As always, I like to introduce you to people who have made a strong impact on me and others.
Patricia Madsen came into my life many years ago and I am proud to call her a good friend. She has been an Angel for Staten Island and its residents, I will let her tell you her story....
Two yrs ago I did a relief fund for Alabama when the tornado's hit
there.We sent over 4 18 wheeler tractor trailers full of supplies and
goods to them!! Two yrs ago my daughters were 2 and 3.
Hurricane Sandy hit, my daughter Andrea (who is now 5) was sitting on
the couch with us watching the news. She looked over at me and said
"Mommy what are we going to do?" I looked at her in a state of shock...
and said "Mommy is working on something, don't worry baby girl!"
Although I had nothing planned I could not disappoint my baby girls!!!!
So like a crazy person, I didn't sleep for two days straight, just
thinking about what we could do. And I finally came up with an idea.
Before I said anything to my husband, I sat down with Andrea and Kelly
and told them I came up with an idea. They were so excited. I asked them
"baby girls would you like to cook thanksgiving dinner and bring it to
Staten Island?" Andrea said "And we can serve them and help them out,
the people who got hurt by Sandy?" I said with tears in my eyes "yes
baby girl!" I called Pj (my husband) and told him what I had come up
with and he said "lets do it, Im ready" Who knew doing the relief fund
two years ago would put such an impact on her life. They were so
excited. So I had to live up to their expections.
I got their schools
involved and friends family and neighbors, even friends from out of
state!! I was able to send over an 18 wheeler tractor trailer filled to
the max in two weeks!!!! I was able to get in contact with an awesome
guy named Jean in Staten Island who lost everything himself, but chose
to take care of his community by setting up a relief center. He had it
open 24/7. he was there sleeping in a tent taking care of everyone else
Two days before we left for our first trip out to Staten
Island I started cooking, and cooking, and cooking. I cooked 400 lbs of
food by myself with just my girls and a very good friend, Carol who
doesn't cook but she stayed by my side doing whatever she could do. We
went out to Staten Island with 500 lbs of food the day before
Thanksgiving and served the community from 11 am till 10 pm.
cried our eyes out when we got there, and we cried our eyes when we
left. The devastation is unbelievable. And I knew I just couldn't stop
there. When I set my mind to something I go all the way!!! So I told my
girls and PJ and Jean that I would be back, I'm not going to forget
There were people there that touched my heart like you
couldn't even imagine. We have gone out every weekend helping and
volunteering. Last week we meet two families that have broke our hearts,
and we knew we had to dedicate a lot of our time to them.
family has 4 children, a husband and wife. Fran is such an amazing
person, she touched our hearts tremendously. We have been cooking for
her family for the last two weeks. I make sure I cook enough to last
them a whole week. Until we come back.
Fran had told Carol and I
that she doesnt even have any money to get her daughter (who is 13) a
Xmas tree. We took her to the relief center that we were volunteering at
and she got so much stuff. This past weekend we went to Staten Island
on a Mission bigger than just cooking. I cooked tons of food for her
family brought her tons of donations. Pj said "No child should be
without a christmas tree" He bought her a Christmas tree, lights and
decorations. We knocked on her door and the girls gave her the tree!
Just the smile on her face was worth everything!! She was so happy to
have received the tree, she started tearing up. She gave me the biggest
hug a little girl could give. Her father was crying, which in turn made
us all cry. Her son looked at me and said "It's because of people like
you who make us get up everyday with a smile on our face, if it wasn't
for you guys we would have given up already!" That broke my heart and
made me cry even more!!
After we left them we went to our other
friend Steve. Who lost EVERYTHING!!! When Sandy hit he went into his
crawl space in the attic with his wife 85lb dog and 7 cats, and rode the
storm out up there. He brought a bottle of 151 rum just in case they
were going to drown. He was going to give his wife a drink so she would
go to sleep and not experience the travesty of drowning!! We brought him
trays and trays of food. A propane stove, a heater so he could stay
warm, cleaning supplies and masks. He was so great ful for everything.
He walked me through what was left of his house. It was the most
horrible sight I have ever seen in my life. The smell was horrible. But
he has the most amazing outlook on life. He is very cheerful and has his
American flag hanging from the front of his house.
We walk up and
down the streets, and see homes knocked off of their foundations, homes
destroyed from the bottom up. Children's toys crushed. You can see
through peoples houses, their kitchens with no walls. Kids bedrooms just
demolished and left with nothing in them. Toothbrushes on the floor in
the mud, peoples family pictures. Their lives in piles of rumble, being
put into dumpsters.
People like that break my heart and make me do
this. I do this because not only do I care about people, but I am doing
this because I am teaching my girls what being a great person is. If I
want my girls to change the world it has to start with PJ and I!!!
If you would like to donate, let me know and I will put you in contact with The Angel of StatenIsland.
The relief Center that she is working with is located at 626 midland ave Staten Island NY 10306
If your local in the area, she is looking for Christmas Toys to bring the children of Staten Island.