The Upside: 9-year-old honors memory of infant brother through charity


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) —  A 9-year-old girl from Hallsville created a foundation in memory of her infant brother, who died in 2015. Now, she’s finding a way to heal through charitable acts of kindness.

At just 3 months old, Alicianna Bersani’s little brother Dominick passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But every year since, the Bersani family has found new ways to give back to those in need in Dominick’s name.

“You know, It doesn’t go away, but you can do things that help you. And if giving back helps her [Alicianna], that’s what we do,” Kayla Bersani, Alicianna’s mom, said.

This year, Alicianna has taken their mission to the next level by creating the Dominick Foundation to promote SIDS awareness and bring hope to families facing hardship. In the past, she has put together countless projects—everything from gathering donations for food pantries to giving back to Albany Medical Center patients in need.

“A lot of people don’t do stuff to help other people that are in need because they don’t really notice it,” Alicianna said.

Alicianna’s current project is “Operation Backpacks. Her mission is to gather enough donations to compile backpacks filled with school supplies for every child in the second grade at Schoharie Elementary School and St. Johnsville Elementary School.

News10 asked Alicianna why she chose the second grade, and her answer was simple. That’s the grade Dominick would be going into this fall if he were still alive today. She added that overall she believes doing good for others is exactly what Dominick would be doing himself.

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