Tysons, VA

After 9-year-old Vienna resident Matteo Lambert pledged to help local businesses by returning the money they previously donated to his charity, he ended up surpassing his goal.

With the help of a GoFundMe page, Matteo and his dad Brandon Lambert were able to crowdsource $3,276, which is now in the hands of 10 local businesses that are struggling because of the pandemic.

Matteo, along with help from his father, personally delivered checks to the doors or mailboxes of the local businesses he decided to support. The pair was sure to take necessary health precautions, Brandon said.

Originally, the pair’s goal was to raise $2,020 to simply payback eight businesses that originally helped him fundraise for Hopecam, which allows severely ill cancer patients to connect digitally with friends and fight social isolation.

Now, the money will not only go to support the original eight, but also to Ciao Osteria and Skorpios Maggio’s Family Restaurant — two businesses that Matteo said have gone above and beyond to assist their communities in this time of crisis.

Last Thursday (April 9), the owners of Skorpios Maggio’s donated meals to town employees who help keep the local parks in good shape, Sherry Maggio, one of the eatery’s owners, told Tysons Reporter.

Ciao Osteria, though located in Centreville, has been active in response to the COVID-19 crisis and donated meals to first responders in the last few weeks, according to its website.

Other businesses that will benefit from the fundraiser include:

Though Matteo and other kids will start online classes through Fairfax County today (April 14), the father-son pair said they now plan on using their extra time to sew capes for kids in hospitals through Matteo’s non-profit Off the Charts Club. The organization helps to empower kids despite any disability or challenge they might be facing.

“We are just trying to make a difference in the community and do anything we can to help others,” Matteo said.

Photos courtesy Lambert Family

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