Forty years ago, Rob entered the foster care system as a child who had lost both parents. He was brought into a house of strangers with all of his belongings in a tattered and torn trash bag. Eight years ago, 4 children, who are now his daughter and 3 sons, arrived on his doorstep through foster care. As they entered his home for the very first time, each clutched a garbage bag holding the few items they called their own. Scheer was floored. How, after thirty years, were children in the foster system still carrying their life in a bag used for trash? After searching for a means to provide dignity to kids in care, an idea was born. With the vision of assembling cases for youth in need, an invitation was extended to the community for family and friends to come together. In December 2013, this gathering marked the first Packing Party to assemble what is now lovingly called Comfort Cases, and the 501(c)(3) charitable organization was born.
Comfort Cases has been given exciting exposure with interviews on The Ellen Show, a viral video production viewed by over 100 million from Upworthy, and a segment dedicated to the cause on The Today Show. They have already shipped the Cases to 39 states, and the dream is for every youth to receive Comfort Cases upon entering foster care.
In addition to his work as the Founder of Comfort Cases, Rob has over 25 years of leadership and operations management experience in the mortgage and financial industry. Rob is also a proud veteran of the United States Navy. He lives in Maryland with his husband Reece and their four children.
Reece Scheer is the Co-Founder of Comfort Cases, whose mission is to inspire communities to bring dignity and hope to youth in foster care. As a father of four children adopted out of the foster care system, Reece was distressed to see his children arrive on his doorstep with their life's belongings packed in torn and tattered trash bags.
Knowing that all youth deserve to have their basic needs met and to have a few comfort items of their very own, Reece and his husband, Rob founded their charity. Comfort Cases fills backpacks and duffel bags with brand new essential and comfort items for youth to receive as they enter the foster care system. Since 2013, Comfort Cases has distributed 30,000 Cases to youth in foster care in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Reece is currently a stay at home father who is fully committed to teaching his four children to give back and lead by example through their family charity. Reece has a Masters Degree in Interior Design from Corcoran College and aspires to pursue a career in Interior Design in the near future.
“I am honored to join the Comfort Cases team, especially at this critical point in the organization's evolution,” said incoming Executive Director Tony Bonetti. “I’ve had the privilege of working with the Board and hundreds of committed volunteers over the past four years and I am inspired by their passion and commitment. I look forward to working with the entire Comfort Cases family as we work to bring comfort and dignity to those who deserve it most.”
Tony Bonetti has been a social activist and non-profit leader for more than 15 years, serving mission-driven organizations such as Rainbow Families and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. Tony holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut and Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Public Policy from Eastern Connecticut State University. Tony lives in Kensington, Maryland, with his husband, Matthew, and their daughter, Audrey.
Director of programs & operations
“What I love most about working for Comfort Cases is the reminder of all the good there is in the world, as evidenced by how many people are willing to help youth in foster care who need them.” Kim came to Comfort Cases in 2016 as a volunteer. She joined our Board of Directors and helped lead our program outreach and growth as our Maryland/DC Program Coordinator.
We quickly realized that her devotion to our mission and leadership skills were a critical asset for our charity and asked her to join our team as our first full time employee. As Director of Operations, Kim manages operations at our National Center as well as overseeing program growth as our charity continues to expand nationally. Kim graduated from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in psychology. She lives in Kensington with her husband, three children, and goldendoodle.
INTERIM Chairperson, National Board
Terri Stevens is a Virginia Certified Landscape Designer with a degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design Specialization. Terri is a two-term Past- President of the nonprofit Northern Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, where she established the annual “Byron Wates Award” to celebrate excellence in horticulture in the Northern Virginia Area and assisted with implementation of the “Fairfax Releaf” program to restore urban forestry to Fairfax and surrounding counties. Terri established Cornerstone Landscaping in 1997 and continues to operate Cornerstone Landscaping as a residential design-build landscape firm. Terri is currently the President of the Haymarket Gainesville Business Association where she spear-headed the development of technology that enables local business to connect with their target markets. She also established a scholarship for graduating high school seniors who will be pursuing a major in business in order to promote corporate responsibility and engagement in the community.
Under Terri’s leadership the Haymarket Gainesville Business Association’s membership has grown 40% in the last two years. Because of the growth of the organization over the last two years, Terri has been asked to accept an additional two-year term as President.
Terri is also the Membership chair and Vice-President Elect of the Gainesville-Haymarket Rotary, and a Board Member of Keep Prince William Beautiful. Both Non-profits rooted in service to the community. The Gainesville Haymarket Rotary Club has adopted Comfort Cases as a Signature Project that the membership will support with volunteer hours at Comfort Case Packing Parties.
In 2016, Terri was awarded Prince William Citizen of the Year by the Times Newspaper group.
Terri and her daughter, Emily Stevens, began a chapter of Comfort Cases in 2013 in Virginia. Comfort Cases of Virginia has hosted 7 packing parties since 2013 and has packed and distributed over 7,000 cases to social service and foster care agencies in Virginia.
Terri has lived in Haymarket, Virginia since 1979 and currently resides in Bristow, Va. with her daughter Emily, who is a college Junior.
Treasurer, National Board
Ted Blake is the Treasurer of Comfort Cases having joined the Board in 2017. Mr. Blake has been a CFO at a variety of companies over the past 6 years after spending over 20 years in banking. He is currently CFO for the District of Columbia Financing Housing Agency. DCHFA seeks to expand homeownership and rental housing opportunities in DC by issuing mortgage revenue bonds that lower the cost of housing for low and moderate income households.
Mr. Blake is also on the board of Imagine Possibility, LLC (iptutoring.com) which provides individualized academic programs for children with learning differences like dyslexia. Mr. Blake is a CFA and graduated with honors from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Ted lives in Darnestown with his wife, Patricia, two sons and dog.
Secretary, National Board
Aimee DeBrandt is a retail management executive with over 25 years of experience. Most recently, she works for Healthy Back Brand Holdings, LLC and has been instrumental to the growth and development of the company. As the Chief Operating Officer at Healthy Back Brand Holdings, LLC, Aimee currently oversees all retail operations, supply chain management, logistics and fulfillment, human resources, inventory control, real estate leases and negotiations, customer service and drives sales.
Aimee started her retail career at the age of 16 where she worked at Woodward and Lothrop. She has held management positions with Bloomingdales and Old Navy before coming to work at Healthy Back in 2000 where she remains today.
Aimee received a B.A. in Philosophy from Gettysburg College with a minor in French Studies. She attended The Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France in 1994 and remains fluent in French. Aimee also serves as a Notary Public and has resided in Kensington since 1999 with her husband and two children.