Couple raising money for adoption
BY REBECCA SUSMARSKI firstname.lastname@example.org July 5, 2012 10:20PM
Brad Stancampiano, left, and his wife, Melanie, laugh as they unpack a pickup truck as they prepare for their garage sale at her mother’s home in Oak Lawn. They are trying to raise funds to adopt a baby with the yard sale. | Photos by Matt Marton~Sun-
To donate an item to the yard sale, contact Melanie Stancampiano at email@example.com or Brad Stancampiano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Show support for the Stancampianos online by liking their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RoadToAdoption.
Updated: August 7, 2012 6:05AM
It may “take a village” to raise a child, but for Brad and Melanie Stancampiano of Joliet, getting one will take a neighborhood.
Brad, 36, and Melanie, 32, hosted a large yard sale in Oak Lawn last weekend to raise money to adopt a baby. The sale took place at Melanie’s childhood home, 6211 W. 87th St.
“It’s entrepreneurial and inventive,” said Doug Eisenhauer, 34, a construction company manager and longtime friend of the Stancampianos.
After the Stancampianos had their now 3-year-old daughter Zoe, they discovered they no longer could conceive by natural means. Melanie came from a big family, and she and her husband wished to welcome another child into their home.
“We’d always considered adoption as a general principle,” Brad said. “I’ve got several cousins who were adopted, (and) we know a lot of people in our lives who had gone through that, so it’s something we always kind of wanted to do.”
The couple decided to adopt an infant, with no preference as to gender. They sought assistance from an Illinois adoption agency called The Cradle. It supported Brad and Melanie during their approval process, but the $30,000 adoption fee proved more daunting.
“We didn’t want to go to people and ask for money,” Brad said. “We don’t consider us a charity case.”
Melanie said the idea to raise money through a yard sale spawned from a practical way to prepare their home for their new child: clean up the house.
“We thought, ‘Hey, this is a good idea for us to kind of get rid of our things,’ ” she said. “The adoption people were looking for a way to help us that was tangible, and so it really came together.”
The Stancampianos are no strangers to raising money for good causes. When one of Melanie’s cousins was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago, they helped with another large yard sale to raise money for treatment.
They also work frequently with a charity that raises money to help rebuild Haiti. They even set up a scholarship in the name of one of Melanie’s friends who went on a relief mission to Haiti.
Their spirit of charity has extended to their family and friends.
Melanie says her siblings and parents helped them prepare for the yard sale by storing and collecting items.
“My sister and her husband have been collecting donations. Their neighbors had a yard sale and anything they didn’t sell they stored to help us for this yard sale,” Melanie said.
Brad’s employer, a Chicago construction company called Backflow Solutions, also helped by allowing Brad to keep items in a storage garage at work.
“It worked out quite well for us with so many family and friends helping us out,” Brad said.
Some of the many items at the yard sale included five to six widescreen TVs, clothes, china cabinets, toys and baby items.
“As we’re talking to our child about their story and their passage into our family, we’ll be able to say, ‘All these people came together to make that happen,’ ” Brad said. “It will just be kind of a nice testament.”
Eisenhauer hopes those who came to the Stancampianos’ yard sale recognized that as well.
“I hope that people will take it for what it is. I hope people understand the money is not going for their vacation. It’s going to help a young life out,” he said.
Melanie hopes for the same.
“We’re enjoying and grateful for all the support we’ve had so far, and we’re excited to take the next step of our journey,” she said.