OUR INSPIRATION, MISSION AND ONGOING EFFORTS
The Bring Sean Home Foundation was founded in March 2009 with the goal of providing resources and support to victims of international child abduction. The Bring Sean Home movement formed originally as a grassroots, international campaign to return Sean Goldman to his father, David Goldman, who fought an inspiring 5-year battle to be reunited with his son. Sean was abducted to Brazil in June 2004 and returned to the U.S. on Christmas Eve, 2009. Inspired and motivated by the success of the Goldman case, Bring Sean Home Foundation’s founders felt a calling to assist other parents in similar situations.
The Bring Sean Home Foundation’s mission is to assist victims of international child abduction, educate the public about the issue, prevent future abductions, and draw attention to the increasing number of cases that currently exist with the purpose of returning abducted children to their home countries and reuniting them with their left-behind families.
Many children abducted by a parent are traumatized by the loss of their other parent and extended family left behind by the abduction. These children lose half of their identity as they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, forced to live in a country where they may be unfamiliar with the language and culture. Abducted children are often lied to about why the left-behind parent is no longer a part of their lives. Child psychologists overwhelmingly label parental child abduction as a form of child abuse.
Left-behind parents and family members are emotionally and often times financially devastated by the loss of an abducted child. Government resources to assist them are limited and often ineffective which forces these families to fight legal battles on their own, at home and in the foreign country where their children were taken. This can be a daunting task given left-behind family members may not speak or read the language and have little to no support on the ground, and where the abducting parent often enjoys a legal advantage in the courts.
To date, Bring Sean Home Foundation’s efforts have focused mainly on providing private counseling and support to left-behind parents and their family members, educating the public and lawmakers on the issue of international child abduction, and advocating on behalf of victims of international child abduction by raising awareness through the media and through various speaking engagements.
In 2012, the Bring Sean Home Foundation is working to recruit and expand its volunteer staff, establish board and legal advisory committees, and launch a grant program that will provide financial assistance to left-behind parents to help defray legal and travel expenses incurred as a result of their ongoing efforts to reunite with their abducted children.
Financial donations received by the Bring Sean Home Foundation provide resources to support its mission and to benefit planned programs and existing services. The Bring Sean Home Foundation is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable organization, incorporated in the state of New Jersey.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Goldman is a Cofounder and Director of the Bring Sean Home Foundation. David grew up in Ocean Township, New Jersey and graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College. David devotes his time to public speaking and advocating on behalf of victims of international parental child abduction, having appeared on numerous television and radio programs and spoken at various conferences and events. David, who has twice testified as lead witness at congressional hearings, has also been instrumental in consulting members of Congress drafting legislation to prevent, curtail and to return internationally abducted children. In March 2012, the “Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction, Prevention and Return Act,” a bill designed to empower the U.S. Government with more tools to achieve the return of abducted children, was approved by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that oversees human rights.
Mark DeAngelis is a Cofounder and Executive Director of the Bring Sean Home Foundation. Mark grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey and graduated from Yale College with a degree in sociology in 1992. After a 16-year career in the financial services industry, he left his job in 2008 to devote himself full-time to the campaign to repatriate Sean Goldman to the U.S. Mark was instrumental in the founding of BSHF and now coordinates the work and efforts of the organization.
Matthew DeAngelis is a Cofounder and Director of the Bring Sean Home Foundation. Matthew grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1992. His career has included 15 years in the financial services industry. Matthew became involved with the effort to return abducted children in the fall of 2008, as a result of David Goldman’s struggle to have his abducted son returned from Brazil.
Melissa Capestro is a Founding Member and Director of the Bring Sean Home Foundation. Missy grew up in Ocean Township, New Jersey and attended Rutgers University. Her career includes more than 25 years of experience in the fields of human resources operations, corporate communications, and project and change management. A former neighbor of the Goldman family, Missy became involved with the effort to repatriate Sean Goldman in February 2009 and has been devoted full-time to the efforts of the Bring Sean Home Foundation since August 2011.
James Mastriani is a Founding Member and Director of the Bring Sean Home Foundation. Jim earned a BA from Georgetown University in 1992 and a JD from the Seton Hall University School of Law in 1997. He spent seven years at a major international law firm providing legal and regulatory advice to clients in the financial services industry before co-founding a Monmouth County-based specialty finance company in 2004. He became involved with the issue of international child abduction in the fall of 2008 as part of the effort to repatriate Sean Goldman to his father in the U.S.