Gabriel’s Giving Tree is a grassroots charity organization that raises money to provide financial assistance to local families in need who have lost a loved one to substance use disorder. Founded by Paulette Phillippe, it honors the memory of Gabriel Phillippe, Paulette’s grandson who passed away in 2010 due to an accidental overdose. Borne out of a way to mark Gabriel’s first anniversary, Paulette credits Anthony Rizzuto of FIST for mentoring her through its establishment.  Gabriel’s Giving Tree operates under the 501(c)3 of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.   

Looking to the future, the next steps for Gabriel’s Giving Tree involves expanded grief and loss support services for families with a keen focus on managing the isolation and risk factors for siblings, children and parents with holiday get togethers and events at the Recovery Park. “I want them to get down and dirty, connect with the earth and truly make it a place of recovery,” says Paulette Phillipe. 

Lastly, Gabriel’s Giving Tree wants to engage families in the long term by encouraging them to become part of the solution and join committees as well as connect with the families after the memorial to ensure communication and support on anniversaries and other special events so that the family can begin a healing journey and work to end the cycle of addiction. 

The Gabriel's Giving Tree Memorial and Recovery Garden in at the Suffolk County Environmental Center, at the Scully Estate located at 550 South Bay Avenue Islip, NY was created for families to gather, mediate, reflect, and be present. The Garden also includes a Prayer Tree for the Struggling, a Family Tree of Healing, an Angel Tree of Remembrance, a Unity Tree of Hope, a Celebration of Recovery Tree which reflects different stages families impacted by substance use disorder. Purple rocks are often brought to the Angel Tree of Remembrance, in honor of their loved one.

To make a contribution to Gabriel's Giving Tree, click here.