Charity founded by Glendale firefighter is now helping one of their own

Something Good is sponsored by Papa Murphy’s
Formed more than a decade ago, Ryan's Hope holds events to support families who are struggling with medical bills.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:36 AM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) A non-profit created by a Glendale firefighter more than a decade ago continues to do Something Good in the community. Ryan’s Hope holds events to support and raise money for those dealing with medical issues, to help pay their bills.

But little did firefighter Tony Merlino know that the charity he started in 2011 would one day be helping one of his own brothers in the Glendale Fire Department after his son was born with a heart defect. Merlino visited Good Morning Arizona on Thursday to share the story, along with fellow firefighter Sean DeRuiter, his wife Chelsea, and their son, baby Hunter.

Because Hunter’s heart defect required specialized care, Sean and DeRuiter had to commute to Stanford in California for surgeries and treatment. Other Glendale firefighters donated hours, working for Sean so he could take time off to be with his family.

Ryan’s Hope also gave the family some financial assistance, leading up to a special event early next month. During a Casino Night fundraiser on Feb. 3 in downtown Phoenix, the DeRuiters will be presented with a check for $20,000! Two other families will also be presented with the same assistance. Tap/click here for details on the event and how to attend.

Check out the full interview above. Learn more about Hunter and the DeRuiter family here.

If you know of someone or an organization doing good in the community, nominate them for our segment here! Don’t forget photos and videos.