a JD from Fordham University Law School, and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in Liberal Studies. Timothy directed the largest outpatient HIV primary care practice in New York City at Mount Sinai Medical Center and has served on numerous healthcare planning bodies on the state and local level. He served on a task force examining the feasibility of expanding syringe access in commercial pharmacies throughout New York City, one of the first models of its kind.
Originally from New York City, Timothy moved to Philadelphia in the summer of 2009 and was Director of Operations at Wills Eye Hospital until 2014. Timothy went on to consult for various community health programs throughout Philadelphia, including AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Spectrum Community Health Center, and Accessmatters.
In addition to an active work life, it would not be unusual to find him engaged in photography or in a protest supporting local community groups such as Black Lives Matter Philadelphia. As of this writing, he is working on his first photography project, entitled “Jawn: Visual Justice and Revolutionary Optics in Black Philadelphia.”