Gabriella's Story - A Letter From Her Mother

Gabriella's Story - A Letter From Her Mother


A desperate mother is begging for your help to keep her young daughter, Gabriella* in court-ordered rehabilitation – an alternative sentence miraculously accepted by the judge in lieu of a devastating 45-year sentence.


Gabriella’s life was full of horrendous trauma, childhood rape, and relentless sexual abuse. Without successful completion of this rehabilitation, Gabriella can face a lengthy prison sentence and lose her one chance at the treatment she so desperately needs. Please help give Gabriella a chance at the life she never had by giving any amount you can at: https://thechesedfund.com/helpsavegabriella/donate


A Letter from Gabriella’s mother, Shira*: 

 

Dearest Friends, 

 

Tears are streaming down my face as I write this letter to you. As I sit here with my mixed feelings of guilt, sadness, and hope for my daughter – I beg of you to please help us in any way you can – every penny will help us get closer to giving Gabriella the life I was never able to give her.

 

Gabriella was born into a highly abusive and volatile home. The abuse I suffered at the hands of her biological father was horrendous – I would often get violently beaten even with direct and purposeful assaults to my stomach while I was pregnant with her. Looking back, Gabriella experienced abuse even before she was born and sadly, it didn’t stop there. Throughout the years of her young life, unbeknownst to me at the time, Gabriella was repeatedly raped and abused by the various men in my life. I remarried when she was five, and my ex-husband heartlessly molested her continually until she was 17 years old. 

 

To deal with her soul-crushing pain and feelings of unworthiness, Gabriella turned to drugs to numb her suffering. My daughter tried repeatedly to rehabilitate herself off of drugs, but her self-destructive behavior was too strong for her weakened psyche. Years of physical, sexual, and mental abuse had taken a toll on her, and she was easily led into relationships with toxic men who used and abused her to their advantage. Gabriella got into trouble with the law because of her drug addictions and ability to be easily exploited. Unfortunately, due to a three-strikes-and-you’re-out legal policy, as well as mandatory minimums, she was facing a sentence of 45-years-to-life, when she was just 24 years old. 

 

When Gabriella was arrested, I contacted the Aleph Institute, who immediately arranged for my daughter to have everything she needed – from kosher food, books, seforim, items for the Jewish holidays, and even special glasses, as she is legally blind. Having had her glasses broken during her ordeal, Gabriella was unable to read in her cell; the boredom was unbearable, and she couldn’t even see what was in front of her, making it difficult to walk. Aleph worked tirelessly to find an optometrist who was willing to send her a new pair, and Gabriella was overjoyed. 

 

The help we received from Aleph brought my daughter a glimpse of hope in her soul-crushing despair. It was as if someone infused breath into Gabriella in the form of unconditional love and, in such utter darkness, we were astonished to feel Hashem’s presence. 

 

While she was incarcerated, Gabriella wrote a heart-wrenchingly beautiful poem, and here is a small excerpt:

Our screams fall on deaf ears, 

The frustration brings us tears, 

We turn to Hashem, 

Doing T’shuvah (repentance) after all these years. 

When times are rough,

And the going gets tough,

We must stay strong and do no wrong. 

Hashem will have mercy,

Just trust, don’t call His bluff,

Know when to be humble and say enough. 

 

Through a colossal effort on the part of Aleph and their wonderful Alternative Sentencing team, for which I will be eternally grateful, an alternative sentencing proposal was created for my daughter. Aleph assembled a team of specialists who worked tirelessly on Gabriella’s case, including a mitigation specialist and a sentencing specialist, as well as a neuropsychologist who performed a psychological evaluation. Based on the assessment, my daughter was recommended to a year of rehabilitation and therapy for her dual diagnosis of mental illness and drug abuse. After months of intense research, the Aleph Institute found a rehabilitation facility that would be suitable for Gabriella’s particular needs. Aleph carefully drafted an alternative sentence proposal for Gabriella, and out of the sheer kindness, mercy, and love from Hashem, the judge miraculously accepted the proposal in lieu of a devastating 45-year sentence! I can unequivocally state that as a direct result of Aleph’s involvement in Gabriella’s case, my daughter has been given her life back – a life she was never given a chance to live. 

 

The joy in my heart was indescribable. I felt G-d’s love and compassion shine down on my daughter as she was being given her second chance! Unfortunately, the road to recovery is a long one. Gabriella is currently in the rehabilitation center, and I am truly struggling to pay the astronomical fees of the center. The center has agreed to charge me the discounted rate of $10,000 per month and to keep her enrolled in the program, we need to raise $120,000 to cover the critical treatment she is receiving there. 

 

All money given will go directly towards Gabriella’s treatment costs and will be saved in an attorney escrow account by Alana Yakovlev, to disperse to the facility as needed. (This is not tax-deductible). Gifts can be made here: https://thechesedfund.com/helpsavegabriella/donate

 

I am begging you, from the bottom of my broken heart, to please help me get my daughter the help she so desperately needs. Every penny will go towards saving her life and giving her the chance at life she never had. I thank you wholeheartedly for listening to our story and for any help you can offer. May Hashem repay you in abundance for your compassion and generosity. 

 

Forever indebted to your kindness, 

Shira 

 

This campaign is fully endorsed by the Aleph Institute, a 501c3 certified non-profit Jewish organization dedicated to assisting and caring for the wellbeing of members of specific populations that are isolated from the regular community: U.S. military personnel, prisoners, and people institutionalized or at risk of incarceration due to mental illness or addictions. 


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